This past week, I started two proofreading gigs–one at my school newspaper and one at Distributed Proofreaders. Distributed Proofreaders is a website where registered volunteers help convert books in the public domain into e-books by proofreading the digitized text. There’s several rounds of proofreading and formatting, and at the end of it all, the book is added to Project Gutenberg.
I’m sure most of you know what Project Gutenberg is, but if you don’t, Project Gutenberg is, quite simply, wonderful. Books that have passed out of copyright into the public domain (in America!) are available for free as e-books on their website in a variety of formats. For instance, I just realized I forgot to buy a copy of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House for my theater class, and my college book store is closed on the weekends. But all is well–Project Gutenberg has it in the archives, since it was published in 1879. While I personally haven’t tried it, the various formats Project Gutenberg offers are supported on several e-readers.
Quite simply, if you have a hankering for a classic and an e-reader, go to Project Gutenberg. I’ve checked the Kindle prices for two of the texts available for free at Project Gutenberg–Pride & Prejudice and The Complete Sherlock Holmes–and while they’re quite cheap, they’re not free. And what can really beat free and legal?
I do prefer, I have to admit, real books over reading on my laptop. While I have downloaded Project Gutenberg’s version of Pride and Prejudice, I checked out a copy from my library to read. But it’s nice to know that I have it on my computer, just in case the mood strikes.
You’re not limited to just e-books if you want to take advantage of Project Gutenberg’s archives. Project Gutenberg works with LibriVox, which provides free audiobooks of Project Gutenberg books, read by volunteers. (I fully plan to join as soon as I get my hands on a proper microphone.) So if you don’t like e-books but like audiobooks, you can enjoy everything Project Gutenberg has to offer.
Isn’t the Internet just wonderful sometimes?
In other news, I’ve finally finished off a particularly fun paper about Keats. (This Sunday Salon narrowly missed being about Keats’ pretentious med school days, by the way.) I’m getting towards the end of First Daughter, and am going to dive directly into its sequel, Last Snow, afterward. Why am I bending my reading rules? Well, keep your eyes peeled for an announcement sometime next week about something I’ve never done on this blog before.
I’ve actually got a reading queue, for the first time–after Eric Van Lustbader, I’m going to read Pride & Prejudice, then Napoleon’s Pyramids, and then The Kiss Murder. And on top of it all, I’m making some headway through The Two Towers. Oh, hobbits. It’s ridiculously gorgeous in Georgia right now, although I’m a bit concerned our annual week of spring might be diving into summer a little too early. I got some academic reading done outside yesterday.
What do you think of Project Gutenberg?