[gmonthly] Project Gutenberg Monthly Newsletter

Michael S. Hart hart at pglaf.org
Thu May 21 10:28:39 PDT 2009

Project Gutenberg Monthly Newsletter

The Project Gutenberg Monthly Newsletter, May. 21, 2009
eBooks Readable By Both Humans And Computers Since 1971

43 Months to The End of the World Via Mayan Calendaring
on December 21, 2012 [some now saying October 11, 2011]

Leaving 3 years 8 months, 14 2/3 seasons or 43 months.

Not to worry, I will still make long range predictions.

Hottest Predictions

Terabyte USB Flash Drives and Petabyte Hard Drives
[by 2015 and 2020, respectively]

Most public domain books will be eBooks by 2020.

Our apologies for no Newsletter on Apr. 21, due to some
major hardware difficulties.

However, hopefully you will find more than enough here,
to make up for lost time.

Headline News

Project Gutenberg is now referenced by TEI:


PG Listed in 100 Best Websites for Free Adult Education

As you may know, the world is approaching totals of 4.5 billon
cell phones so Project Gutenberg is making multiple efforts to
to reach more readers via this popular medium.

While most of those reporting in about seeing Kindles or Sonys
in the wild say they have seen none, I am sure most of us have
seen people text messaging on their phones, and that means the
idea of reading quotations already exists, and reading a whole
chapter or a whole book is the very next step.

To encourage this we are working with a number of services for
the preparation of Project Gutenberg eBooks for cell phones.

Please give these a try and let me know how they work for you.









[these should work on any Java enabled phone]

I, myself, have just purchased a "new" cell phone that should
do both cell and wifi and also includes an SD RAM slot with a
larger than average screen, in the hopes of creating a pocket
eBook reader doing most of what Kindle and Sony do but with a
greater memory capacity and a much lower price and no fees if
I use the wifi rather than the cell service to get the books.
It is hopefully arriving today and you will hear more later.

We have two articles about eBooks for cell phones, etc. and a
message from one of our readers on how to read eBooks on Palm
and related devices.

New Goal Set for Project Gutenberg; ONE BILLION READERS

The first goal of Project Gutenberg was simply to reach totals
of estimated audiences of 1.5% of the world population, or the
total of 100 million people.

With the advent of cell phone [mobile phone] access we are now
setting our goal at 15% of the world population or 1 billion.

Given that there are approximately 4.5 billion cell phones now
in service around the world, that means we would have to reach
just over 1/5 of all cell phone users to accomplish this.

Possible. . .but not likely unless we make it extremely easy!

To this end we will be emphasizing eBook reader programs for a
wide range of cell phones.

Given the estimated 4.5 billion cell phones that we could make
eBooks for today, presuming they can all display plain eBooks,
and the extremely slow rise in Kindle sales as compared to the
iPod, iPhone, Blackberry Curve, and all the others,  we should
be able to reach more readers than Kindle and Sony combined if
we just reach one cell phone user out of a thousand.  This has
to include many more languages than English, of course, so our
effort also has to be multi-lingual, if we are to reach anyone
beyond the number of people comfortable enough with English to
read our eBooks on their cell phones.

As many of you know, we already have well over a thousand book
titles in French, followed by lesser numbers in German and the
other more popular languages, but not nearly enough to really,
sincerely, say we are offering a library in these languages.

Once we complete a survey of our Top Ten languages we are down
to under 50 books per language. . .it's a start, only a start.

Second Article

The current rage in the eBook world is mobile readers--
portable devices carrying a hundred or a thousand books
for people to read whenever and wherever they like.

Such devices range from the smallest MP3 player screen,
to the entire range of cell phones, PDA's, etc., to the
new larger Kindle 2.

The iPod has had eBook reading available since the very
first week it was introduced, not to mention the reader
applications for the iPhone, for generic MP3 players or
any number of cell phones.

We are approaching, if we have not already passed, some
4.5 billion active cell phones, United Nations reported
early this year [4.2 billion at that time].

If just one cell phone out of a thousand is used for an
eBook reader, that is 4.5 million, far exceeding totals
for all eBook readers such as Kindle, Sony, Rocketbook,
Jetbook, and all the other similar products.

Thus, the programs to provide eBook reading services on
these various cell phones represents a larger audience,
by far, than even the billion plus owners of computers.

However, we have to make it EASY for them to read!!!

This means making the books easy to get, and easy to do
any required reformatting for their screens, if we will
not be offering preformatted eBooks for various phones,
PDA's, and other devices.

