There are many free ebooks (use you favorite web search engine to search for ebooks or .pdf) out there and e-readers are really nice but there has to be a better way. I just can not see spending hundreds of dollars just to read a book. What I propose is to listen to your books instead of reading them. This will not work with all ereader (aka pdf) files. Most free ones though should. What is also nice is that you can make your own notes then save them to a text file for listening later. You can even make your own podio books. Possible way of making extra money if they sell.
Note: this instructable required the use of the command line. which you can find at Applications menu > Accessories > Terminal.
Step 1: Adding a bit of software (with Ubuntu).
You can go to the Ubuntu Software center and install xpdf.
You can do the same with the Synaptic package manager.
Or use the old command line with:
$ sudo apt-get install xpdf
xpdf will be one of two workhorses we will use.
text2wave is another workhorse, but it comes standard and no need to install. You may want to look at the documentation for text2wave with man or gman (has to be installed).