Free English Language Books in Electronic Format at Project Gutenberg

For those students who wish to polish their reading comprehension skills or who just want to read excellent English literature, you can now indulge yourself free of charge.  Project Gutenberg offers over 25,000 e-books in almost every major format for use on either a computer, an e-book reader, or a smartphone.  Best of all, they make these books available free of charge!

How are they able to do this, you ask?  Project Gutenberg collects and digitizes books upon which the controlling U.S. patent has expired.  The expiration of the patent means that the rights to the work are no longer the private property of the rights-holder, but instead part of the “public domain”, a public good which the public collectively owns.  Since the public owns the rights to these books, organizations like Project Gutenberg are able to offer high quality, classic works of literature to anyone who wishes to download them.

Most of the books on the site right now are novels, biographies, and collections of smaller literary works, which is a large part of what high school and college students are assigned in English class.  So the next time you are assigned a book for class, do check Project Gutenberg for the free e-copy first and save yourself a nice chunk of change.

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