So, are Barnes & Noble Classic Edition reprints in paperbacks dishonest? I paid $20 for Edgar Allen Poe's collected works in a nicely bound edition--was i lied to, because they're all public domain?
I love these things, own four of them.
On point, just because something is in the public domain doesn't mean you can't sell it - to my knowledge. I thought it meant that you could do whatever you want with it (like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).
Yeah, I love those bound editions, too--I actually do have the Edgar Allen Poe collection.
Public domain is actually pretty complicated:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
Usually when you get free public domain books, they're produced by volunteers on Project Gutenberg (the biggest project dedicated to putting electronic public domain books on the internet). Thus the quality issues (which aren't a huge deal to me). When you're getting the same book through Barnes & Noble, you're not paying for the content (Frankenstein, say, or Jane Austen) but for the packaging. There's nothing wrong with either system. I just prefer the free system.