Download Thousands of Free Ebooks Formatted for Modern E-Readers
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Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library in the world. You might even be reading a classic from there right now in your e-reader.

But don’t you hate how it’s formatted?

Gutenberg is a worthwhile effort, but as a true book lover you just might be turned off by the poor formatting of those old books, crippled by archaic typesets that strain your eyes. The absence of attractive book covers might also irk you.

Standard Books promises to change all that. This volunteer effort is bringing the oomph back to these old classics.

The Cinderella Touch for Old Public Domain Books

Here’s how the volunteers at Standard Books plug it:

“Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style guide, lightly modernizes them, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to take advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.”

Download Thousands of Free Ebooks Formatted for Modern E-Readers StandardBooks Homepage

The Standard Books approach works on four levels:

  1. Correct the transcription errors and the ancient style with a rigorous style guide.
  2. Add well-researched book information with detailed book blurbs and links to encyclopedia sources.
  3. Match books to latest e-reader features like hyphenation support, pop-up footnotes, table of contents, and high-quality scalable vector graphics.
  4. Use Public Domain fine art to create attractive and unique covers for all books.

As you flip through the pages of a Little Women or Don Quixote, the difference is striking. You will notice it in the formatting of the dialog or the refurbishing of American spellings.

Standard Books also makes browsing through the catalog easier. It’s a clean interface with a search bar on top and a sort filter below. Click on the attractive book covers and jump to the book page. The free download options cover all popular formats you would need today: EPUB, EPUB3, AZW3, and KEPUB for Kobo devices.

And don’t miss this little help on the book page:

Standard Books

Yes, the reading time information tells me that I can find out what Bertie and Wooster are up to over the course of a weekend.

Fall in Love With the Classics Again

Standard Books is a noble (and novel) volunteer effort that gives you the best classics from literature without asking for a dime. You too can get involved. It might make you a good reader, but it will surely make you a better editor.

Tell us about your impressions. Which is the last classic you finished? Which one would you recommend without a pause?

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  1. George
    July 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Oops - I should click all the links before commenting - the 106 was for Standard Ebooks only. Gutenberg has over 54K...sorry about that...

    • Saikat Basu
      July 5, 2017 at 4:54 am

      That's okay, George. Hope you liked the site.

  2. George
    July 3, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Thousands of books? As of today, July 3, 2017, I saw 106 books on there.

  3. Mia Schu
    June 27, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Correcting the style? Not a good idea. I don't want to read a modernised version of a classic. That's more off-putting than any layout or font.

    • Dhuko
      June 27, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Amen to that.

    • Saikat Basu
      June 28, 2017 at 2:35 am

      Not agree with it myself. But it does it make the literature more accessible to less-capable readers? Don't know.

      But it is a trend now. A few years back, we saw classics reprinted with bolder covers to appeal to the Twilight fans! :)

    • Saikat Basu
      June 28, 2017 at 2:35 am

      Not agree with it myself. But does it make the literature more accessible to less-capable readers? Don't know.

      But it is a trend now. A few years back, we saw classics reprinted with bolder covers to appeal to the Twilight fans! :)

    • Simon
      July 13, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      I agree. I don't want any edited or updated books unless it is done by the original author. If the author is dead, the book should stay as it is.

  4. Doug
    June 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    All those nice clean details don't seen to come cheap, as far as file size is concerned. Except for that fact, I'd be one of users.