You might be surprised by how many good free ebook sites there are out there. Nowadays, you can find pretty much any popular (and not) book online. You just need to know where to look. Here are my favorite sites where you can find ebooks free for the taking.
1. Free Ebook Search Engines
These are simple Google-like search engines but for PDF files. I usually start my free ebook search using one of these sites. Type in the title of the document or book name you’re looking for and click on the search button. Find your book in the search results and click on download link. Done.
So far my top 3 free ebook search sites are:
In case you have never heard of this one before, the simplest way to define Scribd would be to call it Youtube for documents. People can upload whatever text documents they want and easily share them with others.
And obviously it gets copyrighted ebooks much like YouTube gets copyrighted videos. I am not sure if they are doing anything to deal with them, but the fact is there are plenty of them on Scribd – copyrighted ebooks free to take.
Oh and as we have mentioned before, Scribd is also an excellent resource for free document templates.
3. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg (aka PG) has the largest collection of public domain books. These are the books that out of copyright and available for anyone to use for any purpose. Lots of books from the world’s greatest fiction authors such as Dickens, Joyce, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Anton Chekov and Edgar Allan Poe fall into this category.
This site is the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet. PG is an extremely popular site and now has over 20,000 works. If you’re not sure where to start check out their Top 100 page.
4. Free Ebooks For Your iPod, PDA, Smartphone, Blackberry etc.
For those of you who like to have ebooks on their portabe device we got some sites as well. Below are what I believe the best websites for books that can be read on mobile devices.
www.manybooks.net (MakeUseOf Review)
www.feedbooks.com (MakeUseOf Review)
www.booksinmyphone.com (MakeUseOf Review)
For iPhone users in particular there is a website called TextOnPhne. It’s a great ebook site that comes with its own ebook reader app. There are over 30,000 free books for your Apple device. Check out the demo video here.
5. Free Tech Ebooks
These sites are mainly for tech books, covering everything from computer science, engineering and mathematics to programming and web development. All ebooks free and available to download
DailyLit is a bit different from the rest but I really like what they’re doing there. DailyLit can deliver a small excerpt from the book of your choice to your email on a daily basis. One excerpt per day, and so untill the book is finished.
The reason it wroks so well is that it only takes around 3-5 minutes to read each excerpt. If you feel like reading more you can request a next excerpt with a click of a button.
While more than a half of all books cost about $4.95 per book others are free. There are plenty of good titles among the free ones as well, some of my favorites include My Life and Work (by Henry Ford), Siddhartha (by Herman Hesse) and Random Reminiscences of Men and Events (by John D. Rockefeller). Check it out.
Are you aware of any other cool websites for free ebooks? Share them in comments.
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