15 Places To Find E-Books for Free

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If you love to read but are trying to reduce the clutter in your home, e-books can be a perfect solution. Digital titles are also great for those who want to keep their books portable and never worry about losing their place.

You don’t even need an e-reader to access them, as we detail in “This Trick Lets You Read E-Books Without an E-Reader.” You just need to know where to find them.

We’ve rounded up websites that collectively offer more than 1 million free e-books, covering virtually every book genre and every reader age. Following are many great places to find e-books for free.

1. Your local library’s website

Quiet student in a library
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Many public libraries allow their members to borrow e-books, as we detail in “Stop Buying These 11 Things That Are Free at Libraries.” Magazines, comics and audiobooks are also often available.

Check your local library system’s website to see if it offers this option.

2. Amazon

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You’ll find free e-books for Kindle, which is Amazon's line of e-readers, on the e-commerce giant’s “Cheap Reads for Kindle” webpage.

Note, however, that Amazon says free books sometimes vary in quality or don’t support all Kindle reading features. The company recommends first checking out reviews and ratings for free books you’re considering downloading.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have access to even more freebies via Prime Reading. You can also choose one free Kindle e-book each month through the First Reads perk.

3. Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble
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You’ll find free e-books for Nook, which is Barnes & Noble’s line of e-readers, on the retailer’s “Free eBooks” webpage. You can also read on your phone or other tablet with the free Nook app for Android, Apple and Windows devices.

To explore the offerings, click on any of the many genres listed under “Subjects” on the left side of the page. There are also other filters, including Top 100 lists, and recommended age ranges if you’re looking for your children.

4. Kobo

Kobo Books app
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You’ll find freebies for Kobo, a line of e-readers from Rakuten Kobo, on the Kobo website’s “Free eBooks” page. There is also a Kobo Books app you can use to read on Apple and Android devices.

5. Google Play

Google Play
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The Google Play Store includes a “Top Free” collection offering a sampling of freebies in its books category. Directly below where it says “Top selling,” there are also buttons to click for deals and free e-books. Click the button on the end of that row to switch to “Top free.”

6. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg ebook website
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Project Gutenberg describes itself as the first provider of free e-books and now offers more than 70,000 free titles.

Its website explains:

“You will find the world’s great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for you to enjoy.”

To start exploring the Project Gutenberg website, try the:

7. ManyBooks

man reading e-book ebook
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ManyBooks offers discounted and free e-books, with more than 50,000 free titles. There is some overlap with Project Gutenberg’s offerings, although the ManyBooks website is arguably more user-friendly.

From the home page, you can use the search bar or browse by genre or author, among other options.

8. University of Chicago Press

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The “Free E-book!” page on the University of Chicago Press website offers one free title each month. You’ll need to share your email address to receive a link for downloading it.

The University of Chicago Press publishes mostly scholarly work, but that is not all it is known for. As it says:

“We publish significant non-scholarly work by writers, artists, and intellectuals from within and beyond the academy; translations of important foreign-language texts, both historical and contemporary; and books that contribute to the public’s understanding of Chicago and its region.”

9. IntechOpen

Woman reading an e-book at a restaurant
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IntechOpen considers itself the world’s leading publisher of open-access books. Its focus is scientific publications, with thousands of open-access books in fields that include physical sciences, engineering, technology, life sciences, health science and social science.

To check out the offerings, visit its books page.

10. Standard Ebooks

Woman reading a book on an e-reader on the beach
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If you feel like old public domain books lose something in the translation to ebooks, you’re not alone — and you should check out Standard Ebooks.

The volunteers of this site add extra love and polish to the kind of stuff you’ll find on Project Gutenberg and elsewhere, adding modern typography, pop-up footnotes and attractive cover art. The site says:

“Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style manual, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to create a new edition that takes advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.”

11. Loyal Books

Cozy happy woman reading an ereader or Kindle with a blanket and cocoa or coffee
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Loyal Books is another source for free e-books and audiobooks. Its collection of public domain books can be sorted by genre and language. Some pages seem to only display audiobooks, but there is usually a menu near the top of the page where you can toggle the “book type.”

The site does contain paid book options, but they are listed near the bottom of the sidebar in a separate section you probably won’t accidentally stumble into.

12. Open Library

Internet Archive website, home of the Wayback Machine and Open Library
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Open Library, operated by the Internet Archive, aims to “create a web page for every book ever published.” So far it offers 1.7 million of them, searchable by subject. It also allows users to keep a reading log to track the books you’ve read or want to read.

13. BookBub

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BookBub is an e-book storefront that helps you find deals you’re interested in. If the best deal for you is “free,” there is a whole section of limited-time freebies, sorted by popularity and including those marked as site editors’ picks.

14. Smashwords

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Smashwords is an e-book publishing platform with over 100,000 free e-books and many more you can buy. It features self-published work from more than 160,000 authors. While there’s no guarantee of quality, there’s no question you can find something new and interesting to read.

15. Free e-book events

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There are certain special occasions for e-book lovers to take note of, because they’re a great time to stock up on new books for free. Don’t miss these:

  • Stuff Your Kindle Day: Four times a year, you can grab a selection of themed books for free. While advertised as being for Kindle owners, you can read on any device. We explain how in “This Trick Lets You Read E-Books Without an E-Reader.”
  • Stuff Your Ereader Day: The Romance Bookworms offer occasional opportunities to stuff your reader with new titles in many subgenres and on various platforms.
  • Cozy Mystery Book Blast: The Cozy Mystery Book Club offers occasional one-day opportunities to pick up a bunch of mystery novels in niches like contemporary, historical or paranormal mystery.

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