Ways to Read DRM-Free

The idea for this post came to me as I was searching for blog posts or articles on the latest in the DRM battle. I hoped that I could read library e-books without Adobe Digital Editions (the software required to download library books) collecting information such as how long I read a book and what percentage of a book I read. This, by the way, is in ADDITION to the regular information that is gathered by many apps these days: your IP address, your device ID, your account ID, and the app you use.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, DRM stands for Digital Rights Management – and it’s the protocol set in place that is supposed to prevent book piracy. The American Library Association explains the issues better. For the 101 course, go here. Interested in joining the fight against DRM? See Defective By Design.

Personally, I don’t see myself forgoing entirely reading library e-books or downloading free review copies from NetGalley and Edelweiss that have DRM and require me to use a program that makes me uncomfortable. However, I will continue to increase my vigilance when I make e-book purchases.

Collected below are ten resources you may find useful in your own search for DRM-free content:

  1. Book View Cafe. I’ve mentioned this one before, and this probably won’t be the last time. A group of authors set up this site to sell their works directly to their readers, DRM-free. This means Big Brother isn’t peering through your e-reader screen, and it also means you often get the books at a discount.
  2. Closed Circle. I only just discovered this one, but as another site founded by three authors (one of them C.J. Cherryh!), and focusing on fantasy, it looks like an excellent place to search for DRM-free books by the three authors (that’s Cherryh, Lynn Abbey, and Jane Fancher).
  3. Tor/Forge. As of 2012, Tor/Forge began publishing its e-books without DRM. YES. Binti, The Last Witness, Domnall and the Borrowed Child, The Builders, and Witches of Lychford are on my to-read list.
  4. Calibre. Open-source e-reading app that it is, Calibre supports DRM-free. They even have a catalog online.
  5. Baen. Super publisher of science fiction and fantasy, Baen has published e-books without DRM for a while. They also have a Free Library!
  6. Project Gutenberg. The original. In Canada? They have it there, too.
  7. OpenBooks. With a business model that relies on the honor system, you read first and then pay the author according to how much you believe the book is worth.
  8. Double-Dragon Publishing. An e-book publisher that is included in Calibre’s library, but whose website says nothing about being DRM-Free, they have an interesting and unfamiliar list of titles.
  9. This site lists a number of DRM-free online shops and publishers that are entirely new to me.
  10. BookReader. Lastly, here is a more comprehensive list of places to find DRM-Free books for purchase, and for free! Dive in, adventurers. Dive in.

Do you know of any resources for readers looking for DRM-free genre fiction? Share in the comments!


Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 37

First, an unrelated news item: A map of Americans who do not have health coverage. The data is very interesting, but not at all surprising.

I don’t know about you, but I want to spend part of next weekend at the comic store picking up a few of these comic books starring superheroines. Add to that list the latest SagaLady Killer, Captain Marvel, Jem and the Holograms, Bitch Planet, and Princeless, and I’ve just spent two or three months’ allowance on comics and graphic novels.

It’s Lois McMaster Bujold’s birthday today.

In Science: “Luke” and “Leia” not at all alike – or, Pluto’s moon Charon leaks Ammonia.

BookRiot’s Deal of the Day is Sarah Maclean’s A Rogue By Any Other Name (Amazon Kindle, $1.99). We like Sarah Maclean.

The disappearance of the yeti – more modern living means fewer forays into the yeti’s traditional (legendary) territory.

In “Founding Father Fails,” author Sarah Vowell points out the human failings and inconsistencies of American history’s leading men.

That’s all for this week! As usual, tune in next week for Issue 38. Until then, happy reading.

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 17

Today’s edition is probably the most random issue yet.

Want to see what your historical romance heroines wore? You can explore historical fashion, including early 19th century dresses, from the MoMu fashion Museum in Antwerp online on Europeana.

Are you a grammar or linguistics fan? Read about the man who removed 47,000 wrongful instances of “comprised of” on Wikipedia.

For fans of history and psychiatry, here’s a CBC radio episode about nutty “scientists” and their practices.

If you read, or want to try reading, M/M romance, Book Riot has a list of five authors to get you started.

I don’t believe in “should-reads” – I believe in reading books I want to read, instead of books touted to be important for “everyone” to read… but if you like them, or if you’re looking for more books to read, head over to Business Insider, which has compiled a list based on, of all things, Reddit recommendations… (link thanks to Book Riot)

– WARNING: Out of 35 titles listed, only THREE are by women authors. This is a perfect example of why I don’t believe in “should-read” lists. Different books will resonate with different people, and creating a list for “everyone” actually excludes the experiences and perspectives of a lot of people. Most of these authors are some combination of white, Western, and male.

– Instead, I would recommend perusing the We Need Diverse Books Tumblr blog, or their list of places to find diverse books, or even any of the Goodreads lists of diverse books. Know of any others? Feel free to share in the comments!

Coloring books are (finally) in style for adults. And apparently it’s a soothing activity with de-stressing abilities.

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 4

Fellow Adventurers,

My apologies for getting this weekly issue out so late. Still, here are some interesting quick items for your Monday lunch break:


Do you qualify your genre-reading tastes as “guilty pleasures”? Stop that.

Friends (by which I mean that sitcom we all used to watch in the ’90s): top five bookish moments from Book Riot.

To help you plan your next fantasy adventure: Fantasy Faction has the round-up of World Fantasy Award Winners.

