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Free access to e-books due July 4

June 03, 2006|From the Associated Press

Electronic book devotees may want to set aside some extra screen time this summer, as two nonprofits are preparing to provide free access to 300,000 texts online.

Project Gutenberg and World eBook Library plan to make "a third of a million" e-books available free for a month at the first World eBook Fair. Downloads will be available at the fair's website from July 4, the 35th anniversary of Project Gutenberg's founding, through Aug. 4.

The majority of the books will be contributed by the World eBook Library. It otherwise charges $8.95 a year for access to its database of more than 250,000 e-books, documents and articles.

The Gutenberg books, typed and scanned into computers by thousands of volunteers, mostly are those that are no longer protected by copyright. They include fiction, nonfiction and reference books and will be available for worldwide readers in about 100 languages.

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