If you are an avid reader and are always looking for a new ebook to check out, the online options can feel limited. But, if you know where to look, you can snag free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle.
With some truly classic books from the most well-known authors, these four websites have you covered. Plus, you can take a look at other genres besides the classics like humor, thriller, science fiction, or romance. So, take a seat in your favorite chair, grab your laptop, and prepare to immerse yourself in a wonderful story.
1. Planet eBook
Planet eBook is an attractive site that offers classic literature for free. Some books are out of copyright and are offered to you in an entirely legal fashion. But, be sure to click the Copyright Notice link on the ebook details page for any restrictions on that particular book.
Right now, Planet eBook offers just over 80 books to their readers, all of which have been carefully selected. True, you will not have the buffet of thousands that you may find on other sites, but you can rest assured that each and every piece of writing on Planet eBook is of outstanding quality.
All books on the site can be downloaded as a PDF for reading at any time. So, you can enjoy titles like Wuthering Heights, A Tale of Two Cities, or Great Expectations without distractions. Again, the selection may not be enormous on Planet eBook; however, if you want a quick and easy way to find the best of best when it comes to the classics, this site delivers.
ManyBooks works in the same way as Planet eBook, offering classic literature for free. However, where Planet eBook presents a carefully selected array of literature, ManyBooks handles everything in bulk (as the name truthfully implies).
At the time of writing, there are over 33,000 completely free books available and the majority of those are available for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and many other readers. Plus, you can read online or download your pick as a PDF.
To find a book, you can browse by genre, author, title, category, or language. You can also look through the popular selections, the site’s recommendations, and featured authors.
There is also a User’s Public Bookshelves area where you can look at books collected by others, which is a great way to see what ManyBooks readers like. Just click Recommendations on the left and then scroll down to User’s Public Bookshelves.
As a bonus, ManyBooks provides discounted ebooks and you can subscribe to their email newsletter for deals right to your inbox. Or, you can subscribe to the site’s RSS feed for updates on new titles. ManyBooks is a solid way to find an entertaining classic or author you want to explore.
Classic Reader resides somewhere between Planet eBook and ManyBooks. It offers a large selection of fiction, non-fiction, drama, and young reader options. You can also browse through the poetry and short story sections for some light reading.
Once you choose a book, you can read it online. Since the site offers a basic appearance, this makes reading those books you choose a nice, unobtrusive experience. Each book’s table of contents makes it easy to pick up on the chapter you left off when reading online.
And, if you prefer to download a book, you have that option, but only if you sign up for a free account.
Classic Reader may not have as many titles as some other sites, with just under 4,000 at the time of writing. However, you can still enjoy a classic from Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, or H.G. Wells. And, if you have a favorite author, you can view all ebooks available from that author as well as read their biography. Overall, Classic Reader may not be the prettiest of this bunch, but it is definitely worth your time.
With over 54,000 free ebooks, you will definitely find a good read on the Project Gutenberg site. You can search for a specific title, look at recently added books, or check out the Top 100. If you want to browse through offline options, for example, if you have a slow internet connection, the site offers a catalog specific to those types of books.
There are a few things that make Project Gutenberg stand out from other free ebook sites. First, you can either read the books online, with a reader like Kindle, or download them to read later. Second, you can send the books to Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive with the click of a button.
Third, you can access the mobile site using the link or QR code provided on the main page. So, reading on your mobile device is perfect for work breaks or bus rides. Finally, if you sign up for a free membership, you can bookmark those ebooks you are reading online, which is handy for picking up right where you leave off.
Project Gutenberg provides select books in a variety of languages from Chinese to Yiddish and categories from animals to technology. For a huge collection, a number of reading avenues, and a few little extras, check out Project Gutenberg.
Time to Hit the Books
Hopefully you have bookmarked these four terrific sites for free ebooks. Then, when you are in the mood to sit down with a good book, whether during a break at school or on a relaxing vacation to a sunny clime, you will not have to look far.
What is your personal preference when it comes to ebooks? Are you in love with romance, always up for an adventure, or like to go back in time with a classic? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below and let us know your most favorite book of all time!
Image Credit: Mike Beales via Flickr