ohn's

eading Room

is a virtual library of 1,136 free e-books were taken from "Planet PDF", "ProjectGutenberg", "Public Library for the People", "Tale Books", "Mesa View Classics", "Girl e-Books", and "Drew's Script-O-Rama" among other sites, the addresses of which can be found on the cover of some books.

       This library mostly tries to stay within the Public Domain.

       Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights [copyrights] have expired, have been forfeited (無効にされた), or are inapplicable. For example, the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, most of the early silent films, the formulae of Newtonian physics, ...are all now in the public domain. The term is not normally applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission".

       As rights are country-based and vary, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another. Some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, and the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, creates public domain status for a work in that country. [Wikipedia]

What this means is that pre-1925 published works are in the Public Domain in the US, but not all PDF books on the Internet are pre-1925.  This creates several difficulties: first, you will find many of the books here seem outdated (but that doesn't make them any less readable); second, when a book is more recent, it is either deliberately or unintentionally not of the same quality as the same item you would find in a book store.

       Higher level readers will be able to guess what a correct spelling should be, but lower level readers might find it challenging.  A good example is while the young couple is planning to rob the restaurant at the beginning of Pulp Fiction, the man calls "Garcon" to get the waitress's attention, and the woman says, "'Garcon' means boy. She splits."  Actually, her spoken sentence ends with "boy", but the script continues with her act of spitting (saying abruptly), not splitting.

       Another problem is with regional speech.  This is especially true with Mark Twain stories.  At the beginning of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Tom are trying to escape Miss Watson's house to go have some fun:

We went tiptoeing along a path... When we was passing by the kitchen I...made a noise. We scrouched down and laid still...

‘Who dah?’ [Who's there?]

...Then [Jim] come tiptoeing down and stood right between us... Pretty soon Jim says:

‘Say, who is you? Whar is you? Dog my cats ef I didn’ hear sumf’n [something]. Well, I know what I’s gwyne [am going] to do: I’s gwyne [am going] to set down here and listen tell [till] I hears it agin.’

A native speaker can imagine pretty well what they're saying, but even a high-level reader might find it challenging.  The bottom line for you is to choose what you feel comfortable reading.

What to Download

       I strongly recommend that you take your "Reading Log" readings from here!  They're good; they're free, and there's a very wide range to choose from.  And best yet, you can keep them--you can't give them back!  The Movies section is the most popular, especially The Devil Wears Prada and Back to the Future, but I've seen some Reading Log titles from Philosophy, Classics, and Art, and I respect that because our reason for doing this is to prepare you for Academic, and pop culture can't do that.

       Of course, many of these books are pretty hard to read, so you have to use your judgement.  If by chance you have downloaded a book and found it not to your liking, feel free to delete it and find something different.  In the Reading Log, you needn't justify a change in reading material.  If you read only ten pages of a given book and then switch to something else, it's perfectly okay as long as you fulfill the 70-page reading requirement.  (While most students concentrate on only one book, some like to read a different book every week to get a sampling of as many books as possible.)

How to Read the Labels

       The PDF files come from different sources, so they are all labeled differently.  Be careful how you read them.  For example:

A._KIPPIS-NARRATIVE_OF_THE_VOYAGES_ROUND_THE_WORLD_-.pdf  Size : 905 Kb

The author of this book is "A. Kippis", and the title is "Narrative of the Voyages Round the World".  Note that only a hyphen separates the author from the title.  This file weighs in at 905 kilobytes, which makes it just under one megabyte--a bit large.

       Another example:

Caesar. Julius!Julius Caesar's War Commentaries (Civil Wars).pdf  Size : 281 Kb

Here, the author is "Julius Caesar" (last name first).  That exclamation mark does not mean "Wow!"  It acts as a colon (:) separating the author from the title, in this case "Julius Caesar's War Commentaries".  The file size is 281 kilobytes, which is much smaller.

       Note that the first title shouts at you in UPPER CASE and the second one doesn't and that the first one has underlines between words and the second one doesn't.  There was a time when computers couldn't handle spaces between words--well, all that's changed.  You will find many PDF titles with no hyphens or underlines.

How to Download

       You need Acrobat Reader. Select a title and click on it.  If a PDF doesn't open immediately, it's because it "timed out" (taking too long to download because of its size).  You may have to hit the Back button and try again several times.  A download box will appear with three buttons: "Open", "Save" and "Cancel". My Acrobat Reader has "Save" and "Print" icons. It's really your choice which one to click.

       If you don't want to keep the book, simply click "Open".  The book will open up on your screen for you to skim through.  If you click the X button, it will disappear.  However, if you decide to keep it after all, find the save button in the tool bar and click it.

       If you click "Save", make sure you have a flash drive to send it to because I don't want our computers filling up with PDF files. (Please note that a saved PDF file will always open to the last page you were reading, which means you will never lose your place.)

       If you've changed your mind about reading a title, click "Cancel" or X and the PDF will disappear.

       If you want to print, be sure to tell the printer from which page to which page, or you could end up with hundreds, even thousands of pages spewing out of the copier. Some students like to make double-sided, two pages per side, so that a 100-page book can be printed out on only 25 A-4 sheets of paper.  Double-sided, four pages per side will come out 12 1/2 A-4 sheets of paper, but the font size will be a strain on your eyes.

The Categories

 Welcome to the Literature Wing

       What you will find here are four general categories: Classics (1-5), Folklore (6), Popular Literature (7-9) and Books By and For Women (10).  Classics are works written from ancient times up until the 19th century that have withstood the test of time.  Folklore has to do with folk culture as well as stories.  Popular literature consists of books you would find in the paperback section at a convenience store, such as mysteries, movie scripts, science fiction, and romance novels.  Of special interest for girls are the "Books by and for Women".

Total: 699 Volumes


 Welcome to the Humanities Wing

       This section is smaller than the Literature section by 131 volumes, but that does not make it any less important.  What you will find here can be broken down into the arts [art and music] (11), technology (12, 13), languages (14), belief and thought systems (15-17), history (18), and geography (19, 20).  This is where the fun stuff is.  The Computer category is really worth exploring to learn more about alternative operating systems, and for anyone who is interested in Mathematics, there is a very small section in the Science category.

Total: 437 Volumes

Grand Total: 1,136 Volumes
in 20 Categories!