3 Free iPad-Worthy Books

Even if you own a first gen iPad you have a device that has a big gorgeous screen that begs for anything that will show it off. Books with regular text is ok, I guess, if you want to, you know, …like…, read, but what if you want more than words? What if you want to absorb the contents of a book in a thousand words increments?

For that, my friends, you need pictures, photos, movies and other modern media. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good book as much as the next poorly educated American, but there is something about pictures that make my brain go, “MMmmmmmm!”

Free on iTunes

Think of it this way: If a good book is like a well seasoned and cooked steak then a book full of professionally taken photos is like a big slice of slightly warm triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese icing and a huge scoop of french vanilla ice cream on top. We’re talking some kinda good!

The iPad is ideally suited to display images such as those you might find in a coffee table book (go figure).

“But Vern,” you may complain, “books, even picture books, cost money! Isn’t this article supposed to be about free stuff?”

You are absolutely correct on both counts. Books, even virtual books, cost real dough, and this article is supposed to be able free stuff. I just so happen to have a short list of freebie books that you may find interesting. What’s cool about these books is, besides the fact that they are free, that they are worth so much more than the asking price and they were created with Apple’s free book creating tool, iBooks Author.

iBooks Author? The app isn’t just an e-book oriented text or graphic tool, no. What it does is let you create book content that looks like it was made by a pro publisher, and the app gives you an avenue to publish your tome.

I’m seriously thinking about trying my hand at it. In the meantime take a look at these iPad worthy offerings.

Street Photography
There are times when I’m out walking when I see something so beautiful, so compelling, so awe inspiring that it makes me pause to absorb as much of it as I can. Often these moments are just that, moments, and within seconds they are gone. Photographing those moments takes a certain talent. A talent that I, unfortunately, don’t possess that talent, but Rafael Perini does and he proves it in a free book called Street Photography.

Street Photography

What is Street Photography? Think of it as shooting what you see everyday, but doing so in a way that makes the viewer really see what’s there. Shadows on the sidewalk, people in curious moments, the curl of vented steam on a chilly morning, all these and more are the subjects of a street photographer. The photos are candid, poignant, and, as I’ve already said, beautiful, but in ways that aren’t typically associated with beauty.

Street Photography

Candid moments in Street Photography

Mr. Perini tends to focus on people and produces his results in black and white, which I’m a huge fan of because you can see details that color would normally blind you to. The book is divided into chapters that feature photos from specific locations.

Street Photography is well worth a download. If you have a second of third generation iPad then this book will give you one more bit of content to show your device’s screen off.

Ocean Mapbook
Think about this for a moment: The entire human population, all the cities, towns, farms, huts, everywhere we can go without drowning, all 6 billion of us, live on less than one third of the Earth’s surface. If you take into account places we can’t conveniently live, like mountains, ice fields, deserts and lakes then the Earth’s surface area where we eek out our existence is less than 20%. In fact, by some estimates, the bulk of us actually live on less than 3% of the Earth’s surface.

What’s on the other 97% ?

Ocean Mapbook

Well, most of it’s ocean. 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by salt water. If you want a better perspective of these facts then download Ocean Mapbook, a freebie book that gives brief descriptions of the five oceans of our world. The maps are accurate but have an old world look to them. The book is very simple and contains Wikipedia links that offer more details about a particular ocean.

Ocean Mapbook

There’s not a lot that’s special about Ocean Mapbook other then that it serves and a launch point for further investigations about our planet’s big water. Still, it’s free and worth a look.

The Interactive Space Book
The problem with space is that it’s so hard to get to. Another problem is that once you get there, then what? It’s so big that going anywhere can take months, years even. So why bother, right?

If that attitude was core to our collective DNA then we’d still be in caves. While I’ll agree that there’s a certain romance to the notion of cave dwelling, I much prefer striking out regardless of the distance or complexity just to see what’s there. That’s why space fascinates me. It’s so vast and full of possibilities.

If you’re interested in our exploration of space then grab The Interactive Space Book. The book takes us from our earliest studies of space through our first ventures into the void, then highlights some of our future missions.

Space Book

Opening movie in the Interactive Space Book

The interactive part includes 3-D renderings of Saturn V rockets and the shuttle, as well as movies and other multimedia touches. There’s a lot of information in this book, but so far I’ve found it well worth the read.

Space Book

Lots of info in The Interactive Space Book

If you’re interested in space or know someone who is then The Interactive Space Book is for you.

That’s a wrap for this week. More iOS freebies next week so be sure to stop by.