Posted by & filed under TUEBL. 65 comments

TUEBL, or The Ultimate E-Book Library, is the place for books.  DRM-free books.  Users can download books that they want to be able to read freely on their choice of devices.  And true to the symbiotic nature of user-driven sites, they can also upload their own DRM-free files for others to use.

So far, it is home to over 6000 titles, but if there’s something missing a person can submit a request for it.  And the requests don’t just disappear into some black hole of a suggestion box.  They’re posted on a page that users can check and fill the request if they have that book, which they often do-over 13 pages of book requests have already been filled.

“OMFG-WHAT?”  or  Please, nobody panic.

I can hear it now.  Free books??? WTF-free??  But-but-wha… but you have to PAY for that!

TUEBL’s front page states:

This site is not intended for the pirating of books!!!! This site is here to help you find books you have already obtained legally, but are unable to get a digital copy, or a copy that will work on your device because of DRM.

Well, it’s not like they check for receipts.

Copying books online has been compared with standing outside a bookstore handing out photocopies of the books inside.  The idea is that if people can get copies for free, they won’t buy the real thing.  While this is generally not true, it’s also not the writer’s biggest concern. What usually happens online is that people, people not pirates, “walk into the store” look around and walk out empty handed.

Yes, people will buy from the big name authors, sight unseen.  But small-time authors?  Indie authors?  First-time authors?  Books that get attention sell.  But how can you get attention in the flood of books online?  This is a time of plenty when it comes to stories.  But at this time when there are so many stories out there and so many budding authors, the world is moving so much faster and people won’t stop to take a chance very often.

This is a problem for writers.  More than the music industry, more than the film industry.  It takes a couple minutes to listen to a song.  A person could have heard it hundreds of times–on the radio, in stores, in restaurants, on TV–before they decide to pay iTunes $0.99 for it.  Movies take a little longer and they cost a bit more.  But a movie doesn’t take days to watch.  Books are different.  Books take more of a commitment.  And in the fast-paced internet culture with so many choices, people often just won’t make that commitment.  People do not trust books enough to buy them without reading them first.  And they shouldn’t.  You know how they say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover?  Well you can’t judge it by its Amazon sample either.

And that’s the problem for writers.

Readers have a problem too.  Even when they do take a chance on a book, they are rewarded by a slew of restrictions–in their own, legally bought devices!

So what does TUEBL mean for readers and writers?

TUEBL takes care of both the readers and the writers.  Like the traditional library, it gives writers a place for their book, a place where they can meet readers who couldn’t or wouldn’t otherwise have taken a chance in a bookstore.  And like the traditional library, TUEBL doesn’t send it’s admins to readers’ homes to make sure they’re using their ebooks properly.  It doesn’t hide inside its files and pop out to say “No-no, you can’t do that” if they try to copy a book from their work computer to their home computer.  Or a friend’s computer.  Problem solved for readers and writers.

And we cannot differentiate between the problems of writers and the problems of readers.  Readers become writers, remember?  If readers are not buying books, if readers cannot even read books without someone looking over their shoulder, then we should be very afraid for the next generation of writers.

So libraries will survive.

They have to.  Physical libraries are suffering.  With shrinking budgets, many districts are unable to buy as many books or hire as many staff members.  While TUEBL has the same costs as any site, the books themselves are free.  This library doesn’t buy books.  What this means is that so long as its user’ donations support the technology, The Ultimate E-Book Library won’t be faced with the same limits on its collection as a traditional library.

We may not always be able to rely on faltering library systems AFK.  But things are different online.  Here, libraries have a fighting chance.

So hope TUEBL survives.  Hope libraries and free books survive.  Hope that librarians never leap out of your books or stare you down in your own home when you’re using a book “inappropriately.” ( 😉 )  For the future generation of writers, hope that today’s readers don’t ever stop themselves from reading a book because the price tag is too high or the restrictions are too intrusive.

Next …  Oh, right, I almost forgot… TUEBL.  Yes, that is a syllabic L at the end there.  It is pronounced “TUBE-l”  You can hear the pronunciation as well as a lovely explanation of TUEBL’s importance in under a minute here.

Really, Next: DRM-whatnow?  Writers and technological blindspots.

Old Updates (New updates at the One TUEBL Thread TO RULE THEM ALL)

Update: (Aug. 6, 2012) Yes, TUEBL is down for the moment.  Please don’t panic!  We still haven’t seen an ICE notice on the site, which means TUEBL has NOT been seized – this is a technical problem and the admins are working hard to fix it.

Stick around for a little while! Our favorite online library will survive!

Update: Newest info on TUEBL – Ultimate E-Book Library to Get More Ultimate!

65 Responses to “ The Ultimate E-Book Library”

  1. Anonymous

    Great to know that it’s just encountering this tech problem. You were right, I really panicked when the site didn’t load up.

    • aeliusblythe

      You were not alone! Everyone’s going berserk without their library. (Which, incidentally, I find to be a ray of hope in this world – when people are upset to not have books!)

      Keep checking & keep sharing 😀

      • Santosh

        Oh, my goodness. That webitse has me drooling. So tempted to sign up. But I’ve already cataloged my 300+ books using Intelliscanner. Of course, as the number of users grow, I can see this site being way more useful. So perhaps I’ll revisit at a later date.

