The bookworm in us will agree that only books can provide the much-needed escape from reality. Whether it’s an adventure or a hair-raising thriller, they sure know how to feed our vivid imagination. Though the smell of a new book is almost irresistible, most of the people these days are choosing to go the digital way by investing in either a mobile device or a Kindle.
Undoubtedly, e-readers such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo or PDF readers in browsers have made reading books so much easier. But buying books — both online and offline — can, at times, cost the world.
We are listing out the top 10 sites for free ebooks. After all, a once-in-a-while freebie wouldn’t hurt much, right?
A site with over 2.7 million books and 52 million scientificarticles, BookZZ, definitely deserves the first spot. This site, which claims to be the world’s largest library has almost all the books that you can think of. What’s more, one can also check out the latest collection to this enormous library in just a single click.
Not only that, there are several formats that you can choose to download (depending on the type of reader). The UI is minimalist with the right things at the right place.
So you can either search by the category or through the search bar on the home page. The over-a-million books are arranged neatly into genres like Arts and Photography, Entertainment, Nonfiction, Science, and much more.
In addition to its huge collection, BookZZ will also let you choose from 15 different languages in your quest to download the golden book.
2. Many Books
A site similar to BookZZ with a few nifty features added in, Many Books will leave you speechless with its collection of over 33 thousand free ebooks. Many Books’ advantage over BookZZ is that you can choose to read a book directly on the browser.
Featured in many of the popular sites like Mashable and LifeHacker as the go-to ebook site, it has a neat UI with the book genres and deals on the main page.
Also with Many Books, you can view the latest deals on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc from within the site.
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3. Project Guttenberg
Project Gutenberg is one of the oldest publishers of free content and it boasts of over 53 thousand books. Mainly seen as a treasure trove of English classics, you will find everything ranging from Pride and Prejudice to Shakespeare.
The UI is a bit clunky, so you might need to explore around a bit to get the hang of it. You can download the ePub or the Kindle format or choose to read the online version, whichever suits you better. There are several search factors which help you discover some neat books like the Most Downloaded Books or Top 100 Books and Authors.
So, if you are on a hunt for some Classics or a bunch of books on history, this site will help you in landing gold.
The ebooks may be used freely in the U.S, however, the user must check the copyright info before downloading it in any other country.
4. Open Library
Going by the tagline of “One web page for every book ever published”, Open Library boasts of gathering over 20 million books till date and is still going strong.
A tad different from the popular Project Gutenberg, Open Library claims of listing every published book. An offshoot of the Internet Archives, this site has a great collection of books — new and old. Much like real libraries, this site too features the ‘waiting’ part for the books that are to be uploaded soon or the checked out feature where a user has already checked out the book.
Most of the available books can be read online or downloaded in popular formats. There are a lot of options to be explored and I am sure it won’t disappoint. The best part is, you can actually lay your hands on books which have gone out of print.
Overdrive is a digital rendition of the good ol’ library. You will need a library card to access this site, but once that’s done you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from any participating library.
Overdrive spans over 30,000 libraries in 40+ countries and claims of having a catalog of around 2 million ebooks, audiobooks and videos combined.
The collection is overwhelming — with the most popular bestsellers rubbing shoulders with critically acclaimed books. However, as is the case with most of the libraries, you might have to wait for books which already have been checked out.
Smashwords is the gateway for all the indie authors and readers. It boasts of providing up to 60,000 free books and has about 400,000 books in both the free and paid domain.
Smashwords offers a change both to the readers as well as to the authors by publishing new work and making them available to the public. So, chances are a tad hard if you are looking for a piece by a well-known author or of an old classic.
It offers a majority of the popular formats like ePub, Mobi, PDF as well as an online reader.
7. Centsless Books
Centsless Books are for the avid Kindle readers. Like the much popular website Hundred Zeros, this site too features the books which are free on Amazon.
This site has a decent collection of the latest novels and novellas. But there’s a small catch — most of the books can be availed for free, only if you are a member of the Kindle Unlimited program.
The list is updated on a regular interval and you can choose to have a newsletter dropped to your inbox with all the latest additions.
Feedbooks is an ebook retailer which has a great collection of both free and paid books. The collection of free books is rather impressive through its public domain offerings and you can easily have great short stories and books at your disposal.
What’s more, the public domain books are segregated neatly into several categories like short stories, historical, literary and etc. Like most of the websites, this one too offers the download format of ePub, Mobi, and PDF.
Looking for a site with good educational books on natural science or marketing? Look no further, BookBoon has you covered with its range of free books. It has over 1,000 textbooks for students and 600 ebooks for business professionals in over nine languages.
Established in Denmark in 1988, BookBoon is the go-to site for students and managers alike. Till now, there have been around 75 million downloads. To download, all you need to do is sign up for the newsletter with your email ID. Only PDFs are available on this website.
Though basically a cataloging website, Goodreads is also a lesser known haven for free ebooks. A great many books can be found under the ebooks section.
Launched in 2007, the site boasts of 55 million readers and a whopping 50 million reviews. The best part is, you can sort the books either by readability or popularity.
So, Which One’s Your Go-To Site?
These were some of the thrifty sites where you have your fill of free ebooks to your heart’s content. You can also dig through the Stanford University collections or the Google Play Store for more. And while you are on it, don’t forget to tell us your favorite site, will ya?