My love for books dates back to Stone age,i read as many books as possible in school days and gradually developed a habit of reading.When i found out that there are ebook that i can download for free and read on somputer ,it was like i was standing before an ocen of free knowledge. All I needed was a method to seive this ocean and filter out the relevant content. Google proved to be the best tool for the purpose and provided me with gazillions of links and titles.
This was the first stage : Discovering Google as a means to satisfy the need for books.
Then one day,I came across Project Gutenberg (If you remember , Gutenberg invented the first printing Press and the first book to be printed was Bible that came to be known as Gutenberg Bible!). This project aims to compile all the world’s literature as a single,searchable archive! But mostly the books were all in free domain means you can find Shakespeare but could not find Paulo Coelho. A book comes into Public(Free) Domain if it has no copyright associated with it or it is an anonymous creation of the author has died 100 (I dont remember exactly..) years ago. But you can not find magaziens,comics,computer books ,tutorials and other study material there.
Second Stage : Discovering Project Gutenberg.
Inspired by Project Gutenberg and having studied its shortcomings, I decided to start a collection of my own. Since there was no use re-inventing the wheel, I aimed to collect the books that were not in public domain (means copyright protected!!) and the books that most of us needed (like new authors,thrillers,tutorials,study materials etc etc). So I started my collection . Searched the books on Google ,downloaded them,organised them, If there was some problem with the fonts ,i fixed it . If it was a document, i converted it to pdf. Converted it into other formats like chm,hlp,lit,jar etc etc. I did this for almost two months and had a pretty decent collection when i decided to share it with the rest of the world. This was going to be a big step as i was going to violate some serious copyrights.(I Will get back to it later.)
Third Stage : My Romance with esnips
Having figured that i was going to share the collection, I opened an account on esnips (in 2004) it provided 1 GB free space at that time. The name of the account was “Tarun Reflex” (as usual) . That was the first time i used the handle “Reflex” (‘Reflex’ also has a story behind it that is too personal, will definitely blog on it whenever i’ll feel over-expressive). I started uploading books and books after books.. Soon it grew to be the biggest collection on esnips with more than 10,000 books in 92 organized folder. All of them free to download and share. Most of the major authors were there (As you will find in the list that is given at end of this post).. I had more than 10,00,000 visitors in 6 months. Moe than 3000 comments and hundreds of daily-emails requesting for ebooks. It was also the time when Orkut was just started.
Fourth Stage : Break-Up With esnips.
Efrat Moshkovich. You know him? You better not. You don’t know this guy unless you break thousands of copyright laws.I assume him to be the copyright in-charge of ensips who mailed me about the repeated copyright violations. I was too much in love with esnips to accede this warning by my so-called father-in-law and then one hot morning in July of 2005, I woke on my hostel bed feeling alone & divorced-before-marriage. I was banned from esnips for ever,My all accounts were banned,my email id was banned from future registration, they even banned the tag ‘Tarun Reflex’!! You can stil find traces of mt esnips account in google’s seacrh result while searching for ‘best ebooks site’.
It was really a bad day! But i still have a new esnips account that is still active and you can find few books here (Besides there is complete collection of Mills and Boon for all those romance lovers.)
Fifth Stage : Heaven behold the faith departed!
By now, I had a personal collection of over 1,00,000 ebooks ranging from fiction to bedas, Comics to whitepapers, science to jokes,biographies to movie scripts, magazines to audio books,study material for IAS,CAT,GATE,GRE,TOEFL,French,AFCEH,EC etc etc.. Books on computers acquired 15 GB alone! As i was interested in troubleshooting and hacking, i had pretty good material on the subject includin hacking using Blue Boxes to new tunneling and proxy techniques .. Banned from esnips, i started a new community on Orkut by the name BOOKS AND BOOKS that is still active and growing (Why don’t you join it?). this time i didnt want to take any chances so i decided to send books by email as an attachment. Now there are more than 5000 email ids in my gmail contacts . I have sent 78 ebooks deliveries (containing 8-10 books each in delivery,on average!) Sent 22 Parts of Mills and Boon (approx 15 books in each part.) and thousands of requests. (Check the community for more details).
Sixth Stage : Sharing the Sources.
I have more links to ebooks than i have ebooks. The job of sending books by email is becoming more and more difficult day-by-day. Google changed its way of adding contacts to gmail making it hard to add bulk-contacts. I get banned for 24 hours after every 500 emails i send , It takes around one week to send single delivery to all. recently i started a new blog for sharing all the links i have collected over the last 4 years. I gave a seminar on Intelligent Information Retrieval that can be downloaded/viewed here..
However, I am posting my favorite technique here, Its just a single trick for google that will lead you into world of freedom.
This trick is based on simple observation : Don’t search for books,Search for servers that host the books. In this way you are searching for a wider domain that is specific to the subject of your choice.
Find Apache’s (default) Index page (Apache is a web server)
Try this query:
+(“index of”) +(“/ebooks”|”/book”) +(chm|pdf|zip|rar) +apache
Find a particular eBook file
Try this query:
allinurl: +(rar|chm|zip|pdf|tgz) TheTitle