From: David Cantrell <david at cantrell.org.uk>

I like to use eReader to read on my PalmOS phone:
To convert Project Gutenberg texts into a suitable format, including
re-formatting the text so it flows better on the screen, I wrote
software in Perl.  You can download it here:
(includes a library and a command-line program 'pg2pdb' and
documentation).  Or on any modern operating system you should be

install it and the other libraries it depends on thus:
  $ cpan Palm::ProjectGutenberg
  $ sudo perl -MCPAN -e 'install qw(Palm::ProjectGutenberg)'

For those stuck on older machines, I have also made the
available through a webby interface here:
Simply upload a plain text file through the web form, and you'll get
back a .PDB file that you can put onto your PDA or phone.

A Few Major Projects For Your Consideration

1.  Web Pages Designed By And For Our Project Gutenberg Readers.

2.  Textbooks Are Becoming A More And More Highly Requested Item.

3.  Request To Help Complete Our Collection Of Andrew Lang Books.

4.  eBooks On Cellphones:  We Have Several Formats You Can Try.

1.  Web Pages Designed By And For Our Project Gutenberg Readers.

This would include other languages, web pages designed by and for
people of various ages from the youngest to the oldest, and, even
web pages designed around favorite subjects, favorite authors, or
even favorite books or characters.

Personally, I would LOVE to see web pages designed for readers at
various grade levels and then translated into many languages.

2.  Textbooks Are Becoming A More And More Highly Requested Item.

As more and more people spend more and more years homeschooling a
greater portion of modern kids, they are asking us for more books
to help teach any of the various subjects, from reading, writing,
and arithmetic, to geography and astronomy, to the dinosaurs, and
an enormous number of other subjects.

If you ever wanted to pass on your knowledge, now is the time and
the place, for books here last forever and cover the world.

3.  Request To Help Complete Our Collection Of Andrew Lang Books.

Many of you are familiar with the various "Color" Fairy Books, as
"The Red Fairy Book," by Andrew Lang, and a host of other colors,
but few of us have ever even seen a list of them all, including a
surprising number of books relating true events, etc.

If you find any Andrew Lang books, Fairy, Animal, True, etc., that
don't have in our collection, please let me know, and we will help
the process of completing this collection.

4.  eBooks On Cellphones:  We Have Several Formats You Can Try.

Let me know if you would like to help us set up our Cellphone pages
to bring more eBooks to more people in more of the world.

Our All Time Hottest Requests!!!!!!!


I am looking for the earliest flash RAM possible.

The very earliest were PCMCIA cards, such as used for the
Poqet computer, etc.

The earliest USB flash drives were DisgoDizgo, M-Systems
and these were OEMed by IBM, HP, etc. They are particular
in a recognizable fashion because their snapon connectors
resemble the connectors of jigsaw puzzles.

We received two examples of RAM actually labeled "Flash,"
for the H-P 95 pocket DOS machine from 1991, and a sample
of Fairchild bubble memory, as well, from down under.

Thank you, Mate!


We need someone who can do PowerPoint illustrations.

One in particular, building a 3-D box of 1,000 dominoes.

Additional Newsletter Services

In addition, we will provide the PG Canada Newsletter and
totals from PG of Australia, Europe, PrePrints, etc.

You should notice that we had a very good month, with 100
books done nearly every single week.

These totals do NOT include 75,000+ at


Where there are eBooks representing over 100 languages.

The Project Gutenberg Statistical Report
[As of about noon Central Daylight Time]

Various totals from the ~30,000 at


and our other Project Gutenberg Sites

This week:

      day       | cnt
 Thu 2009-05-14 |  10
 Fri 2009-05-15 |  14
 Sat 2009-05-16 |   9
 Sun 2009-05-17 |   9
 Mon 2009-05-18 |  14
 Tue 2009-05-19 |  13
 Wed 2009-05-20 |  12

Thanks to Marcello Perathoner!

Here are the current language totals
for languages with over 25 eBooks.

Grand total for today: 28,801 [-28,029] up 772 in two months]

24300   English en
1420    French  fr
578     German  de
498     Finnish fi
418     Dutch   nl
400     Chinese zh
322     Portuguese      pt
232     Spanish es
194     Italian it
63      Latin   la
58      Esperanto       eo
55      Swedish sv
54      Tagalog tl
29      Greek   el

>From March and February. . . .

