Project Gutenberg Canada has the goal of providing access to books which are in the Canadian public domain. Their focus is on making the works as available and accessible as possible. This is an excellent goal. And to this end, they have chosen to keep the interface for accessing the documents in their repository quite simple.

To make it easier for me to search and sort through their extensive collection of works (over 1200 when I wrote this), I have created a simple tool to index the contents that Project Gutenberg Canada makes available. Access to my index is available for any others who might wish to use it by use of the "searchable catalog" link on the top-right of this page.

Finding Public Domain Fiction

March 31, 2016

One of the challenges with the repositories of public domain books we, as readers, face is finding good books for leisurely reading. Book stores, and online e-book sellers usually go to considerable effort to curate their collections and make it easy for us to find books in categories we like. They also attempt to provide suggestions for other books we might like based on the ones we have already purchased. We also have the opportunity to see what is on the bestseller list, which are presumably enjoyable to read.

This is not generally the case with the free repositories. The Gutenberg repositories give us title, publication year, and author. In some cases we also get a general category to tell what is fiction and non-fiction. Faded Page has implemented a tagging system, which works very much like the sections in a bookstore.

Another good source for leisure reading, if you enjoy fantasy and (an older view of) science fiction, is Roy Glashan's Library. This repository is a curated collection of public domain e-books (in Australia). The collection has a dedicated section for fantasy and science fiction and includes regular updates. If your tastes happen to fall close to those of Roy Glashan, then you may find this a very convenient place to obtain e-books for your enjoyment.

One important note to keep in mind, copyright laws differ from country to country. Although the USA, Australia, and Canada (along with most other "western" countries) signed the Bern Convention of 1928 and many newer copyright treaties, the contries laws around copyright are not identical. Books in the public domain in one country may not be in the public domain of another country (in some cases for decades). It is best to find books in a repository maintained within your own country or to confirm that the book is in the public domain in your own country before downloading it.

Busy Week for Project Gutenberg Canada

March 3, 2016

Project Gutenberg Canada added four works in the past week. All 20th century works including They are Returned by E. J. Pratt and France at War by W. S. Maugham. It is good to see that project getting back to it's core function since it has been focusing on fighting the TPP of late.

The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is an absolutely horrid attempt at pushing corporate mandates and greed across boarders and eroding national authority in the guise of a trade agreement. It was so poorly done that they had to hide the details until very recently and even the American people, the one's who have been pushing it the most, are having protests against this horrendous proposal. Let us hope that this is an early sign that the fight against this sort of corporate oppression is succeeding.

Noteworthy Author: Dashiell Hammet

March 3, 2016

Dashiel Hammet was an early 20th century author who wrote detective stories in what have become known as the film noir style. He is the author of the original books and stories that became famous movies of his time, including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. Both movies are worth watching and as most readers will agree, if the movie was good, the book is almost always better.

Project Gutenberg Canada currently has 2 Dashell Hammet books available. While Faded Page has a 3rd.

Noteworthy Book: For Our Bureau.

February 12, 2016

This odd book of poetry available from Project Gutenberg Canada would most likely have been lost to the world without their effort. You won't find it on Faded Page; at least I didn't when I tried.

For Our Bureau is a book of poetry written and assembled by the Secretary for the Foreign Trade Bureau of the Vancouver Board of Trade in the early 1920s, Herbert Beeman. The poetry came about as filler for the notifications of their weekly lecture series starting in 1921. The poetry is, for the most part, related to the topics that took place in the previous week's meeting. Some of it is quite amusing.

The members so enjoyed the poetry that they requested that the secretary provide it in book form. Which was done in 1924 (according to the publication date) and made available for the cost of printing and delivery of the book (according to the preface within the book).

Gutenberg Canada

[PGC's Complete Catalogue]
[My Searchable Catalog]

Repositories of Public Domain Works

All of these sources offer works in the public domain. Some also sell ebooks.