This month it’s again time for the World Ebook fair! The fourth annual World Ebook Fair, this year from 7/04/09 to 8/04/09 will offer Open Access to their sponsors ebook collections consisting of more than 2 million books. During this month these ebooks will be online available for free (otherwise a membership of $8.95 per year to the World Public Library will get you free access to more than half a million ebooks). Aggregating content from amongst others Project Gutenberg, the World Public Library and the Internet Archive, the World Ebook Fair sets as its goal ‘to provide Free public access for a month to 2 Million eBooks.’ Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg (the first and largest single collection of free electronic books) and the inventor of ebooks way back in 1971, states on the project website: ‘Today There Are 2 Million Free Electronic Books On The Internet. Download Your Selections From 2 Million eBooks for the Month of July’. And they are adding more than a 1000 ebooks every day.
The fair is already a big success. As Book Publishing News states:
“The first day of the Fair saw over 1 million downloads, including popular titles such as Jane Austen’s “Emma,” Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” and Joseph Conrad’s “Nostromo.”
New high speed Internet connections and Web servers are in place to handle the vast reponse expected from the public, seeking free access to much of the world’s great literature. This year, many readers will use their iPhones, Sony Readers, Kindles, MP3 players and a host of other devices, in addition to desktop and notebook computers.”
So with almost four more weeks to go, get your share whilst you can. There is an advanced search option for language, title, author etc. and you can also browse the collections. Once in the search mode you can also select different categories (literature, philosophy, poetry etc.). The books are mostly PDF’s and don’t have the nicest lay outs but hey, their free! You can also find many mp3 audio files (which is of course very nice, you can listen to your favorite book on your iPod!).
With a quick search I found Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico−Philosophicus, Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo and some Dutch literature classics, Multatuli’s Max Havelaar, Lodewijk van Deyssel’s Een liefde and Jacob van Lennep’s Ferdinand Huyck (with illustrations!). And there is much much more. What a resource… I absolutely love ebooks!