Grand total for today: 28,029 [-27,475 =] up 554

23669   English en
1374    French  fr
567     German  de
490     Finnish fi
402     Dutch   nl
399     Chinese zh
302     Portuguese      pt
225     Spanish es
178     Italian it

Compared to last month's 27,475

23468   English en
1359    French  fr
560     German  de
484     Finnish fi
400     Chinese zh
387     Dutch   nl
294     Portuguese      pt
222     Spanish es
176     Italian it

Grand total for today: 27,475 [- 27,188 ] +287

23,277 [ - 23,075 =] +202  English en
 1,333 [ -  1,319 =] + 14  French  fr
   556 [ -    553 =] +  3  German  de
   480 [ -    476 =] +  4  Finnish fi
   392 [ -    377 =] + 25  Chinese zh
   370 [ -    361 =] +  9  Dutch   nl
   287 [ -    267 =] + 20  Portuguese pt
   218 [ -    217 =] +  1  Spanish es
   169 [ -    164 =] +  5  Italian it

Not to mention PrePrints, Canada, Australia, Europe....

Total increase       +287      All Reported Languges

and from the previous month. . . .

Grand total for today 27,188 [ - 26,867 =] +321

23,075 [ - 22,863 =] + 212   English en
 1,319 [ -  1,289 =] +  76   French  fr
   553 [ -    549 =] +   4   German  de
   476 [ -    470 =] +   6   Finnish fi
   361 [ -    359 =] +   2   Dutch   nl
   377 [ -    359 =] +  18   Chinese zh
   267 [ -    260 =] +   7   Portuguese pt
   217 [ -    207 =] +  10   Spanish es
   164 [ -    159 =] +   5   Italian it


Total increase       + 321     All Reported Lanugages

Thanks to Greg Newby!


And From Project Gutenberg Sites Worldwide [2 months]

28,801   up   772  PG General Automated Count
 1,760   up    32  PG of Australia
   631   up    66  PG of Europe
 2,021   up     8  PG PrePrints, Reserved [42],etc.
   266   up    44  PG of Canada, Estimated.
33,479   up   922  Grand Total [461/month, two months]

>From March

27,475  +   287    PG General Automated Count
 1,723  +     6    PG Australia
   553  +    13    PG Europe
 2,494  +    33    PG PrePrints
   202  +    12    PG Canada  [Estimated]
32,447  +   349    by various automated counts and newsletters

Note  Without counting PrePrints, we are still about 30K,
and some of the new .lit collection will not make it under
our current rules of addition from PrePrints, and would be
deleted from PrePrints without moving to other listings.

The 307 Chinese eBooks in PrePrints will probably go, as a
team of our best Chinese workers says they are not worth a
lot more time to work on, etc.

Note  There are perhaps 100 eBooks not listed here
that are already in circulation from Project Gutenberg.

Note  PG Canada includes English, French, and Italian.

Here is how we ended 2008

27,616   PG General Automated Count
 1,726   Project Gutenberg of Australia
   554   Project Gutenberg of Europe
   225   Project Gutenberg of Canada [Estimated]
         [202 up to December, no current report]
 2,431   PrePrints [Counting the 307 Chinese eBooks +111]
======   ======
32,552   Grand Total [Counting those PrePrints]

Here is how we ended 2007

The combined PG projects had produced a total of 26,161 titles.

The most number of books posted...
 ...in one day was 65 on the 26th December
 ...in one week was 151 in Week 18 (week ending 9th May)
 ...in one month was 477 in November

We averaged
338 per month [Over 4,000 for the year]
 78 per week
 11.13 per day

99 titles were newly REposted to the new filing system, bringing us

almost to the 2,000 mark.

Here is a small selection of project milestones;

TOTAL Original Project Gutenberg eBooks equals about
the number of books in the average U.S. public library
  32,500 on 20082121 [Counting the 307 Chinese Preprints]
                     [And presuming 3 after official count]
  32,000 on Calcuating
  31,500 on 20081021 [not an error, 1,777 PrePrints]
  30,000 on 20081021
  29,500 on 20080919
  29,000 ~~ Calculating
  28,500 ~~ Calculating
  28,000 ~~ 20080516
  27,500 on 20080405
  27,000 ~~ 20080229
  26,500 on 20080126
  26,000 on 20071224
  25,000 on 20071012
  24,000 on 20070710
  23,000 on 20070415

  1,700 on 20081010
  1,600 on 20080208
  1,500 on 20070407

PG Canada
  175 on 20080930
  100 on 20080325
  110 on 20080417

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