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Today in publishing and literature: The internet is filled with ways to fill your iPad with free stuff, one indie bookstore is giving books to a book club leader, and The Descendents author likes the way Hawaii looks in the film.

It's the post Christmas hangover and all through the house, new iPad owners are poking at their fancy toy and wondering how they're going to afford to fill it with magazine subscriptions, ebooks, and the like. That's why the internet is busily spending Boxing Day and beyond providing them with free resources. Open Culture, which spends the whole year providing free learning materials, has seized upon the increased attention that comes with a whole slew of new tablet owners this week to assemble a list of free eBooks, audio books, courses, language lessons, and textbooks. Meanwhile, the New York Public Library is "anticipating a flood of library patrons who received e-readers as holiday gifts" and "will offer a free service for instructing users how to download e-books." Sure, these people have a product that cost them hundreds of dollars plus a monthly fee for internet access, but that probably makes them more interested in finding free stuff with which to fill it. (Still, we don't pity them all that much.) [Open Culture, The New York Times]

Over on Reddit, user "marvelously" noted that the reading club for struggling students in Brooklyn was running short on books to read, so she asked the community for some good short stories recommendations. Instead, the owner of Poppies Bookstore in Torrance, California sent a huge shipment of titles, prompting "marvelously" to write a nice shout-out on Reddit. We admit to being surprised that an independent bookstore had the money and inclination to be shipping their books for free, but hey, independent bookstores have always been winning the P.R. war. (We always picture them being charmingly run by Hugh Grant.) So maybe this installment of "philanthropic independent bookstore saves small children from illiteracy" is just yet another way for indie bookstore owners to remind us of their relevance and necessity in our culture. [Reddit via GalleyCat]

Before filmingThe Descendents, director Alexander Payne lived in Hawaii for eight months and allowed Descendents author Kaui Hart Hemmings to show him some of the locations that inspired her while writing the book, and she tells the Huffington Post that the tours paid off. Hawaii, she says, gets a pretty accurate portrayal in the film. "I thought it was eerily accurate ... I introduced him to my cousins whose house they used on Kauai and my friend whose house and goat they also used in the movie." [Huffington Post]

When the trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit was released, we noted that it needed to get some of the action out of the Shire and into the more rollicking settings elsewhere in the book. But we're fine with the behind the scenes footage concerning itself with Hobbington that Jackson released as a little Christmas present to his fans. Watch below to get some cool insights into the making of The Shire with none other than Elijah Wood. [Huffington Post]

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