Information about offerings from Project Gutenberg and other sites with free materials.
|E- reading can be Free-reading
This is simply a list of sites where you can find free material to download and read or listen to. There are hundreds of great sites like this scattered about the internet so of course this cannot be considered complete. I'm not even going to start mentioning e-zines. But I offer you a guide to some of my favorite sites:
1. Project Gutenberg ( http://www.gutenberg.org/ ) From Wikkipedia: "Project Gutenberg (often abbreviated as PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. Founded in 1971, it is the oldest digital library. Most of its items are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make the items in its collection as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer."
Many of you have probably already heard of Project Gutenberg, but some of you may not realize the extent of their offerings. Most of their work is "in the public domain" which means that they have books that are not covered by copyright. In the U.S. most things from about 1923 or earlier is no longer under copyright. That means that volunteers are free to create e-books from their texts and offer them for free on the internet.
The offerings include everything from plays, policitical documents, cookbooks, essays, novels, short stories, poetry, fables, series fiction, children's books...pretty much every kind of book you can imagine. They also offer books in many languages.
But here's something I bet most people don't realize. Project Gutenberg offers downloads of sheet music, recordings of music, and audio books.
So depending on what you're looking for, try these sites:
Sheet music: http://www.gutenberg.org/music/
Recorded Music: http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/categories/3
Audiobooks: http://www.librivox.org/ - this is not technically Project Gutenberg, but they are working with them.
Other sites of interest
Sci fi ebooks: http://www.baen.com/library/ - free e-texts of books that have gone out of print. The authors have voluntarily offered them for free in hopes of attracting more readers for their in-print books.
Reference books: http://www.bartelby.com/
Classic literature: http://www.bibliomania.com/bibliomania-static/index.html
Children's stories: http://www.storylineonline.net/ - This is a literacy project from the Screen Actor's Guild. Your children can watch a video of an actor reading a book. The picture alternates between the actor's face and the pictures in the book. While I would never reccomend it as a replacement for reading to your child, I love that my daughter can listen to the same book over and over again and I don't have to get sick of it!
Children's audio: http://www.kiddierecords.com/ - This site offers recordings from children's records of the 40's and 50's. Most are story - not music, but you can find traditional stories like Cinderella and Robin Hood as well as stories featuring favorite characters like Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and Howdy Doody
Vintage Radio programs: http://www.mercurytheatre.info/ and http://www.radiolovers.com