Read Project Gutenberg e-books with eTextReader

By Mark O’Neill

As well as being a writer, I am also a voluntary proofreader for Project Gutenberg. But although I volunteer my time to proofread books to be turned into digital files, I am keenly aware that there are not so many good reading programs for e-books. Microsoft has its Reader, Adobe has its Reader and Amazon has recently introduced Kindle. But since Gutenberg e-books are published mainly in text file format, that excludes the possibility of using any of the services just mentioned.

A while back, a colleague at Project Gutenberg sent me the link for eTextReader and I have to admit that it doesn’t do such a bad job. In fact it displays the text quite well. The interface looks like an open book and you can navigate through the “pages” by using the arrow keys on your computer keyboard.

Other features include being able to change the font and the font size (if black Times New Roman isn’t your thing). You can also change the text color, the background color, and you can make clickable bookmarks to mark your place in the story. In fact it was the bookmarks that made it the deal-clincher for me as I was tired of reading an e-book, taking a break, then losing my place in the story.

I live in hope that one day e-book technology will get a lot better but in the meantime I am quite content with eTextReader.