You have an ebook reader (or a laptop or netbook with ebook reader software) now you just need a few free books to put it to good use. Read on as we show you the best places to score free books online.
There are quite a few places where you can Pay for online books such as Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore, Barnes and Nobles’ Nook Bookstoreand the Google Library– among many other options – but what about free book rating? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular online free book destinations. Each entry includes information about the site and the type of ebook formats natively supported by the site.
A few noteworthy remarks before proceeding. First, you’re going to need an ebook reader. It can be a physical ebook device like the Amazon’s Kindlethe Barnes and Noble Nookor one Sony e-book reader. It could also be your laptop, smartphone, or computer running e-book software, such as Kindle or Nook software for PC, or third-party e-book reader software. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve already figured this part out; we just didn’t want anything to stand between you and your free books.
Second, if you are planning to convert eBook formats (like converting ePUB books to MOBI books for use on your Kindle), we highly recommend the robust and powerful open source eBook management software. Caliber– we can’t stress enough how great Caliber is for managing and converting your e-book collection.
Finally, the following methods for finding free ebooks are all legal. We know as well the next geek as anyone and his bro can fire up a BitTorrent client and download entire libraries of e-books or just search and peck Google search results for PDFs; this roundup, however, focuses on legitimate channels for acquiring new reading material. Downloading these free books may make book publishers sad for their shortfall, but they won’t send an armada of lawyers after you.
Project Gutenberg is the granddaddy of free e-book websites. Started by Michael Hart in the 1970s, the original collection was a small assortment of books that Hart would hand-type in order to digitize classic works of literature. Since then, the project has grown enormously and now contains 33,000 books and documents in the public domain. You won’t find a bigger or better curated collection of classics anywhere on the internet.
All Project Gutenberg books are free, legal, and available as ePub, Kindle, HTML, and basic text documents.
If you like the idea of Project Gutenberg – a massive index of public domain books – but aren’t a fan of their spartan interface and text-only lists, then Many books is for you. ManyBooks is essentially a mirror of Project Gutenberg with a few extras layered on. These extras include detailed entries for each book with summaries, covers, book reviews, and formatted books in over 20 digital formats.
If you’re looking for the Project Gutenberg experience with a more modern digital bookstore feel and style, ManyBooks.net is for you. All books are free and formats include LIT, LRF, ePUB, MOBI, PDF, etc.
DailyBed takes a new approach to ebooks. Rather than offering an entire book for instant download, they essentially modernized the idea of the serialized novel. In decades past, magazines and newspapers printed books, almost always popular fiction, in serial form, dividing the book into smaller segments. Readers of the publication were able to enjoy the book, and the author was paid a lump sum by the publication. DailyLit takes this model and applies it to email and RSS. You pick a book, they send you a piece every day, and you read and enjoy it with a little publicity attached.
They solve two dilemmas with this arrangement: how to put commercial books in front of people for free and how to fit reading into a busy schedule. It’s not a perfect solution for everyone, but the books are free and the topics diverse. DailyLit currently offers a selection of approximately one thousand books.
FeedBooks has a regular eBook storefront, but the part we’re interested in is their public domain and original book sections. In between, they have thousands of novels, short stories, and collections of poetry. It’s one of the smallest collections in our roundup, but we’re not going to complain – free but small is still free.
All FeedBooks ebooks are in ePUB format.
Free and Discounted Section of Amazon
You might be wondering why Amazon, given its size, wasn’t at the top of the list. The hassle factor of using Amazon’s services, unless you are a Kindle owner or Kindle software user, is quite high. Nevertheless, you can score free books of both the public domain and 100% off variety. Amazon’s store has over 15,000 public domain books and hundreds of promotional books at any one time.
To use free books from Amazon, you need to send them either to your Kindle or to your Kindle software on your computer, Android phone, or other device. If you try to extract them to another format, you will need to use the software on a computer so that you can easily access the files. Send the books to your Kindle account for PC, open the folder with your books and drop them into Calibre.
Public domain and completely free books are not encrypted and you can easily use Caliber to convert them to other formats. Books that are not in the public domain but are temporarily free as a promotion are still encrypted and cannot be converted to Caliber. Still, if you really want to read a book that’s temporarily free in the Amazon Kindle bookstore, it might be worth loading the Kindle software onto your computer or phone – it’s one of the few ways to get books legally. not public domain for free as in beer.
Note the Nook eBook Store and the Sony Reader eBook store both have a similar free section, but not as large as Amazon’s.