"Books are the treasured wealth of the world, the fit inheritance of generations and nations."
-Henry David Thoreau

"There's no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature . . . You can get into the best minds that are now or that have ever been in the world."
-Stephen Covey

About joggoon

joggoon is brought to you FREE by the husband and wife team of Ken and Erin Douglass. Ken handles design and implementation; Erin assists with creative input and content, as well as marketing the site to homeschoolers. We strive for the simplicity of the user experience while also working hard to provide an optimized, configurable reader interface. While our primary focus is on young readers, we are sure adults will find many enjoyable works within joggoon as well.

The idea for joggoon was borne out of our love for good reading. Much research has been done regarding the benefits of reading "the classics". There is also much that has been said about ebooks vs. printed books. We would like to address both of these points as a large part of the motivation behind the continued expansion and improvement of the joggoon experience.

Why Read Classic Literature?

Most of our authors are from the Victorian era - the 19th and early 20th centuries - during a time when so much of our present day cultures were fashioned. Novels written during this time were written as High Art, the craft of weaving stories that not only entertain, but expand one's vocabulary, improve memory, and foster creativity. These authors have much to offer our own generation if we would only take the time to read and, even moreso, encourage our children to read these works.

In contrast, today's novels tend to be written in a lower manner - easy to read, fast paced and with entertainment only as their goal. They require little deep thinking and often rely on 'fluff' and unnecessary explicit language.

Classic literature often presents a moral lesson or shares deep, real life issues that every generation shares in the struggles of life. A great part of the experience in reading these books is finding the treasures hidden within their pages. Walt Disney once remarked, "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." When we read these books, we find characters that we can identify with and learn from in our own life's struggle, a sentiment C.S. Lewis conveyed in his comment, "We read to know we are not alone." Books are more than stories or entertainment - they are companions that can be returned to time and again.

Several years ago, The Jenkins Group performed a study (in the form of a survey) that revealed 42% of college graduates will never read another book. That statistic is wholly sad: "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read." (Mark Twain). Read this article from Pick the Brain to learn 10 Ways to Improve Your Mind by Reading the Classics.

Ebooks or Printed Books?

This debate is not one we feel compelled to engage in regarding joggoon. We love the printed word, the look, feel, and experience that is gained from curling up in front of a fire and losing oneself in the mind of a classic writer.

However, we do support the use of digital technology to preserve, and distribute, classic works of literature and other sources of important information and reading. To that end, a lot of unknown classic works are out of print and virtually hard to find, let alone impossible to know about. This is where we tout the importance of ebooks. Through libraries of these works, such as joggoon, classic works of literature are not only preserved, but available in user-friendly formats.

Some have pointed out that activities such as making notes in a printed book's margins or keep it as your own as part of a collection on a bookshelf. Many of these attributes of printed works are replicated in their digital counterparts. To date, joggoon has a configurable reader interface, which includes bookmarking. We have in development more features - notes, an inline dictionary and offline reading to name a few - to enhance your reading experience and provide much of the same benefits that having a physical book in hand provides.

In addition to the above current and future benefits of joggoon, we provide short biographies of our authors and overviews of each of the books. We wish we could read each and every book ourselves and provide even deeper insight, but another future goal is to integrate your feedback into our system.

In short, joggoon is NOT a replacement for the physical book. It's existence is to help preserve these classic works, and provide a pleasing reading experience for you, the reader.

What Does joggoon Offer That is Different From Others?

We don't profess to offer works that you cannot get elsewhere, even also for free. joggoon's content is pulled (mostly) from public domain sites like Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks.net.

What we offer is a strictly web-based interface. No special eReader is required, only a browser (see below for our best-supported browsers) and a device (desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone) that provides a browser.

joggoon has a special focus on 19th and 20th Century authors - books we feel have the most to offer modern readers, especially children and young readers. We filter through hundreds of books offered on the above public domain sites so you don't have to. However, we invite you to search those sites for any public domain book you don't find on joggoon but would like to see here. Simply us the title of the book and we will put it at the top of our book conversion queue (the books we add to joggoon go through a process to get them configured for reading in joggoon's book reader interface).

Curl up with a classic book today and get to know this long-forgotten friend. If you have a paper-and-ink version, fantastic! If you don't, look for it on joggoon!

Dedication

I have in my possession a small fragment of my grandfather's library. The collection includes novels written in the early 20th century. It is comprised of not-so-well-known-anymore authors. A good part of joggoon's purpose and motivation is to help bring these authors "back into the light."

A case in point: I recently pulled a book down off the shelf that, for whatever reason, I had not read before, nor did I remember it's title or having looked through it. My wife corrected me on that point soon after I expressed a bit of excitement at a sort of "new find."

My heart quickly warmed upon reading the inscription on the first inside page:

Nelson G. Douglass Jr.
A Merry Xmas
Dec 25th 1901
From Papa

The book? Eben Holden A Tale of the North Country by Irving Bacheller.

What I found most endearing was not just that I held in my hand a book that to date was a 112 year old first edition, my great grandfather's hand wishing my grandfather a Merry Christmas, but the grace of the language and the warmth of the story that unfolded before me. Timeless in its application. Priceless in its humanity.

It is with this profound and heartfelt gratitude that I dedicate the work that goes into bringing you, the reader, this collection of classic literature to my grandfather and his love of books.

Bookmarking on joggoon

joggoon provides a simple, three step method to bookmarking. Because each 'page' in a book represents a chapter ('long-form typography'), our bookmarking bookmarks a paragraph within a chapter. Once set, the paragraph itself is marked and all of your bookmarks are listed on the joggoon homepage. Cool, right? Here is how it works:

  • Step One: Click/Tap on the 'Metadata/Tools' button

  • Step Two: Click/Tap on the 'Activate Bkmking' button

  • Step Three: Click/Tap on the desired paragraph

That's it! Your bookmark will now show up on the joggoon homepage. You may set as many bookmarks as you wish. The list on the homepage provides you the means to manage (delete) your bookmarks as well.

Browser Support on joggoon

We encourage using joggoon in a 'modern' browser. With so many different browsers available, we cannot develop and test in all of them. That said, we suggest the following browsers and versions to ensure a rich experience when enjoying the FREE features of joggoon:

  • Firefox versions 9+

  • Chrome versions 22+

  • Safari versions 5+

These are the browsers/versions on which we develop and test. Your particular browser may or may not support the features offered on joggoon. If you require an updated version, you can click on one of the icons above.

We are fairly certain that joggoon is supported on most (if not all) latest versions of tablets and smartphones. Our list of tablet and mobile devices we can test on is also limited, but we are confident your experience on these will be satisfactory.