You can say whatever you like about the internet but what you can’t deny is the vast repository of free ebooks it offers for avid readers. Hundreds and thousands of titles are available from deep tech to swooning romance and literary classics – and even free audio books. And here’s a list of twenty free ebook sites from the well-known and popular to the sometimes obscure and fringe.
Whether you like your printed words in a hard scientific staccato rhythm or you prefer them with more subtle poetic flourishes there are many websites offering free ebooks. Topics cover every subject known to humankind from astrology to artificial intelligence, databases to delinquent deviancy and romantic comedies to raising the dead. Whatever your penchant you will find something to engage and inspire, dream and escape or edify and learn – and it’s all free.
The Open Library has more than 1 million free e-books available. This library catalogue is an open online project of Internet Archive. Users can actually contribute books and you can search by the title, author and subject.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library. It specialises in out of print books in different languages and formats. It’s a good source for historical and academic books.
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to create and share e-books online and was one of the first producers of free ebooks. It houses a collection of more than 45,000 free e-books and no registration or fee is required. Books are available in ePub, Kindle, HTML and simple text formats.
In the free section of the Google’s eBookstore, you can find bestsellers, classics and more. The books are available in different formats, and there are also ratings and reviews from other users to give you some handy pointers.
More than 29,000 free e-books are available. You can browse by most popular titles, recent reviews, authors, titles, genres, languages and more. The books are compatible with Kindles, Nooks, iPads and most e-readers.
BookBoon specialises in educational textbooks and business books. It offers more than 1,000 e-books, is easy to navigate and best of all and you don’t need to register to download the books.
Free eBooks is a good source for all genres from romance to mystery and drama. In short it offers a wide variety of books in various categories and each book is accompanied by reviews and reader ratings.
LibriVox is an audiobook website. Its offers a wide range of audiobooks including classics and out-of-print books.
Hundred zeroes is a collection of Kindle bestsellers that are now free. The books cover a large range of categories. You will need to use the free Kindle reader app to download and read these ebooks.
FreeBookSpot lists thousands of free ebooks across 90 categories. The website links free ebooks from other sites and you can download scientific, engineering, programming, fiction and many other subjects and topics from this site.
GetFreeEBooks is a site that connects both author and readers in the world of free ebooks. Aspiring authors can submit their ebooks for free on this site, which can be then downloaded by the vast community of readers for free. Currently the site has more than 100 categories of free ebooks to read from.
As the title implies this site lists free online computer science, engineering and programming books, textbooks and lecture notes, all of which are legally and freely available. You’ll find material on artificial intelligence and hackers and computer philosophy, and lots of other intriguing areas.
Scribd is the world’s largest digital library, where readers can discover books and written works of all kinds while publishers and authors can find an audience for their work. It is subscription based but you can get a week’s free trial.
Ebook-space covers topics such as Computer IT, Programming Language, Software Development, Tutorial, Database Design in PDF-CHM file format – strictly for the computer bods among us.
FreeComputerBooks provides access to a huge collection of free online computer, programming, mathematics, engineering, and technical books, lecture notes and tutorials. It is categorized according to topics, with 13 main categories, and over 200 sub-categories.
Bookyards acts as an aggregator for free ebooks and related materials. It offers direct access to over 18,000 books, but also provides over 40,000 links to other sites, news and blog links, videos and other ebook and online libraries. In short, it provides access to approximately 800,000 free ebooks.
Wikibooks is a Wikimedia project to enable the collaborative writing of open-content textbooks that anyone can edit. You can do this yourself if you feel that you have something to contribute simply by clicking on the edit link that appears near the top of each Wikibooks page.
E-Books Directory is a growing list of freely downloadable ebooks, documents and lecture notes from across the internet. You can submit and promote your own ebooks, add comments on already posted books or browse through the directory. Currently over 8,500 free ebooks are available.
The Online Books Page
The Online Books Page is designed to facilitate access to books that are freely readable over the Internet. It also aims to encourage the development of such online books, for the benefit and edification of all. Currently the site lists over more than 1 million ebooks. It also has a section on banned books, such as The Federal Mafia, a book by Irwin Schiff that claimed Americans could legally opt out of paying income taxes, which was banned in 2003.
Given the enormous global popularity of the 16th century astronomer and astrologer Nostradamus it would be remiss of us to not include a mention of this faintly quirky website devoted to his work – along with free ebooks to download. It may lack professional literary flourishes but it makes up for that with some curious off-beam topics.