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Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library in the world. You may even be reading a classic from there right now on your e-reader.

But don't you hate how it's formatted?

Gutenberg is a worthwhile endeavor, but as a true book lover you might be put off by the poor formatting of those old books, crippled by archaic types that make you feel bad. The absence of attractive book covers can also irritate you.

The Standard Books promises to change all that. This volunteer effort is bringing the sexy back to these old classics.

Cinderella's touch for old public domain books

This is how Standard Books volunteers connect you:

The standard books approach works on four levels:

  1. Correct transcription errors and old style with a rigorous style guide.
  2. Add well-researched book information with detailed book details and links to encyclopedia sources.
  3. Match books with the latest e-reader features like script support, pop-up footnotes, table of contents, and high-quality scalable vector graphics.
  4. Use public domain artwork to create attractive and unique covers for all your books.

As you flip through the pages of a Little Woman or Don Quixote , The difference is amazing. You'll notice it in the formatting of the dialog or the restoration of American spelling.

Standard books also make browsing the catalog easier. It's a clean interface with a search bar at the top and a sort filter below. Click on the attractive book covers and jump to the book page. Free download options cover all the popular formats you'd need today:EPUB, EPUB3, AZW3, and KEPUB for Kobo devices.

And don't miss this little help on the book page:

Yes, the reading time information tells me that I can find out what Bertie and Wooster do over the course of a weekend.

Fall in love with the classics again

Standard Books is a noble (and innovative) volunteer effort that brings you the best classics in literature. 35 Classic Novels You Can Read For Free On Your Kindle. 35 Classic Novels You Can Read For Free On Your Kindle. copyright books available on to download to your Kindle right now. Here are our recommendations for the classic novels you should read... Read More You too can get involved. It might make you a good reader, but it will surely make you a better editor.

Tell us about your impressions. What is the last classic you finished? Which one would you recommend without a pause?