(With light parody of one of the texts) ((Which One?))
The Slashdot Community forgets its own arguments over time.
This is one particular publisher releasing its archive. It's Academia - the stuff that used to cost $200 per book, which made us all furious at the Book Scam. Now they have released every single one of their texts for download, and the whole point is that you can convert it to text from the PDF. Every one of these can become a podcast. If you and five buddies like it/them, you just have a LAN party and you each download your books.
All those Intro to X books are covered elsewhere. These are the specific topics that you have to read several of, and read between the lines, to really extract the useful parts. Ah yes, this is Slashdot, we champion the art of not reading long texts!
The bigger point is if the OTHER science publishers ALSO released their collections, you could get your favorite Intro to X books from the Houghton Mifflin branch of whoever owns it now. Then you have the best of all worlds.
Their stern language is mostly Anti-Troll. It's about making sure that idiots don't doctor up copies that then somehow get viral exposure thus leaving them to counter 50 media calls about "why does your book say that?"
They encourage pointing friends to direct links. You can make download-link pointer pages. If your friend wants a hard copy, you "make it for him" as a service transaction. "I'll make you a copy from Kinkos for the price of the materials".
You're on to something.
You can either browse them on the site by topic, or even play the fun lottery game I found called "guess the ID number". I'll get you guys started:
8 10 11 13 15 19 21 22 25 30 35 40 41 54 55 56 58 61 63 75 80 81 86 91 92 100 101.
They made the books absolutely as clean as they could, no DRM, it extracts to text for podcasting, and so on. However we have a surprising number of people in the thread under their logged in names saying "meh, it's not a torrent so I can't share it".
We have a variant of the True Scotsman fallacy going on here. This is literally a Million Dollar archive (assuming new horrid academic prices of some $250 average per book). But 30% of the thread comments are "why is this not a torrent?". And there's the secret. Lots of torrenters don't ever plan to exhaust the materials in their torrent. They just like having it like collecting mushrooms in a video game.
Their server is decent too. Considering they survived a slashdotting without blinking, I'm already up to a gig with about 300 books.
(Re: Mountains of Madness)
"*There are a small number of older reports that never had PDF files and therefore, those reports are not available for download. In addition, there are contractual requirements that preclude NAP from offering some PDF files for free. Those include ... books in the Joseph Henry Press imprint."
Your example is in the Joseph Henry imprint.
I think I saw a "continue as guest" option but really, just sign up and get some street cred in the academic circles.