Sunday, 7 January 2007

Mousetrap - 86

After the party season, there are usually a lot of leftovers. Here are a few sites that got dropped from various editions of this column for space reasons.

Ex Libris
Frequent readers of this column will know that I have a bit of a bias towards book- and reading-related sites. I included a few free book sites in the Christmas Eve column. Here are a few more, to keep the spirit of giving alive.
Project Gutenberg
The grand-daddy of all the free books sites, as far as I know. There are over 20,000 titles to choose from.
The Online Books Page
Another 25,000+ books here. Includes “an index to thousands of freely available online books, pointers to significant directories and archives of online texts, and special exhibits of particularly interesting classes of online books”
Universal Library
Hosted at the Carnegie Mellon University, this ambitious site (“The mission is to create a Universal Library which will foster creativity and free access to all human knowledge”) has serious involvement from India and China, who are each providing over 2000 man-years of scanning, indexing and hosting to the cause.
Million Book Project
Not quite a million yet, but there are 10,528 items as of this writing, from the Indian scanning centres of the Universal Library Project.
Digital Library of India
From what I could see, mainly non-fiction and a lot of academic works here. It is a partner of the Million Book Project.

You got rhythm?
(This one got left out from the column three weeks ago that focussed on unusual new ways to find things online.) Got that song bouncing around in your head, but can’t remember the name? Or, perchance, the words? SongTapper invites you to come play the beat on your keyboard and it will help you find the song you want. With links to buy it, of course. Now, while I cheerfully admit to not having even musical cartilege in my body, I did once pride myself on my sense of rhythm. But maybe the years have taken their toll, because I couldn’t get a single song right. You, perhaps, will do better. Write in and tell me about it. I will be practising my dancing.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail The writer blogs at

Published in the Times of India / Outlook Traveller, Mumbai edition, 7th January, 2007.

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