Top 10 IN Resources : Great Reads These Resources Will Blow The Keys Right Off Your Board!
By Sarah E. White
The month of March conspires to offer us two great reasons to celebrate reading: Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and the National Education Association’s Read Across America Week. In celebration of these two events, and the fact that good reading is fundamental to good writing, this month’s top 10 list looks at good sites for great reads (and information about ebooks).
Project Gutenberg http://promo.net/pg/ The granddaddy of all free ebook sites is Project Gutenberg, which offers public domain books on all sorts of subjects, from literature to art, science, religious texts and more, in more than 30 languages, searchable by author and keyword. You can also volunteer to help grow the database and add an editing credit to your resume.
Bartelby http://www.bartelby.com/ One of my favorites for reference books online, this site also offers a lot of public domain texts. I can’t live without this site’s World Factbook, but it also has fiction, nonfiction and verse. Offers a quote a day and a word a day, among other fun stuff for book nerds.
The Online Books Page http://www.digital.library.upenn.edu/books/ From the University of Pennsylvania, this site boasts more than 20,000 free books, combining Gutenberg’s listings with other sources in various formats, again searchable and browsable. This site also offers links to searchable serial archives for such publications as Agriculture Factbook and The Ladies’ Repository (a 19th century women’s magazine).
A Celebration of Women Writers http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women Going hand-in-hand with Penn’s Online Books Page, the Celebration Of Women Writer’s page includes that collection’s publications by women. The cool thing about this site is that you can search for authors by century, country of origin or ethnicity, so if you are particularly interested in, say, women writers from Tunisia, you can find them all.
Biblomania http://www.bibliomania.com/ Another great basic free online reading site is Bibliomania, which offers 2,000 texts as well as study guides and research aids. The site includes fiction, drama, interviews, articles and short stories, even a search by theme, so you’re bound to find something to read here no matter what you like to read.
Renaissance Electronic Texts http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/ret/ret.html The University of Toronto library offers a small but impressive collection of old-spelling editions of Renaissance-era manuscripts, including Shakespeare’s sonnets, a database of early-modern English dictionaries and links to other sites offering more information on this time period and its literature. Also check out the English library for information on the history of English and more great sources.
Hearth http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/h/hearth/index.html If you’re looking for information on American home economics, or are just interested in what life was like for American women from the 1820s to the 1950s, check out this resource from Cornell. You can search for keywords or browse by time period, as well as look up articles by author or journal.
Rare Book Reading Room http://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/ While the actual books are not available for reading on this Library of Congress site, it’s a fun place to look around and to see what they actually have available in the nation’s biggest repository of all things literary. The site offers pictures of some of the illuminated books and essays dealing with different kinds of books the Rare Books Reading Room houses.
Modern History Sourcebook http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook.html For students of history or just writers needing to know something about a certain political, historical or social movement from Darwinism to the Civil War, this site will provide basic outlines and source material to make your stories more realistic or help you get through that quiz.
Want 2 Learn http://www.want2learn.com/index.html With a variety of ebooks and resources on a variety of topics, Want 2 Learn should be on your favorites list when you’re looking for free courses or information on marketing, the Internet, writing, grammar and other topics. Includes links to reviews and other information.