Free Online / Downloadable Books - and a Merry Christmas to All

Below is a long but exceptionally useful post from another ng written by Berkeley Brett. JOAT should have a field day with this one! If you're interested in books - this one is for you. Do as Brett suggests and then Search for - Woodworking - you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Now take a moment and read this gentleman's post and then give it a try.
Bob S.
Hello all:
Though this message isn't about freeware in the strict sense, it is about a trick that enables one to explore an emerging "super-library" of online books that dates back (at least as far as) the 17th century. If you had to download a freeware package to use it, it would be amazing -- but you don't even have to do that.
Here is my summary on this. If you find any outstanding online books using the following remarkable resource, would you please be so kind as to post their titles here so that we all can enjoy them? (Thanks in advance!)
You may have read about "Google Books," a partnership including Google, Harvard University, Oxford University, The New York Public Library, University Complutense of Madrid, and many other universities, whose purpose is to make a vast "super-library" of public-domain books available (at no cost) online -- unabridged and in their entirety, available for reading AND for free downloading (in many cases). Google's university and library partners in this remarkable project are listed here:
Most people seem to be unaware that you can access this magnificent resource NOW. The number of books already available is ENORMOUS, yet very few people seem to know the TRICK to finding them. Here is that trick ....
If you go to the Google Books main page /
be SURE to select "Full view books" under the search box. This is NOT the default! If you do not select "Full view books," you will get lots of "hits" from your searches, but few of them will be full-text public-domain books that can be read online.
Now, if we search for "david hume" (for example), we will see a very large list of books by or about David Hume. Let's take a look at "An Account of the Life and Writings of David Hume By Thomas Edward Ritchie" from the year 1804: vid+hume&as_brr=1
or, if that link doesn't work, this one should:
A scanned image of every page in the book is available in PDF format. Pretty amazing!
You can download the entire book (at no cost) in PDF format by clicking the "Download" button in the upper right region. Or, you can simply browse the contents of the book by scrolling or by clicking the "Contents" portion in the rightmost window.
You can also search the text of the book using the "Search in this book" box at the right. Very wonderful!
If you want to refine your book searches, you will want to go to the "Advanced Book Search" page. From the main page /
click the words "Advanced Book Search" just to the right of the "Search Books" button. HERE AGAIN, you will need to select "Full view books" instead of "All books" if you want books in the public domain!
Starting from this page, you will be able to conduct searches by author, title, date, etc. Perhaps some of your relatives or ancestors have published books that are online. (I've found books as far back as the 17th century using this tool -- all in fully digitized images -- and I suspect many books even older are available.)
Both the main page ( ) and the Advanced Book Search page ( ) are well worth bookmarking in your browser, in my view.
As I ponder the ultimate goal of "Google Books" (as I understand it) -- nothing less that making available to anyone with internet access ALL substantial literature in the world that is in the public domain -- I am filled with admiration and awe! To the extent that it is successful -- which is already a very considerable extent -- it is greatly to be praised, in my opinion.
As Chancellor Carlos Berzosa of the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain says (here, along with many remarks from other participants: ), "Out-of-copyright books previously only available to people with access to the University Complutense of Madrid's Library, or the money to travel, will now be accessible to everyone with an Internet connection, wherever they live. We are quite literally opening our library to the world. The opportunities for education are phenomenal and we are delighted to be working with Google on this project."
And ONE USEFUL FACT to bear in mind: if the books you are seeking are not there TODAY, they may well be there NEXT WEEK! The number of books in the collection is growing at a PHENOMENAL rate!
The Google Books Help site is also worth exploring to get the most out of this remarkable resource: /
A word about books in the public domain....
In the U.S., "books that were published before January 1, 1923" are in the public domain, along with some other kinds of publications. To learn more, you might read . (I wish I knew more about the public domain laws of other countries or international laws regarding public domain works, but I simply don't.)
In my estimation, "Google Books" has now joined such other magnficent websites as , , , and as being among the very best websites for substantial, free, full-text literature anywhere on the internet! (In my opinion, each of these excellent websites is well worth a browser bookmark.)
And, as always, your thoughts about this project are most welcome.
And please feel free to share this message with anyone who might find it beneficial. (You are also most welcome to reproduce it on other message boards, as you see fit: no attribution needed.)
Happy reading!
-- Brett / "Discover freeware jewels on the World Wide Web!"

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