I have mentioned Project Gutenberg before for individual books, but there are so many good German books available, it deserves a blog post on its own. Project Gutenberg digitalises old books which have no copyright anymore, According to the website “no fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, we kindly ask you to donate a small amount so we can buy and digitize more books”.
Most books are in English but the list of German books is also growing. They are available to download in various forms, including Kindle, or you can just read online, and some can be listened to.
Check out some of the old classic children’s books:
- Max und Moritz
- Die Biene Maja
- Aladdin und die Wunderlampe
- Der Mann im Mond
- Rübezahl, one of the books I loved as a child, so I’ve just got the kindle version
- There are even some books which original versions were in English. If you were a fan of Tom Sawyer,why not try reading it in German
There are so many more books, too many to mention, including non-fiction books. I’ve just downloaded Reise durch England and Schottland, written by Johanna Schopenhauer (1766 – 1838), mother of Arthur Schopenhauer, as I’m intrigued by her journey through England and Scotland.
These books are not for beginners, but anybody who has a good knowledge of German and wants to keep it up may find some gems amongst those books. let me know if you’ve downloaded – and enjoyed – one!
EDIT 2018: For those of you living in Germany, there have been bad news as all the books are blocked. See PROJECT GUTENBERG BLOCKS ACCESS IN GERMANY TO ALL ITS PUBLIC DOMAIN BOOKS BECAUSE OF LOCAL COPYRIGHT CLAIM ON 18 OF THEM