Welcome to the 4th Annual World eBook Fair
July 4th to August 4th
Download Your Selections from (2,500,000 PDF eBooks)
Two and Half Million eBooks Titles
http://worldebookfair.com/In virtual fair, download 2.5 mn books for free
Shreya Roy Chowdhury, TNN
NEW DELHI: You may be sitting with a laptop in your Noida apartment, surfing the net in a New York library, or just browsing in a Cape Town
cybercafe - anyone anywhere can attend this book fair. Of course, you can't run your finger over their spines or quickly scan the synopses on their back covers - these books have neither.
But a few mouse clicks is all you need to access them. For a month starting Saturday, over 2.5 million books will be available for free download at a virtual book fair - the fourth eBook Fair sponsored by a number of e-libraries including Project Gutenberg, The World Public Library and Internet Archive. The links to the collections will be worldebookfair.com.
According to Roberto Gorrieri of the World Public Library, the first three 'fairs' averaged one million downloads per day and a sizable section of the traffic was from India. ''My guess would be about 1/4 of all downloads were done from there. The most popular titles were technology related titles,'' he told TOI in an email interview. No surprise as technical books, especially the imported ones, cost a bomb.
But it is not just the techies or casual readers who download. Even humanities students have become intimately familiar with the world of e-texts. Recently, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed a plan to do away with text books altogether and push for the use of ebooks in schools. For graduate students in India, there are more texts - some of them notoriously difficult to find in stores - and less time to procure them.
Sappho's poetry, prescribed in MA English course is one example; Kesari Mohan Ganguly's translation of Karnaparva, is another. Alberti's On Painting was found and circulated online. ''Etexts are much easier to access and are far cleaner than photocopies,'' says Sakshi Chopra who completed her MA in 2008. Later, for BEd, she used etexts of John Dewey's Democracy and Education and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Nandita Dubey, a final year history student, used etexts for her dissertation on Shahjahanabad.