There are many free and legal sources for ebooks. One of my favourites is Project Gutenberg – a terrific resource for older books that are now in the public domain.
It’s quite easy to download books directly from Project Gutenberg to your iPad. Just launch Mobile Safari, travel to the Project Gutenberg site, locate the book you want to download, click on its link, and choose to download the ePub version of the book.
When you do, you’ll be offered two choices – Open In or Open In iBooks. Tap the latter option, and the book will download and open in iBooks, where it will be stored as part of your iPad’s book library. This method also works with iPhones and iPod touches that are compatible with iBooks.
There’s nothing particularly magical about what Project Gutenberg is doing. Rather, the magic is that iOS devices running the current iOS software can now save and load books in the ePub format.