Project Gutenberg is a diamond that many eBook enthusiast are not aware of. Project Gutenberg carries high quality items that were previously published on paper by true publishers and are free in the United States because their copyright has expired. If you are from another country you will need to verify the copyright laws before downloading the books. There are over 30,000 free eBooks available through Project Gutenberg and ready for your PC, iPhone, Kindle, Sony or other portable devices.
There is no fee or registration required, however they accept donations that are used to buy and digitize more books.
According to their website, Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.
The mission statement of Project Gutenberg is simple: To encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks. The organization is not powered by financial or political power but is totally powered by volunteers. Their goal is to provide as many eBooks in as many formats as possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible.
eBooks are updated nightly and they offer a RSS feed for those who would like to be informed when updates are made. There have been 2,773,474 books downloaded in the last 30 days! That is an amazing # of free eBooks. Project Gutenberg gives you many statistics such as top 10 lists of titles, authors, last 7 days, yesterday, last 30 days, etc. The Outline of Science, Vol 1 has been the most downloaded book over the last 30 days with a total of 16,171 downloads. Alice in Wonderland was a close second.
There is an offline catalog of all the eBooks available for those who would like to search away from their computer. However, 30,000 titles seems like a book to me!
There are also audio books available for downloads. There are two types of audio books ~ human read or computer generated. These files are very large so you will want to have a fast internet connection.
You will find the website easy to navigate and the search is powerful. I have found many classics and enjoyed them.
Project Gutenberg is an exciting project, as was the first printing press. Both bring the written word to the world. One on paper and the other electronically. eBooks are changing the face of literature, but not the words. Enjoy this free resource.