Reader Enid Hartman has recently obtained her first ebook reader and has a question. She writes:
I recently purchased Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite. It's my first Kindle and I'm really excited about putting ebooks on it. I've visited Project Gutenburg and downloaded some Kindle-compatible ebooks but I can't figure out how to transfer them to my Kindle. What's the secret?
Bundled with your Kindle is a USB cable (regrettably these new Paperwhites don't additionally include a charger, though you can use your computer's USB port or an iOS device's charger). String this cable between your Mac and the Kindle. In short order you'll see a Kindle volume mount on your Mac's desktop. (If you don't see it, choose Finder > Preferences > General and enable the External Disks option.)
Double-click on this volume and you should see a Documents folder. Inside this folder you'll find a Dictionaries folder along with a Kindle User Guide document. To copy compatible (.mobi and .azw) ebooks to your Kindle just drag them into the Documents folder and unmount the Kindle from your Mac. Tap the On Device entry near the top of the screen and you should see the books that you copied to your Kindle.
This isn't the only way to move files to your ebook reader, however. As I demonstrated in this Macworld video you can additionally use Amazon's Send to Kindle application to wirelessly transfer content from your Mac to any Kindle you own (including Kindle apps on iOS and Android devices). Also, you can bring Kindle-compatible files to your device by emailing them as attachments to your Kindle's unique email address. Amazon has the details.
Finally, while Amazon would love for you to purchase ebooks, the store also has a lot of free ones. You may find that the books you've downloaded from Project Gutenburg are just as free at the Amazon store. To find out, tap the Store icon at the top of the screen and in the Search field that eventually appears, type in an author you're interested in, followed by the word "free." If, for instance, you entered Wodehouse free you'd find 39 results. (I suggest "Right Ho, Jeeves" as an excellent place to begin.)