When we were first introduced to smartphones and other touch-screen devices, there was some scare in the literature world as book sales gradually slowed. Are we ditching books in favor of the screens? No, we're not. We never left the books behind, we just took them with us on our technological progression. Now we read them as E-books.
While I'm the first to declare nothing could ever replace a physical book, I also recognize the benefits of a digital e-book reader. Why not enjoy them both? That way you can enjoy the tactile sensations of a hard copy, as well as the waterproof and lightweight benefits of a digital book.
But what if we add another benefit to the e-book? What if we told you there's a way to get them for free? Here is our list of the internet's best resources for free e-books. You can reach each website by clicking on the headline.
Here you can sort and look for books by genres, including bestsellers and new editions. Upon clicking on a book you can enjoy a full review and a clear explanation on how to download and read each book. There are plenty of links to any app you may need to download, and you can also leave your own review. The website itself is designed beautifully, and it is easy to navigate.
Open Library's website sorts books by months, recommendations, and by date of upload. There are also, of course, genre categories. So far, as many as 382,313 e-books have been borrowed from this digital library, and the numbers keep growing by the day. You can view the books as lists, or enjoy the virtual Library Explorer, which will arrange the books on illustrated library shelves for you.
On the Free e-books website, you can download one book at a time, or one bundle of books, to enjoy several books in one click. There are dozens of different categories, and each week you can watch an interview with a writer uploaded to the website. In addition to e-books, there are also recorded audiobooks, and a blog written by the website's staff.
Here you can find books by genre, or explore the staff's recommendations. These are sorted by lists such as "books about books", "gems from small presses", "Native American literature", and more. There's also a free-type search bar for your convenience, and you can enjoy the entire website in Spanish, Italian, and French, in addition to the default English.
Here's one for the grandkids. Instead of letting them play some gaming app on your device, let them read a book! As they put so beautifully on their website, their mission is to promote "tolerance and respect for diverse cultures by providing access to the best of children's literature from around the world". You can find more than a few different languages here too. The library is operated by the University of Maryland. As a concerned parent or guardian, you can also access information about the team running the site.
While Project Gutenberg's website isn't as clearly and pristinely designed, you can enjoy a free-type search bar to find specific titles. There are also some offline catalogs, as well as full guides on how to use the website, any apps you may need or your own e-book digital reader device. You can enjoy each book with or without images. How convenient!
As it says in the website's title, Manybooks is pretty straightforward. They offer "lots of e-books. 100% free". You can browse by genres, explore the editor's choice, see classical as well as trending titles, or read the blog. You can sort books by rating and language (there are plenty of those). When you click on a book you'll be presented with an excerpt, some statistics, and the year of publication. You can have your choice between reading online or downloading a copy.
LibroVox is entirely run by volunteers. It is a website of audiobooks. You can choose a title and listen, or you can contribute to the website and go backstage as a reader! No audition or experience is needed. You can record in any language you'd like. You only need to register for free, and if you have a fully functioning microphone, you're 100% qualified for the job. If you're only interested in listening for now, when you click on a title you can listen by chapter online or download the recordings.
Finally, we'd like to introduce you to Open Culture. On this website, you'll find much more than just e-books. You'll also find courses, certificates, movies, and podcasts you can enjoy for free.