Guten Reader, Read 18000 Gutenberg ebooks

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 20, 2010
Updated • Mar 20, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows software

Project Gutenberg offers one of the largest public domain ebook collections in the world. The website of the project is probably not the easiest to navigate, which is why many users may find alternatives such as Guten Reader useful.

Guten Reader is a Java application, which means that users need to have the latest Java Runtime Evironment (JRE) installed on their computer system before they can launch the ebook reader.

Guten Reader offers a simple interface with two main areas; A left sidebar that offers a search, the search results and a few text formatting settings, and the right area that displays the selected ebook so that it can be read in the application window.

Users can enter a search term, including book titles or authors, and the application will fill the results listing with hits. It is furthermore possible to pick selected authors directly from the pulldown menu next to the search.

A double-click on any search results item loads it in the main area. The book is loaded completely which means it may take a few moments before it appears, especially on systems with slower Internet connections.

The formatting options at the bottom allow the user to select a font and font size, and to enable text smoothing and the highlighting of dictionary words.

And that's it. But that's actually all that is needed to enjoy the ebook reader. There are a few things that the developer could optimize. It would for instance make sense to enable the caching of books, so that they do not have to be loaded again if they have been loaded before. Other desirable options are bookmarks to make it easier to continue reading a book that has been read at a previous session, and a better option to select a font from the list of available ones.

Guten Reader is a lightweight desktop reader for English Project Gutenberg ebooks. Guten Reader was tested on a Windows 7 Pro system with the latest JRE installed. It should work on all systems that Java can be installed on.


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  1. kalmly said on November 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Nice. I’m downloading this.

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