Just click on a Lesson to access it.  The lessons build on one another so it's best to study them in numerical order.

Simple-to-follow instructions for the computer novice on how to download E-Texts and E-Books to your PC

Lessons and links to help you build an Electronic Library on your PC

by Candida Martinelli of Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site:
Add To Favorites



Browsing Your PC
Making Directories
Desktop Shortcuts

The Public Domain
The Archives (POPULAR)
Downloading E-Texts
E-Texts in MS-Word

Readers Available
Downloading One

The Archives (POPULAR)
Downloading E-Books
Your Own PC Library

Reading E-Books

Stores and Sites
Making Payment
Downloading E-Book
Your Own PC Library

Encourage Others
Your Favorites
Distributing E-Texts/Books



These lessons in whole or in part, can be printed, reproduced and distributed, but not for profit!

Candida Martinelli
September 2003

[I update this periodically, but the technology is rushing along, with new readers, new formats, new everything.  I try to update things only when they are available worldwide, but I will not feature specific readers.  If you own one, it is best to consult their manual to understand which formats you can read, and how to download them from the sites I mention in these lessons.  Ciao!

Candida 2010]


Thank you to RadSmart.com for their technical assistance.  Check out their Auto Trader Program.






Save Money on Books

The #1 reason to take advantage of e-texts and e-books is the money you save on free or reduced-price books!  

  • If you're a student, many of the classics of literature you have to read in school are available for free on the Internet.  

  • If you're in business, many of the reference books you want are available either for free, or at a reduced price on the Internet.

  • If you're an avid reader, you can choose from hundreds of thousands of books either for free or at reduced prices on the Internet.

  • If you're in a specialized field, many relevant texts can be issued economically only as an e-book on the Internet.

On-line Archives

There are many on-line archives of e-texts and e-books set up by universities, non-profit organizations, associations, private companies, and others.  The archives are easy to search and the texts are simple to load to your computer.  

In these lessons, I give you many of the links to these Internet archives, and show you how to search them, and download the texts to your computer.  I even walk  you through several downloads to start you on your way to building your own electronic library on your PC.

Variable Text Size

Perhaps the greatest advantage of e-texts and e-books is the possibility of changing the text size on your screen.  You can set the text size that is most comfortable for your eyes!  

Whether you're reading the text in MS-Word or in an e-book Reader, you can change the look of the text to suit your tastes.  You can also alter the page that is presented to you:  a whole page, half a page, multiple pages...  

Many e-books are being issued in landscape format with large-sized text as standard.  So there is no need to scroll down the text, or adjust the text size.  The page fits in the e-book Reader's window and all you have to do is read and press the Page Down button.  

Some e-books do not require a separate e-book Reader.  And some of those are made to look like printed books on your computer screen, complete with flipping pages, so you just press a button to flip to the next page.


The latest development in e-book Readers is the ability to turn e-books into audio-books.  The Microsoft free e-book Reader offers extra software called Text-To-Speech that allows their Reader to recognize text and feed this information to a voice-synthesizer.  The same program also reads out the contents of the program's menus so you can select menu items with ease.

E-texts in HTML (web-page) format can be read aloud by your computer, too.  If the web-page creator has linked to a special speech software, all you need is a speaker-card in your PC, and download free software to take advantage of this feature (see: Speaks For Itself).   

The most common application at present of this technology is for student lectures, foreign language study, and for the reading disabled.  The limitations are mainly in the often expressionless tone of the synthesized voice.  If you have Microsoft software that provides for the audio 'assistant', you know what I mean.  

It is up to the e-book distributor and publisher to determine if their e-book can take advantage of this software.  Some publishers choose to block it's use to protect their audio-book sales.  But many publishers, especially the smaller ones, allow all their e-books to become audio books.  And e-books made from public domain texts, can be read by the software.  


Technical and historical publications are ideal as e-texts and e-books because of the built-in search feature in MS-Word and e-book Readers.  No longer do researchers have to rely on the author's index.  Whatever word or phrase you need to find, can be located in seconds!

Not only can you find the sections of books you want in seconds, you can electronically bookmark that point for later reference.  You can consult a list of your bookmarks, and go to any one of them with a simple click of the mouse.

Technical publications are often very quickly out-of-date.  Some publishers of technical e-books offer quick electronic updates.  Even without the update option, e-books save you money.  Instead of spending a fortune on a new print book that will be out of date in a short time, the more reasonably priced e-book version makes a lot of sense.

Small Publishing Houses

During the last few decades the publishing industry has changed dramatically.  The biggest change has been perhaps the demise of the small publishing house, sometimes called a Boutique Publisher.  

Boutique publishers print small numbers of specialized books for unique markets:

  • the arts,

  • the sciences,

  • the social sciences,

  • literature,

  • mixed genre books that appeal to a smaller audience than the formulaic single genre, mass-market books. 

While a few of these publishers still exist, like the university presses, their publications are generally prohibitively expensive.  For the most part, electronic publishers have taken their place.  So if you are interested in special topics and sometimes weightier subjects than the average reader, e-books are your best option.

Out-of-Print Classics

Many classic books are no longer in print.  The large publishing houses are not interested in reprinting older books unless they are used in university or high school courses or featured in Oprah's book club!  

You might find them in a second-hand book shop in motley condition.  But you are very likely to find them on the Internet for free.  You can enjoy these classics, for free, immediately, with only a few clicks of your mouse.

Click here to go directly to Lesson 1


There are hundreds of thousands of books on the Internet, both classics and new releases, both free and to purchase.

Print publishers are converting their back-lists to E-Books.  And many new titles are available at a lower price in E-Book format.

Adjustable type-size makes all E-Texts and E-Books potential large-type editions.

Add-ons make most E-Books potential Audio-Books.

You can search through the entire text of an E-Text or E-Book in seconds for any word, as researchers and students already know, then bookmark the result.

E-Publishers are today's Boutique Publishers, offering small runs of unique books at affordable prices.

Many out-of-print classics are available as E-Texts or E-Books.