If you're like me, books are a refuge, whether on my corner, my Pixel 3 ($ 699 at Walmart) or on the paper page. I love the complete immersion of a story and its characters. But if you read several books a month, it will be an expensive hobby to easily get new titles from Amazon or the bookstore. Free digital libraries come into play here.
Thanks to the Internet, the concept of a personal library is changing. Previously, paper books stood on endless shelves. With the rise of Amazon and its Kindle, the convenience of buying books to read on a device has been taken over. Free Lending libraries celebrating National Library Week in the US have also gone online alongside online libraries that are reinventing themselves to be relevant in the digital age. Today, dozens of websites and apps offer everything from contemporary indie fiction to elizabethan classics, without paying a penny.
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Which books can I read for free?
If you've been looking for free books, you may have noticed that most, if not all, are classics. Older works of literature, essays or plays are classified as public domain, which means that the creative work is not subject to copyright. If nobody owns a work, it can be offered for free.
What do I need to know before downloading and reading?
Reading a book online is easy, but downloading a book depends on which device you want to read it on. Apple users may install Apple Books (also known as iBooks) on their iPad, iPod Touch ($ 235 at Walmart) or iPhone ($ 1,000 at Amazon) . Android users can find out about Google Play Books. In these two apps you can search for free free e-books by searching for "free".
Here are some common formats that you can see when browsing and downloading your free books:
- EPUB-compatible on all devices except Kindle.
- HTML – Can be used when reading in your browser. However, e-readers also support the format.
- MOBI – commonly used with Kindle.
- PDF – supported by e-book readers, iOS and Android devices
- RTF – works with most e-book readers and iOS and Android devices
- TXT – Basic text without formatting and compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Authorama offers hundreds of publicly available works such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and more. Just tap the title to start the book. While the site can not download you to a device, you can read it in your mobile browser or in your desktop browser.
The only downside to reading in your browser is that there is no way to mark your place. The sites we compile allow you to manually enter the page number or search for chapters.
The Gutenberg project offers more than 58,000 free eBooks. Choose a novel to read online or download on your phone or PC. The book will be saved as an ePub, Kindle file or text in your Dropbox, Google Drive or One Drive. You can also download the file with or without images to save storage space. If you do not want to download, just read it in your browser in HTML.
Browse Project Gutenberg's extensive catalog for new additions, popular e-books, and more. If you're a fan of audiobooks, Gutenberg connects to LibriVox.