Over the last several weeks, I have noticed an growing trend in the publishing world: giving away free PDF files of books and short-stories. The first time I was made aware of this practice was when Random House emailed me a link to a PDF copy of Charles Bock's Beautiful Children. Later that day, I discovered that they were giving away the PDF on www.bn.com as well.
Today, through another blog that I visit regularly I found out that other publishers are doing this as well. I was able to download another 2 books and 2 short stories, and have a link being emailed to me to download yet another book.
I'm of 2 minds about this practice. On the one side, this is a great idea! There is practically no cost to the publisher (and none to the reader for that matter) to get these books promoted and into the readers hands. I have no idea what any of these books are about, but given that I've gotten them for free, I'm willing to give them a try. On the other side, I find myself discouraged at reading a book on my computer. It goes against the fundamental joy of the physical book. But really, if I didn't receive them as these free PDFs, I probably would never have given them a second glance, so I guess the program works. I'll let you know what I think of them as I get them read.