Fans of classical literature rejoice. Project Gutenberg – the publisher of thousands of free, public domain eBooks – is coming to Apple’s iBookstore. Having previewed Apple’s iBookstore, AppAdvice.com reported this morning that the iPad book store will include free access to more than 30,000 public domain titles, including Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and if Apple doesn’t ban it, the Kama Sutra.
The report confirms speculation that the iPad would be compatible with free eBooks.
Founded in 1971, Project Gutenberg is a volunteer organization that digitizes, archives, and shares books in various user-friendly digital formats. It even has free audio versions of many titles. Project Gutenberg is able to offer the eBooks free because they are now within the public domain. The books’ copyrights (if they ever were copyrighted) have expired and can be offered up free of charge because no one owns rights to their content.
This brings a wealth of interesting content to Apple’s iBookstore. From the anomic Kafka to the satirical Twain, there is something for everyone. By incorporating Project Gutenberg’s library into its iBookstore, Apple will undoubtedly simplify access to these foundational titles.
This is great news. Let’s hope that they remain free.