5 Ways You Can Read Books for Free Online
Get those (virtual) pages turning.
Reading list feeling a little light? If you’ve exhausted all the offerings at your local libraries and neighborhood bookstores, take to your tablet. There are many online resources at your disposal, and they offer hundreds of eBooks (and audiobooks!) you can access for free and enjoy at your leisure. Browse the collections of these five online databases, and make some new reading discoveries today.
1. Google Books
Google Books has a big catalog of free eBooks available online, which you can add to your library and peruse on the go. These free-to-access books, both classic and contemporary, span a wide array of genres and are accompanied by suggestions for similar eBooks you may also enjoy, making it easy to keep your reading list full.
Access it: books.google.com
Start with: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. Open Culture
This online database offers links to free downloads of hundreds of eBooks, which you can send to your smart phone or eReader and take with you for easy reading while traveling. You’ll find the classics here, including works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There’s also an extensive audiobook collection available, with links to contemporary fiction by Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, and David Sedaris, among others.
Access it: openculture.com
Start with: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
3. Open Library
This resource allows you to browse, borrow, and read stories online, including 3,000,000 free-to-access eBooks, which are organized by subject and include biography, romance, fantasy, history, detective tales, and children’s books. The program also hosts a lending library with 200,000 eBooks available to borrow, one at a time.
Access it: openlibrary.org
Start with: Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
4. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg offers a database of downloads in the public domain, including out-of-print and hard-to-find texts. There, you’ll find over 58,000 free-to-access eBooks you can read online or download to your eReader.
Access it: gutenberg.org
Start with: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
5. The Library of Congress
If you’re looking for a classic, especially if it's a well-loved children's book, you're likely to find it here. The Library of Congress has made many favorite stories accessible online, including Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Robin Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Treasure Island.
Access it: read.gov
Start with: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
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What books are you reading lately? Where’s your go-to place for downloading eBooks and finding great new reads?