  2. Kimra Simmons

    OMG! I hope tuebl is coming back. It’s a library, for goodness sake. I’m not for or against piracy or lending or sharing…what happens when you buy a book and then give it to a friend (the old paperback kind)? Is that piracy? If so, I’ve already financed at least 10 authors’ houses, cars, pools, and cabana boys then pimped the books to friends and the Salvation Army where somebody else made a buck off that book and didn’t pay the author. Keep lending safe and please let me know when tuebl is back up :)

    • aeliusblythe

      Back up! Don’t know what happened there, but apparently it was only a momentary blip. Just downloaded Doctorow’s “Little Brother” with no problems. Librarian-In-Chief is currently either airborne or in some distant land doing important Librarian-In-Chief things – so hopefully our library will hold out on its own in the meantime!

  3. honey

    I cant access the tuebl website. It says “the website is running but no content found.” Can you help me please?

  4. Rorri

    OMG! Tuebl is awesome! I cnt even wondr what I’d do widout it! Just download some bOoks! Tuebl is awesome! ☺☺

  5. Anonymous

    I can’t get connected by Safari or yahoo. It says the address is invalid. Please help. And thanks T

  6. Bill

    It has been awhile since I visited tuebl. What is with the credit card? It puts tuebl in with the element of the disreputable. Say it ain’t so! Please.

    • AeliusBlythe

      Credit card? I don’t see anything about that….. It’s probably an ad. I just hopped over there, and I’m only getting Gatorade ads atm, but the placement is definitely a bit obnoxious now. I’ll let them know it’s making people uneasy – and users should know TUEBL is NOT asking people for credit cards, they’re still 100% free!

      Ads suck, but they help to keep the lights on – which is why I have them here too, and also why I’m in love with AdBlock 😉

  7. jeanne nicholson

    I have enjoyed books through tuebl for a couple of years but recently have trouble getting the catalog. too many users now? it says loading for so long and then will show up with an authors name and nothing else or it just says the catalog is offline but basically nothing I do gets me books anymore.

    • AeliusBlythe

      Hey sorry for not responding to this earlier! (Ran away from the internet for a bit….)

      It’s true there’s a LOT more traffic than just a few years ago. And TUEBL isn’t some big company, it’s just volunteers trying to make everything work! I know that they do have a lot of down time every now and again, and things tend to be slow often….

      I will definitely let them know you are having issues -so sorry about that ! I don’t actually run TUEBL, but it sounds like it’s quite a task, especially recently. (Of course, on the upside, that means people are READING which is always good!)

  8. Joyce Zuckerman

    Having trouble with tuebl site. It says a book is downloading but nothing happens! What’s the story?

    • AeliusBlythe

      It’s definitely slow for me, too, although it did actually work. I’ll pass along the word that others are having trouble too. (Although, TUEBL’s Librarian in Chief is currently on a road trip, so it’s possible things won’t be getting fixed in as timely a fashion as usual :( )

  9. Helen Sparks

    Every time i try to access it says there’s a problem with the security certificate. Please advise

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  11. Bob Wigdor

    no matter what book I try to download, the site shows the same book — My Little a Pony: Rainbow Dash and the site itself is showing up as The Ultimate Pony Library (rather than The Ultimate E-Book Library). Please advise what the problem is and when you expect it to be corrected. Thank you.

  12. Anija Wright

    Tuebl doesn’t have any viruses right? Cause I just got my new iPhone 6 today and I don’t want it messed up…. So if you could answer this for me that would be great

  13. Barbara Hunt

    Have been unable to download any books on tuebl for several days. Help

  14. Carmela merlin

    I am looking for the search book, i want to download books for my own reading, where can i find it.

  15. Janice Heimpel

    What has happened to tuebl. Authors list comes up page by page. Impossible to scroll through the list 10 minutes and I am still in the “A”‘s

  16. Qasya

    Why cant i search books about some authors that i admire ? It says that they have 0 books

  17. Joe

    I love Tubel and appreciate all the work that goes in to keep it running. I’ve missed it since its been down, I hope it’s not for too long.

  18. Corinne

    Your site can go viral, you need some initial traffic only.
    But how to get initial traffic?? Search in google
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  19. Avid Reader


    Unable to get into site for over a week due to gambling site pop up that takes over as soon as soon as you try to open site. What’s going on? Is there another way to get in?

  20. Linda

    Have tuebl app on iPad. When I add a title I get an odd screen saying “download/. I can’t get out of it to find my books or add what to do?

  21. TatteredT

    No author, new or established, has ever thought of what you lot are doing as “helping” them.


    What you are doing IS piracy. You are stealing books.

    It’s people and sites like you that have led to so many authors walking away from writing.

    Authors spend hundreds or hours, and often a fair bit of money, to bring a tiny germ of an idea to glorious, written life. And you seem to think all that work should be free.

    This equates to you going to work and working for free. Working hard. Sweating. Giving it your all. But not getting paid, because people seem to be under the impression that you’re a volunteer.

    You and your kind violate internation copyright law every single time you post a book file for download, or allow such to be posted. Yes. It’s illegal.

    Unless you have permission from the individual copyright holders, in writing, you are not only stealing from every single one of them, but in violation of international law.

    This applies not only to those hosting the illegal material, but also to those who upload and download.

    You are thieves, plain and simple, and are directly responsible for ripping off the authors you claim to admire.

    I hope you’re very proud of yourselves.

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  24. Nidhi

    Can’t even open …
    What’s the problem?
    It just shows downtime…
    Is anyone else facing the same problem??…



  1. The Ultimate E-Book Library | Hold Your Future
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