Good Books Available on the Kindle

Good Books Available on the Kindle

Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader transforms the experience of reading. Imagine carrying your entire library in a device as slender as a ballpoint pen and lighter than your average paperback.

The Kindle can download titles in less than a minute. Books on the Kindle cost anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars depending on the title.

The Kindle is a great device, but even the best eBook reader in the world is useless if there aren’t good titles available to read. Which good books are available on the Kindle?

Not only is the Kindle library hefty (hundreds of thousands of titles available and more added every day) but there are many titles where the portable, lightweight, and easily searchable Kindle is the ideal format

Here are a few good books available on the Kindle right now.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Barack Obama

One of the great things about the Kindle is that you can discreetly read a book without those around you knowing about it. Dreams from My Father (written by Barack Obama before he was President) is an honest memoir about the realities of growing up with mixed racial heritage.

Good Books Available on the Kindle

Good Books Available on the Kindle

Reading a book written by the President could open any of several cans of worms (political and personal differences aside, you’d hate to look like a patriotic nerd),  but with the Kindle, you can revel in Obama’s eloquent prose in public without drawing the angry stares of any Glenn Beck fans who might be sitting across from you.

We, Yevgeny Zamyatin

One thing about the Kindle that has proved controversial is Amazon’s ability to remotely remove content from the individual user’s device. When the publishers of George Orwell’s 1984 withdrew Amazon’s eBook rights to this title, the online bookselling giant was forced to remove the book from countless user’s Kindles without their consent. This caused a lot of outcry about the ironically Orwellian capabilities for censorship the Kindle represented.

If you want to read a dystopian story of oppressive government, avoid the Orwell drama and read the far superior book that directly inspired Orwell’s classic. Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We is that book. This is the tale of a man living in a future gone mad where an all-powerful government spies on and controls the actions of its citizens.

Zamyatin, in a move prescient of the coming terror of Stalinism, wrote We several years after the beginning of the Soviet revolution. We is therefore more immediate and believable than 1984, written by someone who experienced Big Brother first hand.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The typical Complete Works is over a thousand pages long and weighs about ten pounds. The cover price ($40-$60) hurts more than the heft.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare costs 99 cents on the Kindle and exists only as a file on your Kindle device. The device itself weighs less than a paperback. Add to this the searchability features of texts on the Kindle, and the advantages of getting this book for the Kindle are obvious. I hear some Shakespeare festivals are now using Kindles for directors who don’t want to lug around the heavy text on stage.

There are many Complete Works of Shakespeare available on the Kindle and they’re all very cheap or even free. For literature majors or those just looking to expand their horizons, these texts are a must-own. You’ll never need to lug around those dusty old editions of the Bard ever again.

A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson

Like a textbook for a class about the universe, Bryson’s book is a layman’s guide to any branch of scientific knowledge you might have a question about.

Written in Bryson’s affable, self-depreciating style A Short History of Nearly Everything is a fun read that will grant you the ability to one-up the smartest guy in the room at your next cocktail party.

This is the perfect book for the Kindle, transforming a lengthy tome into a searchable database. Bryson writes like your slightly baffled dad trying to explain a museum exhibit just at the edge of his understanding. He manages to make things make sense while leaving room for further exploration. This is an excellent book for everyone from a teenager showing a blossoming interest in science to an older person seeking a pleasurable read.

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

“Simplify, simplify, simplify” was Thoreau’s call. There’s something ironic about reading Walden on a Kindle, but it makes sense. On the Kindle you can read Thoreau’s philosophical memoir about time living simply in a small cabin in the woods, then stick the thing in your backpack and go for a hike. Thoreau may not have liked it, but he would have had to appreciate the Kindle’s ability to get up and go.

Think of it this way: after your hike, you can access the Kindle’s search function to find that inspirational excerpt you bookmarked, then learn more about Thoreau on Wikipedia, all on the Kindle’s glare-free screen. The sun’s pretty bright out in nature.

Several versions of Walden are available for the Kindle, ranging in price from $9.99 to free. Also, if the promise of eBooks is to be realized fully, the need for paper to produce physical books, newspapers, and magazines will be reduced, leading to a reduction in logging and the preservation of the types of forests in which Thoreau sought refuge.

Now that’s simplifying.

If you’re sold on the Kindle, but it via our Amazon link. (We get a tiny commission, but it has nothing to do with our recommendation.)

This is part of a series of posts about Amazon’s Kindle. The other posts in this series include: