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Frequently Asked Questions at Century Past

Is it legal to read books on Century Past?

Books on the Century Past that are still in copyright (most of the books published since 1925) are actually hosted at the Internet Archive.  That site acts as a lending library for in-copyright books, where you can legally borrow them.  See ‘Borrowing from the Lending Library‘.

How can I browse for fiction books by subject?

Most Non-Fiction collections on Century Past also contain fiction books on that subject.  So you can use our Non-Fiction Subject Index by clicking Non-Fiction in the top menu. Or see “How to Find Free Books Online“, here on Century Past for tips on doing a subject search on Internet Archive.

Books at Internet Archive don’t fit well on my screen.

When you have the book open in Internet Archive, click the “one-page view” button at the bottom right corner of the screen, and then keep zooming in to make the type large and clear.  That one-page view also enables scroll-down. Note the icon with three dots in a circle at the left edge of the book window. Use it to open a screen that allows you to adjust brightness and contrast. You can read Internet Archive books in Adobe Digital Editions if you prefer.  There is guidance here.

How can I find free books on my subject?

See “How to Find Free Books Online“, here on Century Past.

‘Collection’ entries have hundreds of books, but my phone only lets me view 25.

Each book entry called Collections on Century Past has a link to a search results page at Internet Archive. That page shows thumbnail images of all the books that appeared in the subject search. Often there are hundreds of books – sometimes there are thousands. That makes sense, because Internet Archive has over 3 million books.
If you’re using a PC you can scroll down through all those book icons, but a phone or tablet may stop scrolling after the first 25 books.  So, how can you see more of the collection?  Here are some suggestions:

A. Use the Topics & Subjects filter on Internet Archives Books page to view a smaller set of books. On a phone, you should find it by opening Filters. (On a PC, look in the left column of the search results page). About 6 Topics and Subjects are listed, followed by More. Click More.
A long list of topics opens, usually with several pages. You can check as many boxes as you like. Clicking Apply your filters at the bottom will process the new search results.

B. Sort the Search Results alphabetically.  On a phone, set the selector box beneath Filters to “TITLE” (if your phone allows it). That will reveal a row of A-Z buttons. Each button will open up to 25 titles (on a phone).

CFavorite the books you want to read. If you can, view the complete search results on a computer while logged in to Internet Archive.  Use the Favorite icon on the right side of any Internet Archive Book page to add that book to your personal Favorites folder. 
Now you can log into Internet Archive on any device, click your account name, and find all the books you saved in My Favorites.  (I use this a lot because I prefer reading books on my tablet.)

Please feel free to make suggestions or ask questions.

Use our Comments – Suggestions page.

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

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