Sunday, August 9, 2015

[Guest Post] Books in the Public Domain

The Summer Blogger Promo Tour is an annual tour hosted by The Book Bratz, where we feature a different blogger each Sunday in July and August. For today's SBPT, we have Danielle Villano from BiblioSmiles talking about Books in the Pubic Domain!
If you’re like me (and I’m guessing most of you are – you bookworms, you), you’ probably happily spend your life savings on books. New books, used books, e-books… they make for nice collections, but the price tags add up.  Did you know there’s a whole catalog of books out there that are free for those of you who have an e-reader or are willing to read on the computer?  Welcome to the public domain.
What is the public domain? The public domain includes works (like music, books, and movies) whose intellectual property rights “have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable.” (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
What does this mean for you?  You can read some really awesome classics for free! One of my favorite resource is Project Gutenberg, a free website (funded by donations) where public domain books are digitized and other free e-books are also available. There are over 49.000 books on all kinds of subjects!
If you’re looking for fiction, look no further than their “Popular” category. These classics, by authors like Jane Austen and Bram Stoker, are popular for a reason.  If there’s a classic novel you’ve been meaning to read, why not download it and read it on your morning commute? Here are a few of my favorite public domain reads.
Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Shelley’s tale of Dr. Frankenstein’s “monster” is touching, spooky, and incredibly compelling. Maybe you’ve seen the movie versions. Maybe you’re ready to dismiss this book based on some scary Halloween memories.  Don’t miss out!  Frankenstein remains one of my favorite classics.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you’re only familiar with Gatsby, try out another one of Fitzgerald’s stories! This Side of Paradise is the story of the charismatic Amory Blaine, a Midwestern fellow turned Princeton student who tries – and fails – to win at love.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
So maybe you only pretended to read them in high school or college. Maybe you want a refresher. Maybe you just want some good old-fashioned comedy and tragedy.  Instead of carrying around a giant tome (yes, those are cool), you can have the entirety of Shakespeare’s works on your e-reader.  For free. Isn’t the public domain beautiful?
(PS: Romeo and Juliet will always be my favorite Shakespeare play.  What’s yours?)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Did you know that Jane Austen’s classic romantic tale is part of the public domain? It’s the most-downloaded classic, according to Project Gutenberg.
(I should mention, since this IS Wonderland Novels after all, that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the second most-downloaded!)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Austen’s tale, you’re in for a treat!  Follow along as Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy verbally spar, awkwardly dance, and eventually fall in love. 

Did you know that there was this treasure trove of books just waiting for you to read them?  Let me know what your favorite classics are!
Thanks for having me, Alice!  I hope you’ll come visit me on BiblioSmiles soon.

Danielle Villano is a New Jersey native and a graduate of the SUNY Purchase creative writing program.  She lives in New York City and should be working on her YA novel instead of going to brunch.  She blogs at BiblioSmiles, and can be reached on Twitter as @daniellevillano.


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