Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Books For Free

Today I downloaded one of the more than 30,000 books available for free from Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg (named after Johannes Gutenberg, the German printer who was the first to use movable type printing) was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart. Its mission is to encourage the creation and distribution of ebooks. Most of the items in its collection are public domain works (no longer copyrighted in the United States) that are free to use in any way without paying royalties. Books can be read online, or downloaded in several different formats. Some selections are also available as audio books.

The catalog can be searched by author or title. Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad; all the classic literature authors were represented, as well as dozens that were unknown to me. For my first download, I ended up choosing a book of short stories by Saki, a British author and satirist from the late 19th and early 20th century. I knew the selections would be short, quick reads. There were several of his books to choose from; I picked one called Beasts and Super-Beasts because it contained my favorite Saki story "The Open Window".

Downloading the book was easy, if a bit time-consuming, as my Internet was running slow today. When the file was completely downloaded, I started reading and I was transported to another century.


  1. WOW...thanks for sharing this. I'm going to do the same! YIPPEE!

  2. Fun! I haven't heard of The Open Window. I need to read more. :)