Project Gutenberg: A Database of Free Classic Books!

The best way to become a better writer is to read.   By repeatedly exposing yourself to better writers and great works, you become a better writer yourself through osmosis.  It’s just a matter of exposing yourself to quality works.

If you’re living on a college budget, however, it’s not always possible to get a fresh stream of books to read.  Libraries and the like exist, but I know that when I was a student, I was often too busy—or, honestly, lazy—to repeatedly go to the library for a new book.

Project Gutenberg: An E-Book Database

One of the best websites out there, then, is Project Gutenberg.  Project Gutenberg has over 50,000 ebooks available at any time for free.  These are all books that are no longer in copyright, so they can be issued free of charge.  That means you’re not going to find Harry Potter or the most recent best-sellers there, but you’ll have access to some of the greatest books ever written.

Want to read where the modern romance novel began?  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is available whenever you want.  Want a tale of whimsy and psychedelic landscapes?  Alice’s Adventures  in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is accessible.  Want to test your intellect and puzzle out a mystery?  Try The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

You’ll find classic science fiction, like Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  You’ll find adventure tales like The Call of the Wild, Gulliver’s Travels and Treasure Island.  You’ll find the best of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe and H.G. Wells, Victor Hugo and Charlotte Bronte.  It’s all there, at your fingertips.

It’s not just fiction, either.  They have collections of poetry from writers like T.S. Eliot and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  They have scientific books, books on technology, anthropological texts.  They have the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci and the writings of Charles Darwin.  They have fairy tales and folklore, autobiographies and songbooks, pirates and politicians, psychology and witchcraft.  They even have the Kama Sutra, if that’s your sort of thing.

The books are available in multiple formats.  You can read them as HTML files on the Gutenberg Project’s home page.  You can download them as a PDF onto your tablets or as a Kindle file.  You can download them with or without images in some cases—they’re available in almost any format you’d like, so you can choose what is most convenient for you.

I highly recommend their archives, and use them myself all the time, whether I’m reading for fun or for work.  Reading classic works will help improve your writing style.

Once you’re done, and you want to see if your writing is improved, why not stop by Wordsmith Essays’ order page and see what our team of editors can do for you?  We’ll help polish your essays and articles to a fine shine.


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