8.21.2021 – free faded pages

free faded pages
with hope that mainly you will
enjoy reading them

Doing the Google for a short snippet of text that I wanted to use, I came across the website, Fadedpage.com.

I found what I was looking for and downloaded the text file of the material I want and didn’t think much else about at the time.

At first glance, fadedpage.com looked to be another website of free e books that was tossed out online without much more thought than that to be online was enough.

Nothing against the Gutenberg Project and I have been aware of their efforts for over 25 years (a lifetime online), but it does get a little annoying when free ebooks don’t look quite right on your reader.

OCR or Optical character recognition is a wonderful, if flawed program but it is getting better and more and more books are coming online everyday.

Sometimes it is great just to have the book on your reader regardless of the quality of the text.

But I have to say that gets old quick.

I had some reason to find that file I had downloaded and reopen it and I noticed something.

The text was clean and easy to read.

Incredibly so.

I looked over the file and found the website and felt like the feller who fell down a hole and found a gold mine.

First off the site is Canadian.

Them there Canadains are throwing digital tons of great content online.

Recent the entire 50,000 pages of the diary Mackenzie King.

King was Prime Minister of Canada from 1921–1926, 1926–1930 and 1935–1948.

Also John D. Rockefeller Jr. hired him at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, as its new Department of Industrial Research as one of the earliest expert practitioners in the emerging field of industrial relations.

Mr. King met and knew just about everybody who was anybody in the world including FDR, Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler.

After a day dealing with these folks, Mr. King would come home and dictate his thoughts for HOURS.

This archive of incite is just now beginning to be understood and delved into.

The fact that Mr. King also communed with spirits, using seances with paid mediums and claimed to have communicated with Leonardo da Vinci, Wilfrid Laurier, his dead mother, his grandfather, and several of his dead dogs, as well as the spirit of the late President Roosevelt should not lesson the historical importance of this archive.

And those Canadian’s put it all online, for free!

Back to fadedpage.

It must be something in Canada.

As the website states: Faded Page is an archive of eBooks that are provided completely free to everyone. The books are produced by volunteers all over the world, and we believe they are amongst the highest quality eBooks anywhere. Every one has been scanned, run through OCR software, proofed, formatted and assembled extremely carefully, using hundreds of volunteer hours.

They do warn that no CANDADIAN COPYRIGHT laws have been violated but maybe you should check the rules in your country.

Then the website states, “You are free to do whatever you like with these books, but we hope that mainly…you will enjoy reading them.”

Brings tears to me eyes.

At this time there are about 6500 books, magazines and journals available at your finger tips.

I have logged into the website and already added any number of books to my e readers.

Many of the books and journals are pretty odd.

A six volume HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR for CHILDREN caught my eye.

But it also brought to mind an odd little note posted in my brain.

I remember being in the World’s Greatest Bookstore in Toronto and wandering through the history section.

I was struct by the size and extent of the section on World War 1.

It reemphasized for me that the United States more or less visited that war.

While the Canadians were fully vested member countries in that World War.

Thinking of that trip also reminded me how I visited several used bookstores in Toronto.

I was struck by that fact that so many of the books had London imprints.

I asked one of the store owners about it.

He was happy to tell that it was cheaper for bookstores in Canada to order books from British publishers than from the United States.

I guess it has always been hard for me to accept that Canada was really a foreign country.

If you grew up like I did in Michigan, Canada was just over there across the river.

I continue to browse the library at fadedpage.com and I came across one other oddity of online legalese and world markets and copyrights.

I noticed that some of my favorite books, The Horatio Hornblower Series, all 11 volumes are listed.

And I checked the text for Commodore Hornblower and I am happy to say that the complete text is there, not like the current version floating around the pirate download sites.

I had to wonder.

Why in the United States do I need to pirate ebook versions of Hornblower when they were all available online for free Canada.

Then I noticed something really goofy.

We all know that CS Forester wrote the Hornblower books don’t we?

For some reason, all the books on fadedpage.com were written by someone named Cecil Louis Troughton Smith.

Huh what?

Then I checked the download page.

It states, Smith, Cecil Louis Troughton Writing under the pseudonym: Forester, C. S. (Cecil Scott).

Then the penny dropped.

Most like the family or agent for CS Forester had kept up the copyright for that name.

But somehow neglected to re-register Cecil Louis Troughton Smith.

Goofy but we all win.

Not only are all the Hornblower books available but every written by Smith, Cecil Louis Troughton Writing under the pseudonym: Forester, C. S. (Cecil Scott).

Books that have been long out of print.

Books that I have searched used bookstores for years to find.

Books I have ordered and actually paid for when all else failed.

There is a lot of George Orwell in here.

There is a lot of CS Lewis in here.

There is a lot in here.

I may disappear for the rest of the summer.

But I will at some point toast these good people, these wonderful Canadians.

People who write, “You are free to do whatever you like with these books, but we hope that mainly…you will enjoy reading them.”

How far that little candle throws his beams!

So shines a good deed in a weary world.

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