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The Portable Harvard Classics
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Welcome to the Portable Harvard Classics!

While complete sets of the Harvard Classics are available on ebay for just a few hundred dollars, the volumes, one and all, carry the same fatal flaw. They are bulky, heavy, unbendable, and, lets face it, made of paper.

The Portable Harvard Classics was born of necessity. I travel extensively, read voraciously, and collect compulsively. I found the Harvard Classics online and I was hooked! But how was I to bring this massive collection with me in my many and varied travels. I needed a solution to this dilema. Thanks to the good folks at, practically the entire 51 volume Harvard Classics collection, as well as the 20 volume Shelf of Fiction, are available online. And so was begun the Portable Harvard Classics project.

My plan is to convert each and every tale, history, essay, treatise, poem and volume into plain text. From there, one by one, they are finding their way onto my little Palm m130 for my reading pleasure while on the bus, train or airplane.

And through the goodness of my heart, and at the suggestion of my son, I am making my magnum opus available to all of you. Feel free to distribute these files to all and sundry. There is no copyright on these volumes so give 'em to your friends, send 'em to your family, and distribute them to your co-workers and fellow students through anonymous emails.
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Update (Feb 14, 2006) VALENTINE'S DAY

This is for all you literature lovers out there!
More books! The February Reading list (a little late) is now available. AND "Vanity Fair" by William Makepeace Thackeray (Volumes 5 & 6 of the Shelf of Fiction) are now available for download.

Update (Feb 13, 2006)

Double your Fun!
Both volumes 9 - Treatises and Letters by Cirecro and Pliny AND 10 - The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith of the Harvard Classics are now available for download! Also now available "Four Major Plays" by Henrik Ibsen as part of the Century Collection.

Update (Jan 5, 2006)

Happy New Year!
Volume 8 of the Harvard Classics (Nine Greek Dramas) is now available for download.

Update (Dec 20/05) - Start The New Year Right!

Hi Folks!

Do you love the Harvard Classics? Have you benefited in any way from your reading? Now is your chance to tell the world!

A new Harvard Classics discussion group is starting up this New Year and will be following the 15 minute/day reading plan. You can sign up here

To provide a gentle introduction to the great works for a reader with a modest amount of time, Dr. Eliot outlined a daily reading program designed to take approximately fifteen minutes each day for the course of one calendar year from January 1 through December 31.

Participants in this group are following the Harvard Classics Reading Program for the calendar year 2006. Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on the readings or related matters to the group.

Due to the kind generosity, and hard work, of Ralph, who will be moderating the group, and Bob, at, I have started to compile all of the readings for a month into a single document, downloadable from the website.

I have set up a new webpage, which is accessible through the Classics shelf. Just click on the small booklet in the upper right corner to open the new volume.

I am trying something a little different, using a graphic of an open book, and allowing you to browse the page. Hovering your mouse over different areas of the page will allow you to discover all that the page has, or will eventually have, to offer. Your comments are welcome.

Update (Nov 20/05)

BIG CHANGES. Now on my very own domain! All visitors are being redirected here from my old free site, so please reset your bookmarks. I forsaw the need for more room, so now I am paying for this site. And no, I don't want your money. It is, as my lovely wife said, just part of the cost of having a hobby.

ASLO - Now available. The Five Foot Shelf (Harvard Classics)
Volume VI - The Songs and Poems of Robert Burns (that one took a LONG time to transfer) and The Shelf of Fiction Volume IV - Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott.

Update (Sep 9/05)

Volume V of the Harvard Classics is now available.

Update (July 6/05)

Volume III of the Shelf of Fiction is now available.

Update (June 10/05)

Volumes I & II of the Shelf of Fiction, Volume I of the Century Collection and Volume IV of the Harvard Classics are now available.

Update (May 26/05))

Thanks to the suggestions of many visitors, I am only going to be posting the volumes as plain text files from now on. There are so many formats available that I thought it would serve more people to just stick with the basics (plus it saves on web space).

Update (Dec. 22/04)

Volume III of the Harvard Classics 5 Foot Shelf is now available!

Update (Dec. 21/04):

Once again, you can buy the Harvard Classics (5 Foot Shelf) in real (as opposed to digital) format from
Easton Press!

Also, take a few minutes to visit
Fifteen Minutes A Day.