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Ahhh, the joys of the eBook. While the eBook isn’t exactly cutting-edge technology, I wanted to express my appreciation for those who’ve made it possible to download and read amazing pieces of work for free.

One of my favorite eBook Web sites is Project Gutenberg, which is aptly named after the first known printing press in the Western world. Visitors to this site can download as many of the 16,000-plus books as they please and read them without paying one red cent.

Project Gutenberg is a nonprofit organization whose mission is simply to make available as many texts as possible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Keep in mind that the eBooks on this site don’t have much aesthetic appeal—they’re all in simple ASCII format because ASCII is one of the most widely recognized formats on all types of machines worldwide.

Not only does this organization have one of the largest selections of free eBooks on the Web, but Project Gutenberg is also one of the oldest and most organized purveyors of such texts. If you’re an avid reader who, like me, can’t always afford to keep up with your reading desires, then this site may be for you.

Here’s a preview of what I’ll be reading as soon as I am finished with school in a few weeks:

“Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“The War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells
“Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Of course, Project Gutenberg accepts donations, and I will gladly be giving them a drop in the PayPal bucket as I take advantage of their services. I am so giddy with excitement…I can’t wait to begin reading books that aren’t listed on a syllabus and don’t have indices or glossaries or “USED” stickers!

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, get in touch with your culture…Or someone else’s culture…Feed your brain for free.