Hands up, who loves having to pay for ebooks? Probably nobody. And no, I’m not advocating pirating books. Please please please don’t ever do that! Writers work tirelessly to write and publish those books! I’m talking about finding legally free books online. Come see!
If you’ve ever done some research on free books, you’ve probably come across Project Gutenberg, screenshot shown below. Now, Project Gutenberg is massive, which is great, (46,000 titles!), but it’s not the most aesthetically appealing site to browse. Not to mention it contains only ebooks, not audio books.
That’s where LoyalBooks (formerly BooksShouldBeFree) comes in. This site posts the etexts/kindle books from Project Gutenberg, but also gives you the Librivox audio book recordings and various mediums for downloading the text. It’s pretty much your one stop shop. Just don’t expect to find any Suzanne Collins here; these are only books that are in the public domain. Ever need a text for your literature class? You might find it here.
And of course, there’s good old Amazon’s free Kindle book selection. On top of having the classics, they also carry some contemporary free books, for limited amounts of time. (A book that’s normally $9.99, hypothetically, may become free as part of a sale, so if you’re interested, snatch it up before the price goes up again!)
Google Play has some free ebooks sometimes as well, but even if a book you want isn’t free, they let you download a free sample of almost anything before you shell out any money towards it.
If reading actual published books isn’t a necessity, you’ll find a treasure trove of amazing books (some of which do get picked up and published by publishing houses!) on Wattpad. You can read Wattpad books through their free app or on their website. What’s nice is you can add titles to your “library” and get notifications when your favorite stories get updated.
And of course, if you live in the United States, you should ask your local library if patrons have access to something called Overdrive as part of the library system. Overdrive lets a patron with a library card from certain libraries log in and “check out” ebooks and audio books. The books are the same ones you might find in the actual library; all contemporary books (fiction, nonfiction, whatever it be for all ages). Some libraries offer similar services like Freading, so its worth asking.
What’s your favorite free legal eBook site? Do you read ebooks? Let me know in the comments below!
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