Electronic Books

You can find many books online. These electronic books are sometime written by authors just wanting to get their work out there for people to read or sometimes public domain works that can be published online without a fee by the author.

As far back as 1971, Project Gutenberg (no doubt named after Johannes Guttenberg who invented the printing press in 1450 thus opening the world to the joy of the printed word) made it its mission to publish electronic books or ebooks online for free. Today, they have over 16,000 electronic books online including both the Koran and the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version of the Bible. There are children's stories like Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, Aesop's Fables and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. And then there are the classics like The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Paradise Lost by John Milton. Over fifty books are published in languages other than English including Japanese, Romanian, Greek and North American Indian. You can read the ebooks online or download them to your computer. The ebooks can now even be downloaded to iPods for reading.

What's the fuss over electronic books?

Project Gutenberg is not the only web site offering electronic books. The University of Pennsylvania also has an extensive listing of ebooks numbers over 20,000. You can browse by subject, author, title or see their newest listings.

Some electronics books are not free. You can access the Encyclopedia Britannica and the riam-Webster Unabridged dictionary for $79.95 a year. While this might seem somewhat steep, it is much cheaper than buying the bound volumes of an encyclopedia. You should also keep in mind that these online references are much more up to date than printed versions.

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