Everyone get up out of their seats and applaud for the latest addition to 'must see,' Project Gutenberg. It is an awesome site that provides classic works whose copyrights have run out for free, as in no fee for downloading. It's beautiful. Scoff at those chain bookstores that try and get you to pay for your copy of The Communist Manifesto. Fight capitalism! If you happen to disagree with me on this point and believe that buying into our current economic system is a good idea, you can still appreciate the stellar variety of titles and authors on Project Gutenberg. Just checking the Top 100 EBooks Yesterday, and I'm finding everything from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to the Kamasutra to Les Miserables. All of this and the site is very easy to navigate, lacking the hordes of advertisements that so many other sites that offer free things prefer.
As with all seemingly beautiful things, there are negative aspects present as well. First of all, you'll likely have to do more than a little formatting yourself. Many texts are available solely in plain text format which is a pain to look at. I guess this could turn into a positive though as you can make the text size and font perfectly suited for your own predilections. Just takes a little effort. Also, as much as I'm a fan of not paying for things, it's still hard to read things on a computer screen. Where's the romance in cuddling up on your sofa on a winter weekend with your computer? Also, the collection is far from complete and some foreign texts lack an English translation so this is not something to put your complete faith in if you are some struggling college student. There are enough heavy hitters, though, to satisfy anyone looking to prove how erudite they are on a shoestring.
Check it out and enjoy.
2 years ago