In my quest to fill my new Kobo with some good things to read, I quickly found Project Gutenberg, which has tons of public domain books to download in various ebook formats. Unfortunately, most of its books are basically plaintext files. That is great for longevity and flexibility, but is not great for readability on an e-reader. Many (most?) of its books don’t look great on your Kindle or Kobo (or what have you).

Luckily, I found a website that fixes those formatting problems—at least for a subset of Project Gutenberg books: Standard Ebooks. From its About page:

Standard Ebooks is a volunteer-driven effort to produce a collection of high quality, carefully formatted, accessible, open source, and free public domain ebooks that meet or exceed the quality of commercially produced ebooks. The text and cover art in our ebooks is already believed to be in the U.S. public domain, and Standard Ebooks dedicates its own work to the public domain, thus releasing the entirety of each ebook file into the public domain. All the ebooks we produce are distributed free of cost and free of U.S. copyright restrictions.

So far, I like Standard Ebooks. Impressively, each of its books are available in four formats: ePub (in both “compatible” and “advanced” flavors for most e-readers), azw3 (for Kindle), and kepub (for Kobo). I wish there were more selection, but I guess that’s partly on me. I could clean up a public domain ebook and contribute it to the site.