From Orbit, news that Patricia Briggs’ latest Alpha and Omega novel will be published in March, 2015! Having just given 5 suitcases to the second in the series, I find this news very exciting. Plus, it gives me time to read all the in-between novels…

Have you voted yet for the best books of 2014? Get in the game at Goodreads. It’s the semi-finals already.

Via Book Riot’s Critical Linking series: A personal reading manifesto by Austin Kleon.

Love Shakespeare? Can’t make it to the Globe Theatre in London? Now you can watch Globe performances online!

Why I write reviews with the phrase, “It wasn’t for me,” as described by Austin Kleon. Everybody has different tastes, and you might like what disappoints me. I’d rather answer the question: “Did I like it?” than the question: “Would you like it?” I know a lot more about the answer to the first. (I never thought about Future Me vs. Me Right Now, but that totally happens).


And, from the Department of Random, Wolf Conservation Division:

Four wolves were recently killed in Montana. One death, that of an alpha male, will have a huge impact on a species that learns hunting, social, and survival behavior from its adults and leaders.

Similarly, the only breeding female wolf of Washington state’s Teanaway family group, was shot and killed recently, endangering the recovery of those wolves. A criminal investigation has been launched, since the killing of this wolf was against both state and federal laws.

The wolves of Isle Royale in Michigan may be doomed, according to associate professor and renowned Michigan wolf expert, John Vucetich.


As usual, most links retrieved from Twitter. Also, just discovered I really like what Austin Kleon is saying.

Dragon Territories in the Realms of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Our latest Reader’s Map is all about dragons. And there are plenty! Click on the image below to see a map full of dragon books, categorized by genre or dragon characteristic, e.g. Where the War Dragons Fight, The Kingdom of Magic Dragons, and The Empire of Epic Fantasy.


Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 3

It’s a short list today, folks, but some good stuff in it. Take a gander…

Book Riot has some lovely book eye candy in the form of ancient and modern illustrations in and on books. discusses issues of consent in paranormal romance – and the fact that often, there isn’t any.

Apropos of Wednesday’s post, here is a list of ten tips for writing short stories.

Learning a language and increasing your vocabulary are just as stimulating as sex, drugs, and gambling. Science says so.

An interactive Harry Potter Timeline. ‘Nuff said.

A hilarious guide for romance novel heroines: How you know he really *is* just that into you.

Credits: Many of these links brought to you this week by Book Riot and, of course, Twitter.

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 2

Flying Fish and Salt Horse: The University of St Andrews shares a 19th century journal, written by a young man sailing from Liverpool to Rio de Janeiro on a trade ship. Start here and work your way forward on their tumblr.

Buy books or ebooks from Amazon? Do you follow the debate about Amazon’s sales practices?

Tor Books is hosting a giveaway for Gail Carriger’s Waistcoats and Weaponry, the third in her Finishing School series. Comment to win!

On the hunt for more fantasy novels? Check out Tor’s November releases.

For a brief timewaster, take the NYPL’s Literature Trivia quiz on if reading runs in your family. With questions for everyone, parents, and children, it’s a quiz you should take with your family.

Listen to Beowulf, read in the original Old English.

If you can’t keep your philosophers straight, read this post on philosophy explained in donuts.

And, if you just can’t get enough of iconic independent bookstores, here’s a Vanity Fair piece on Paris’ Shakespeare and Company.

Online tools to help you plan your next book adventure

magnifying glassIf you’re like me, you sometimes have trouble finding your next reading adventure. That’s what we’re all about here at The Book Adventures – making it easier for our readers and fellow adventurers to find new books! To that end, I have that series you might be familiar with, where I list free and cheap online reading outlets, and snippets of works that authors put on their websites. This post is related to that: I list online resources that will help you select your next read.

We’ll start with Books Set In, a site that connects books based on their setting. Search for the location of your upcoming vacation, or a place you want to visit but haven’t been able to yet, and scroll through the lists of books that will take you there without ever leaving your cozy armchair. It’s not exact, and sometimes irrelevant books show up first, but it’s a great way to introduce new novels based on geography. (more…)

More Free SF/F on the Web: Airships and Spaceships, Aliens and FBI Agents

Since we love sharing our book adventures with you, I’d like to continue posting a series of lists where you can find free snippets, serials, and short stories online. If you haven’t already read my first itinerary, you might find it worthwhile. But before I get too deep into a series of posts you may not enjoy, do you like reading about places to find new adventures? Do these links appeal to you? What kinds of links would you like to see? In the interest of providing content our readers enjoy, we’d love your feedback!

We’ll start with some fantasy romance about interspecies relationships by Grace Draven. In this one, two scions of royal houses, each from a different species, are joined in marriage to cement a relationship between their two species in order to join forces against a third race encroaching on both their territories. I really like the protagonists’ open-minded and humorous approach to their situation – each species finds the other repellent to look at. (more…)

Reading Free and Cheap on the Web: SF/F

Hello fellow adventurers!

Today I take you down yet another road to science fiction and fantasy. There are a few places out on the web where authors, publishers, and others share bits and pieces of their writing, unpublished stories, or samples of published works.

The first place we’ll stop is the Liad. On Liad, the authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller share tons of information about their books, tours, releases, awards, and themselves. If you scroll to the bottom of the secondary menu, you’ll see a link to the Splinter Universe. The Splinter Universe has a number of stories written for the web by these authors. Go on, take a peek! I dare you.