This Weekend in Urbana, IL: Estate Book Sale of Project Gutenberg Founder Michael Hart

hartshelfAre you going to be in the vicinity of Urbana, IL this weekend? There’s a little paper book estate sale you might want to stop by. Now, normally we probably wouldn’t make such a big deal about paper book sales, but this happens to be the the estate sale of Michael Hart—the founder of Project Gutenberg, and one of the principal reasons we can read e-books on handheld devices today.

The sale site is posted in the form of an amusingly cheeky WordPress blog, with pictures of some of the books that will be offered for sale. The ground rules for the sale include the fact that books with cover prices will be sold at those prices—including old pre-inflation paperbacks. Also, the sale will start promptly at 9, with no early-birds permitted, and they express a hope that most books will go to individual readers, not dealers.

Ordinarily, I’d think it was kind of sad to see a man’s collection of books parceled out after he passed away—but Michael Hart dedicated his life to promoting reading. I’d like to think he would approve of seeing his books go to other people who would like to read them in turn.

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