Project Gutenberg

Top 25 Project Gutenberg eBook Titles Excerpted and adapted from an August 29, 2011, blog posting by Jason Sockel, a Content Sales Associate at OverDrive

When Michael Hart endeavored to create Project Gutenberg 40 years ago, he probably did not envision the #1 downloaded title being the Kama Sutra, but a surprising search revealed just that.

Project Gutenberg is an expansive set of free eBooks, digitized and assembled by Hart (who, incidentally, is the inventor of the eBook) when he was a college student in Illinois.  Since that time, his team has digitized more than 30,000 titles that are available in the public domain, allowing free download access to anyone in the United States with an eReader. 

Most titles in the Gutenberg collection are free of copyrights in the U.S., meaning they can not only be downloaded for reading, they can also be used for distribution, recreation and adaptation.  Teachers can print and distribute excerpts for their classes; artists can perform the works in front of an audience; and titles can be transferred to audio or other formats.  Each title provides licensing information when it is downloaded, so be sure to check the rights prior to utilizing the books for commercial benefit.

Now that you know a little about Project Gutenberg, here are the 25 most downloaded titles.  How many have you read?

  1. The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana (25732)
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (18298)
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (15090)
  4. The Best American Humorous Short Stories (13854)
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (12106)
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce (11361)
  7. How to Analyze People on Sight by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict (11248)
  8. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (11063)
  9. The Art of War by Sunzi (10303)
  10. Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (9228)
  11. War and Peace by graf Leo Tolstoy (8694)
  12. The Bible, Old and New Testaments, King James Version (8626)
  13. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (8367)
  14. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by Leonardo da Vinci (8313)
  15. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (8249)
  16. The 2010 CIA World Factbook by United States. Central Intelligence Agency (8130)
  17. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (8105)
  18. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (7717)
  19. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (7681)
  20. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (7330)
  21. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (7087)
  22. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (7055)
  23. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (6982)
  24. Dracula by Bram Stoker (6927)
  25. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (6859)

 

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