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Thursday, 30th August 2007

Quickly Finding New Online Books (aka The Free Stuff)

We've talked about The Online Books Page compiled by John Mark Ockerbloom MANY times on ResourceShelf. It's one amazing and essential resource.

However, in the past couple of weeks I've been asked the same question (or close to it) by several people. They asked about where to learn about new full text books (the free stuff) as they become available). The answer is The Online Books Page. In fact, an RSS feed is also available. When you head to this page: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/new.html

You'll quickly see the volume of content Ockerbloom adds each day/week from different sources including Project Gutenberg, Google Library Project, and many many other sources.

It's easy to forget that numerous organizations are digitizing content and doing it for a long time. For example, Project Gutenberg has been around for 36 years.

The RSS feed for this "What's New" info can be accessed at:
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/newrss.xml

Another source for online books is the Digital Book Index. It contains over 137,000 titles with about 97,000 of them available for free. We were unable to find a "new book list" but after the simple and easy registration this is a "must have" resource.

Finally, what about books for kids? Well, we've also mentioned the International Children's Digital Library many times on ResourceShelf. All of the content is free, available in several languages and looks good. The basic search interface is appealing, useful and dare we say, fun, for both for children and even "older kids" like the editors of ResourceShelf. :-)

When new books are added to the database you can find them listed here.

Postscript 1: Another full text book service is ebrary. They not only license content to companies and libraries but also offer a free service, Shop.ebrary.com. Over 20,000 titles all free to browse, search, and read online. You only pay to copy or print a page (about 25 cents per page).

Postscript 2: Of course, we do our best to include several new titles each week on DocuTicker and ResourceShelf. However, the titles and URLs we list are just the tip of the iceberg. For more in-depth coverage, we suggest taking advantage of the sites listed above.


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