To me, there’s nothing like browsing and buying books “offline” in an old favourite or newly discovered bookstore. But, living as I do in the country, at least an hour away from the nearest real world bookseller, I often purchase books online. Usually my purchases are from the websites of my favourite bookstores. Sometimes, however, I’m not necessarily looking for an entire book. Maybe I just need a quote for a writing project, or, simply want to check a reference to a classic I don’t have on my own bookshelf. That’s when I like to take advantage of the growing number of ebooks available online. Project Gutenberg is the internet’s oldest producer of free electronic books or ebooks. Run by volunteers, the project provides free access to out of copyright books. Mostly classics, these books are chosen with care by the volunteers who convert the books into an e-text. The project ensures anyone can enjoy the works of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and countless other titles. In my case, I have my own copies of these particular books on my bookshelf already. Still, it’s nice to know if something ever happened to them, somewhere out there, there’s a virtual backup. You can find out more about supporting Project Gutenberg here.
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