A Short History of EBooks
A practical file size is about 3 million characters, more than long enough for the average book. The ASCII version of a 300- page novel is 1 M. A bulky book can fit in two ASCII files, that can be downloaded as is or in ZIP format. An average of 50 hours is necessary to get an ebook selected, copyright-cleared, scanned, proofread, formatted and assembled.
A few numbers are reserved for "special" books. For example, eBook #1984 is reserved for George Orwell's classic, published in 1949, and still a long way from falling into public domain.
The "output" in 2001 and 2002 was an average of 100 books per month.
In spring 2002, Project Gutenberg's ebooks represented 25% of all the public domain works freely available on the web, an impressive result if we think of all the pages that were scanned and proofread by thousands o