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Project Gutenberg: Download 20,000 free books to your smartphone or PDA

Following up my earlier story about loading fiction onto your smart phone, you should be aware of the wonderful Gutenberg Project. This not-for-profit initiative has compiled electronic versions of over 20,000 books, including virtually any classic you can imagine, and offers them free of charge for download in a number of formats.

The volunteer-staffed project began in 1971, making it the first and longest-lived effort to distribute literature in electronic form. The offerings are either out of copyright or done with the permission of the copyright holder. The books are available in a number of open-source formats including HTML, readable in any browser.

The Gutenberg project has expanded its offerings beyond books, too, now offering audio books, music, sheet music, and video. If you have a hankering for some classic lit and a screen to read it on, the project is ready to hook you up.


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