As billions of people hunker down, a lot of social interaction and entertainment has moved online.
Some are looking at the next few weeks as a chance to take stock and do some of the things that we don’t normally have time to do.
That could mean finally organising your closet, developing a new hobby, or reading.
If you go through novels as fast as I do, however, things could get tricky. Once you’ve read everything in your house, you won’t be able to go out and buy something new.
That’s why it’s incredible that Internet Archive is making it possible for people around the globe to access books online for free.
Students, teachers, and readers can now access over 1.4 million books for free as part of the National Emergency Library, a project launched on Tuesday by the Internet Archive to aid remote learning efforts.
The Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization known for creating the Wayback Machine, has previously digitized more than one million books donated by educational institutions and libraries. The books in the National Emergency Library are titles from Open Library, another Internet Archive project, that have had their waitlists removed. Unlike a typical lending library, multiple users can access a single digital copy of a book at the same time.
The idea is to provide universal access to knowledge by making information available to everyone who needs it. That information isn’t necessarily academic. You can also settle in with a good novel.
Textbooks like Introduction to Electrodynamics and Developmental Biology made up some of the most-viewed titles at the time of writing, but were outnumbered by novels and books for pleasure (Things Fall Apart; Call Me by Your Name; Pimp: The Story of My Life).
The creators of the project hope that by opening the library, people will spend more time on books and less time on social media.
We live in hope.
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