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A handy way to add free books to your eReader

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I do a lot of reading on my tablet every day. While I have bought a few eBooks, I enjoy finding things for free on Project Gutenberg[1]; it rekindles fond memories of browsing through the stacks of a library for something to catch my interest. There are various ways to search the PG website by title or author, but this presumes you have some idea of what you’re looking for.

I have used the Magic Catalog[2], but I seem to have seen or read every book listed there that interests me, and as far as I can tell the catalog is about ten years old. In 2017 alone, PG added 2,423 books to its catalog, so perhaps 20,000 have been added over the last ten years.

From the Project Gutenberg website, you can link to the Offline Catalogs[3] and download a plain-text list of all the books freely available, but the file is 6.6 MB—a little unwieldy. Even the list for 2017 only is a bit tedious to scan. So I decided to make my own web page from this list, including links to each book (similar to the Magic Catalog), and turn that into an eBook. This turned out to be easier than you might expect. The trick is to use regex; specifically, regex as featured in Kwrite[4].

First, strip out the preamble text, which explains various details about Project Gutenberg. The listing begins after that:

 
~ ~ ~ ~ Posting Dates for the below eBooks:  1 Dec 2017 to 31 Dec 2017 ~ ~ ~ ~

TITLE and AUTHOR                                    

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