iPad iBookstore to Include Project Gutenberg Catalog?

iBooks iBookstore and Project Gutenberg

AppAdvice has followed up their $9.99 bestseller sneak-peak with more screenshots they claim come from the pre-release iPad iBooks and iBookstore, this time indicating Apple is including that massive Project Gutenberg library of free eBook content right in the app.

We mentioned Project Gutenberg last week and it's 30,000 ePub-format, iBooks friendly public domain titles and figured Apple would just let you drag them into iTunes and move them on over to iBooks. This, however, would mean they're already linked and ready to download.

Whether or not the full catalog is there, or just some subset of popular or editorial choices is unknown, and indeed everything is subject to change before the iPad ships on April 3, but we're hoping this is true and stays put.

It would be the iBooks answer to iTunes' free podcast and iTunes U, and the App Store's free apps section. And t'would be glorious.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

iPhone Pwned at Pwn20wn

Next up →

iTunes Preview Accidentally Leaks iPad Apps?

Reader comments

iPad iBookstore to Include Project Gutenberg Catalog?


It's the same exact thing Barnes and Noble and Kobo do. The majority of Gutenberg titles are also available as Google Books.
At this point including free public domain titles has become a way to fluff numbers "LOOK, we have 1 MILLION TITLES (999,998 of which are public domain.)"

Unlike Google books, many of which are poorly scanned and of questionable value, the Gutenberg library tends to be the best of the past, well written, and very clean. The last one I read on my nook was Dead Men Tell no Tales by Hornung, and it has no more than 5 scan errors in the entire book.
That these are available on the iPad would not be new news, since they are available using Stanza, or the B&N reader, or the EReader apps, which presumably will work on the ipad. They are also freely available for download in any number of formats.
What remains to be seen is if the iPad will allow in-app purchases of books from B&N or Amazon, and others, or if Apple is going to reserve this functionality for themselves.
Having purchased a few books on my iPhone, the process is not onerous, but could be cleaner with in-app purchases.
Still, reading on a backlit device for hours on end will not prove as popular as many here anticipate. It is hard on the eyes, and the iPad does not have the battery life to support it. Not planning to ditch my nook with it's eInk screen any time soon. I've totally given up reading on the iPhone since I got the nook.