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Where can I download books from the Web?

You may not be able to get John Grisham ebooks yet, but book lovers can get their hands on both classics and new authors' works via the Internet. In addition, most downloadable books are much cheaper than printed editions. (Some are even free!) The following are a few of the larger downloadable book sites:

  • Project Gutenberg - Offers nearly 30,000 books that are downloadable for free.

  • Google Books - Extensive catalog of free e-books. Fiction, nonfiction, magazines and more.

  • Electronic Literature Foundation - ELF features advanced electronic texts of Western classical works "to be used by students, scholars, and admirers of literature around the world." Their library currently holds 129 works by 20 authors, from Dante to Voltaire, all accessible for free.

  • English Online Resources - The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) makes available thousands of titles, many in the public domain. Although some texts are only available to affiliates of VIVA, if you're looking for literary classics you'll find some treasures here.

Most modern works that haven't entered the public domain require payment, whether in print form or downloadable as electronic texts. Numerous sites offer online shopping for electronic texts, usually offering a small collection of free public domain works too. Here are a couple:
  • dorrancEbooks - Purchase books and download them immediately to your computer. Some classics are available for free.

  • AuthorHouse - Become a registered member for free and store your downloaded books in a personal library. 1st Books sells paperback or hardback editions as well.

For more information, read an article on electronic books, and see the Online Books category.

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