Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fahrenheit 451 Can't Stop Me Now!

For my readers who may be (sadly) unfamiliar with Fahrenheit 451, the name refers to the famous novel by Ray Bradbury about a future society where books are outlawed and critical thought suppressed. The title has to do with the temperature at which paper catches fire. OK, so now that we have that out of the way, I'm here to recommend a very cool way to read books online. No paper needed! See?

Lifehacker points us to yBook, a "paperback emulator." It's an open source (i.e. free) download. Here's what its creator says about it:
I wrote this ebook reading software to provide a 'paper book' experience on the computer screen: For a start, you get two pages side-by-side instead of just one page in the middle of the screen. (Although I have just added a single-page mode which should suit tablet PCs in portrait mode) Next, the pages turn when you click them, just like a real book. Finally, you can also select a textured background to make the pages look like real paper. yBook will read html files, text files, rtf files and pdb/prc files (Palm document format).
As I do with anything I recommend to you, I downloaded and installed yBook on my own machine. There's an enormous number of books available for free on the Internet, and yBook makes reading them on your computer as much like reading a paperback as possible. I really think you'll like it. By the way, there are many Internet sites available to find good books to download. I just downloaded Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases, by Greenville Kleiser, a real classic. I found it at Project Gutenberg.

You can grab your copy of yBook by clicking on the graphic below. Enjoy!