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Free e-Textbooks for Classes, Online

Textbooks donít come cheap these days. Log onto Project Gutenberg, a website that hosts free, complete eBook versions of texts out of copyright, and maybe youíll be lucky enough to find your class texts here online.
BY Achala Upendran |   23-01-2014
Project Gutenberg; Photo Courtesy: www.gutenberg.org

Founded by Michael S. Hart, the inventor of the eBook, Project Gutenberg currently hosts 44,629 free eBooks in subjects ranging from fiction to biology to history and beyond. Here you’ll find not only the complete works of Charles Dickens, but also late nineteenth century treatises on apples and their cultivation, Adam Smith’s classic on the wealth of nations and Euclid’s Geometry.

The books are available for immediate download and can be read on Kindle, Android or even a PC. The website even hosts audio-books.

The Older, the better

Since Project Gutenberg has a strict policy of only hosting material that is out of copyright, you will not find the latest texts on scientific development, or even collections of poetry published post 1923. As the website itself says, “you will almost certainly not find information about computers, video games, or other topics that you may be studying in school “.

Gutenberg’s offerings are most helpful, therefore, to all those who need to access what are generally considered ‘classic’ texts and do not wish to spend money. This is especially useful for students who only have to read, say, one book for a class on Dickens. You can just read the free version.

Photo courtesy: www.scanningusedbooks.com

Some publishers do give Project Gutenberg the right to publish and distribute books which are still in copyright, but this is completely up to the discretion of the concerned company.

The Project Gutenberg team proof-reads and checks over every text for errors, so you can be assured of the quality of the product you download.

Pass it Along

Project Gutenberg also has set collections of books that can be downloaded via a torrent and burned onto discs. These discs can then be copied and passed around for free. In fact, Project Gutenberg encourages the sharing of its files among students, teachers and other readers.

You can find the links to these collections on the CD and DVD Library.

The website does accept offers of digitized books, so long as they are conform to their strict copyright policies and were published what they term ‘bona fide’ publishers. You can also record audio books and submit them.

You can browse this virtual library here.

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