The Intuitive Systems Online Reading Library
One of my very favorite areas of the Web is
run by Dr. Michael Hart at Illinois Benedictine College. The
goal of the project is to distribute public domain copies of
literature and documents where the copyright has expired. There's
a tremendous range of stuff available already, hundreds of books,
famous speeches, letters, and more. Great stuff.
The only drawback is that almost all of it is plain text, without
any formatting at all. As a result, as I have the time, I have started
translating some of my favorite material in the library so that it
is attractive and easily read here on the Web. Please, have a look!
Note: I have chosen to keep all of these as single files, even when
they've become quite extraordinarily long Web pages. The main reason
for this is that once you've downloaded the page, you can save it, send
it to your handheld, or what-have-you, without any fuss.
- Aesop's Fables
- Perhaps one of the best places to start reading the material
in this library, Aesop's Fables is a truly amazing collection of
wisdom and thoughtful
commentary on society and humanity. And it's entertaining
- Around the World in 80 Days
One of my favorite books as a child, this Jules Verne classic
is an exciting, epic adventure that perfectly captures the
derring-do and aplomb of the British aristocracy in the person
of Mr. Phileas Fogg. A delightful read for any age!
- The Art of Writing
It's a bit pompous, but Robert Louis Stevenson wrote some very
interesting essays on writing, including much of interest about
his authorship of Treasure Island and The Master of
Ballantrae. Of particular interest to other writers.
- The Declaration of Independence
The foundational document of the United States of America: when
was the last time you actually spent the time to read this
all-important declaration? You'll be surprised what it says...
- The Gettysburg Address
One of the most famous speeches in the history of the United States,
President Abraham Lincoln packed a lot of meaning into a
succinct presentation he gave at the end of the Civil War, 1863.
- I Have A Dream...
Visionary and civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. presented
this most famous and moving of speeches on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
in August, 1963.
- The Importance of Being Earnest
What can I say about this? Perhaps the wittiest and most entertaining
play in the English language, it's Oscar Wilde's masterpiece, as far as
I am concerned. It's my favorite play, and even after reading through it
many, many times, it still brings a laugh to my heart. May it do the
same for you!
- The Jungle Book
Another wonderful story - this is one of Rudyard Kipling's best
books (along with my personal favorite, Kim). Read through
it and be surprised how much more there is to the story than the
- Manifesto of the Communist Party
A hundred years later, Marx and Engels prove to have been optimistic
dreamers: communism hasn't worked out quite as they expected in any
place it's been tried. And yet... there are some very intriguing ideas
about community property and the good of all versus the good of
the individual that are well worth a read.
- Notes from the Underground
This is a curious and challenging read, but I have a high degree of
respect and appreciation for Soviet author Fyodor Dostoyevsky (who
also wrote Crime and Punishment and The Brothers
Karamazov). This particular book is Dostoyevsky's response to the
nihilstic utopian fad of late 1800's Russian literati.
- On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau is perhaps better know for Walden,
but his book On The Duty of Civil Disobedience is really quite
thought-provoking reading, and asks many important questions about
how governments should work and what the rights and duties of a
citizen should be.
- The Story of Dr. Dolittle
In a less serious vein, The Story of Dr. Dolittle was not only
one of my favorite childhood stories but was also made into a truly
delightful film starring Rex Harrison. This is the original book,
as published by Hugh Lofting.
- The Wind in the Willows
Another wonderful childhood story, this book is one where it's really
quite a drag that the wonderful original illustrations aren't available
and in the public domain, but even just as a text file this delightful
tale of Mr. Toad, Mole, Badger, and the rest of the denizens of the
woods is a great read.