with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Books Online: Project Gutenberg

Thirty-four years ago, a man came up with an amazing thought. The future would not be in what technology could be developed to access information, but in providing a way to preserve what information was available. The desire to preserve our libraries and famous written works led to Project Gutenberg.

Michael Hart was given an operator’s account with $100,000,000 of computer time in it by the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the Materials Research Lab at the University of Illinois…An hour and 47 minutes later, he announced that the greatest value created by computers would not be computing, but would be the storage, retrieval, and searching of what was stored in our libraries.

Today, there are more than 16,000 eBooks available through the Gutenberg Project and recently they have expanded to include audio books.

The list of the Top 100 Downloaded Books begins with H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds, appropriate with a new movie on the book out in theaters now. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Art of War by Sun Tzu provide quite a contrast in the top five books. But there is hope. Number six on the list for today is How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Delvin.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is not on the list, but there are a host of fabulous books on the list including A Tale of Two Cities, Dracula, Peter Pan, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Communist Manifesto, The Time Machine, The Trial by Kafka, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and War and Peace. Wow.

If you are looking for a free book in digital form online, then start with Project Gutenberg. These have been carefully edited and checked over and come in various formats. And most of these are picked up by the many other free online book repositories.

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