Friday, September 23, 2011

Cheap and free challenged ebooks

In honor of Banned Books Week, I've decided to put together a list of cheap and free frequently challenged ebooks.  I can't be the only avid reader who has to carefully watch my book-buying budget, so here is a list for those who (like me) can't afford to spend too much, even in honor of such an important week!

For the sake of this particular list, I'm going to define "cheap" as $5 or under.  The free list is self-explanatory, and is almost entirely made up of classics.

Free challenged ebooks

These are public domain books that offered free via sites like Project Gutenberg.  You can also pay for versions with notes and commentary, but if you're just looking for the text of the book, the free versions should do just fine!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Cheap challenged ebooks

* Note that I don't know whether any of these are sale prices or permanent prices, so if you are interested in an ebook, I recommend buying it immediately!

Slaughterhouse Fiveicon by Kurt Vonnegut — $4.79
Cat's Cradleicon by Kurt Vonnegut — $3.99
Junie B. Jonesicon series by Barbara Park — each book is $4.99 or less

I was surprised so few books fell in the cheap category, even the older challenged books.  I think it probably has to do with a significant shift in the pricing-ebooks mentality that has occurred in the past year.  A lot of ebooks now cost several dollars more than they did last year.

Hopefully you thrifty, banned-books-celebrating readers out there can find something on this list to interest you.  If not, be sure to check your library, as many libraries now have extensive ebook collections — many of the books on the frequently challenged books lists are available on ebook through my library.

To help you in your search, here are the lists from the ALA:

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009
100 most frequently challenged books: 1990-1999
Banned and Challenged Classics

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