Free books for the asking – digital ones, that is

Rick Broida, the Internet "Cheapskate," wrote a glowing blog today about his pleasure in reading books on his iPhone – a pleasure now enhanced by his discovery that eReader is offering nine books Random House books for free.

"I've made no secret of my love of e-books. I read 'em on airplanes, in bed at night, in line at the post office, and so on," he writes. "But I do have a complaint: They're not priced substantially lower than their dead-tree counterparts. That's why I'm tickled about this: e-bookseller eReader is offering nine Random House works of fiction absolutely free."

I went to the eReader site to verify Broida's claim and discovered that – even better – if you're a new customer there are at least 25 free books available to you. These include some lovely classics (among them "Emma," "The Age of Innocence," "The Call of the Wild," and "Little Women"), some more recent successes ("The Foreign Correspondent" and "Free-Range Chickens"), and, for the more serious-minded among us, even "The Iraq Study Group Report."

Broida is definitely an iPhone reading advocate. "I can't speak highly enough of my experience using eReader on my iPhone," he writes. "In fact, I'll go so far as to say the iPhone makes a way better e-book reader than the Amazon Kindle."

I haven't got an iPhone so I can't comment on that. But I will suggest that, if you were thinking of testing his assertion and checking out the iPhone reading experience, this may be the moment to do so.

The eReader site does not say how long the free-book promotion will last.

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