As most of you might now, most Classic Literature lacks rights. As in, no copyright or anything, which means it possible for whatever person feeling like it to publish those texts etc.. That means that 99% of books where the author has been dead for more than 70 years, would be avaible.
I've got a CD containing about 2000+ books, and obviously there's a lot of them on the net.
Project Gutenberg is one of the better, and a really serious project in making as much of the Classic literature avaible, as possible.
When it comes to classic Swedish literature, for those interested in reading in Swedish, Projekt Runeberg is, in a way, a sister project to Gutenberg, for Swedish literature.
Now, I've always loved books, as in.. paper books. To have them, to feel them etc, and.. reading long texts on the screen isn't as comfortable, hey.. it's hard to having to drag the monitor to the bed and hold it for long while reading :P, as reading in a book.
Still, of course.. that hard to find book, if you dont happen to live close to a "Akademibokhandel", "Waterstones" or "Barnes & Nobles", might be avaible, for free.
Three of my "You really should read... " books, as an example, is avaible online: William Makepeace Thackeray's "Barry Lyndon" (As, of course, is most of his other books), as well as: Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Mort d'Arthur" and: Abraham Stoker's "Dracula" (Which, by the way, is my favorite book of all).
Even if I don't have any links to any site, obviously there's a lot of sites with brand new literature as well.. as in unpublished work. A lot of "the hope to become authors" or people who has written a lot, but lacks interest in trying to get it published, might publish their attempts online.
Still, as I said.. I do prefer to have it as a book, to be able to hold it etc.. but, of course.. it's better to be able to read it in the first place, than not reading it at all, and it might encourage me to read books I've thought about (or not thought about) reading but never got going reading.. I've, as an example, been really interested in reading the Austen or Brontë books, but.. it's easier said than done to actually pick up the book in the bookstore and bring it home.
Then, of course, it raises a question.. Yes, Classic books in the bookstore is often cheaper than newer books, but not by much. You might get it for a Pound or Dollar less than a "modern" book (at least when it comes to Paperbacks, which most classics is avaible as), but the difference from a new book isn't as dramatic as one might suspect, knowing that the text in that book is absolutely free to the publisher. No author to pay, no promotion of the book etc, and more often than not, a sure seller. Yes... they're classic for a reason, people has bought those books through all times, and even if the shelves are raided by people, the classics do sell.. Now, I'm grateful that Penguin Classics, as an example, exists and continue providing those classics to buy and they really should be supported and encouraged by people going out an buying the books they publish.