If you are reading this, you have a greater access to knowledge than the wealthiest kings and emperors of the past, their greatest historical scholars and all of the world’s physical libraries.
Today you can select from millions of free books from the comfort of your couch in every subject imaginable as long as your wifi holds up. These books are completely legal and free to download being either in the public domain or licensed with some form of creative commons license. There are likely more books on your favorite subjects than you will ever be able to read in your lifetime.
If you grow tired from reading, there are also wide selections of free audiobooks and ways you can get involved in making free audiobooks to share with others.
If are interested in other free and open-source resources beyond books see the links at Create, Share, and Save Money Using Open-Source Projects.
Below you will find details on 29 of the best sites to read online or download free books for yourself and your family.
Table of Contents
- 1. Europeana
- 2. Digital Public Library of America
- 3. Internet Archive
- 4. The Online Books Page
- 5. Open Library
- 6. DailyLit
- 7. Project Gutenberg
- 8. Manybooks
- 9. LibriVox
- 10. The Literature Network
- 11. Loyal Books (Books Should be Free)
- 12. WolneLektury
- 13. Questia
- 14. Feedbooks
- 15. Open Culture
- 16. The Classical Reader
- 17. Online Library of Liberty
- 18. Standard Ebooks
- 19. LoudLit
- 20. Projekti Lonnrot
- 21. Authorama
- 22. Legamus
- 23. Classic Literature Library
- 24. Great Books and Classics
- 25. Planet Publish
- 26. Classical Chinese Literature
- 27. Christian Classical Ethereal Library
- 28. O’Reilly Open Books Project
- 29. Google Books Search
Europeana is a great resource for free books. It has over 50 million free books, artwork, artifacts, films, and music from European museums, galleries, libraries, and archives.
2. Digital Public Library of America
Digital Public Library of America is a great resource for education, scholarly, and family research. The resource contains over 35 million free images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the U.S.
3. Internet Archive
Internet Archive is a great resource comprising of approximately 20 million sources. It provides ebooks and other scholarly materials like audios, live music, and images with many fields for print to serve people living with disabilities.
4. The Online Books Page
The Online Books Page is a vital resource comprising of over 3 million sources. The source provides free ebook material like online books, online news, archives, inside stories, and many more in various subjects.
5. Open Library
Open Library is an excellent resource comprising of over 2.5 million materials. The resource focus on ebooks in diverse fields, with the majority being files for print to serve people with disabilities. The materials range from thrillers, textbooks, recipe, MIT Press, classic books, kids’ books, romance, and many others.
Another excellent resource center is DailyLit, which comprises over 100 thousand materials. The resource contains materials on fiction suitable for various subjects. The resource center allows people to read fiction books for a few minutes daily during free time.
7. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is an excellent source comprising more than 60 thousand materials. The resource center provides free eBooks materials in all formula formats, including epub and Kindle eBooks covering a wide variety of subjects.
Manybooks is a vital resource center with over 50 thousand books to select from modern and classic books. The resource comprises free public domain ebooks covering various genres like romance, action and adventure, biographies, history, children’s books, fantasy, fiction, etc.
LibriVox is an excellent resource, with over 13 thousand audiobooks. It contains audiobooks read by volunteers across the world. Audiobooks are also free for the public to listen on iPods, computers, mobile devices, or burn onto compact discs.
10. The Literature Network
The Literature Network is a resource center, with approximately nine thousand materials. The resource offers free access to classic literature, poems, plays, and short stories helpful for both teachers and students.
11. Loyal Books (Books Should be Free)
Loyal Books is a free resource that provides over seven thousand free materials across all fields like kids, fantasy, fiction, history, literature, etc. It draws from other libraries to provide public domain audiobooks and downloads of eBooks for free.
WolneLektury is a Polish resource center, with over five thousand materials. The resource comprises various polish ebooks, poems, audiobooks, pictures of different motifs, and themes in the digital library.
Questia is a great resource with over 5,000 public domains, classics, and rare books that can be read online for free. The source provides materials, especially literature works from various authors, such as poems by Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, and other great authors. Questia also provides time-saving research tools like automatic bibliography, notes, and citations useful for the research process.
Feedbooks is a resource for free books comprising approximately four thousand public domain materials from various subjects and fields. The platform allows readers to access free online materials using their mobile devices, tablets, and computers.
15. Open Culture
Open Culture is an essential resource for free books. It contains over one thousand materials textbooks, eBooks, online courses, podcasts, movies, and audiobooks. Readers are allowed to download free movies, free e-books, podcasts, inline courses, textbooks, and 300 language lessons.
16. The Classical Reader
The Classical Reader is an excellent resource with over one thousand electronic materials suitable for classic readers. It is a useful resource center for students’ books for students from grade 1 to grade 12. Classic reader allows parents to select parent-approved and classically-vetted books suitable for children from every level.
17. Online Library of Liberty
The Online Library of Liberty is another free source with approximately one thousand free materials. The resources offer free materials, specifically on the political library, with numerous scholarly books concerning free markets and individual liberty. The source seeks to preserve, restore, and develop individual liberty through investigation, research, and education.
18. Standard Ebooks
Standard Ebooks is a crucial resource center with over one thousand free resources. The resource focuses on providing quality e-books for readers as opposed to quantity. Standard Ebook takes eBooks from other sources like Guttenberg and formats and types them carefully to meet the required professional grade.
LoudLit is a vital resource center with approximately one thousand materials. Similar to LibriVox, it contains audiobooks read by volunteers across the world. Also, several quality audiobooks are free for the public to listen to on iPods, computers, mobile devices, or burn onto compact discs.
20. Projekti Lonnrot
Projekti Lonnrot is a significant resource with over one thousand credible sources, specifically on Finnish and Swedish e-books. The resource produces e-books, primarily offline work, proofreading, and short-term online activity. Some of the production processes that occur here include selecting books, acquisition, copyright, OCR clarification, scanning, post-processing, and placement of works on the website.
Authorama is a resource with approximately one thousand public domain books from various authors. The resource center brings public domains textbook into HTML for easy access. The sources comprise of free online books from different authors collected for reading both online and offline.
Legamus is a great free resource comprising of more than one thousand materials. It contains audiobooks in various fields and provides diverse reading materials across many topics like kids’ readings, horror, poetry, short stories, and many others.
23. Classic Literature Library
Classical Literature Library is another vital resource for free materials. The resource contains around one thousand library materials only for classic works. The library covers great classic literature works like William Shakespeare. Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and many other great classic authors.
24. Great Books and Classics
Great Books and Classics is a great resource for free resources with one thousand free materials, specifically classic works written by great philosophers. The resource entails a vast collection of Great Books and classic literature, among them Harvard classics collections. All texts are in the public domain in the U.S. or copyright hold who has authority for unlimited free noncommercial use like Project Gutenberg, MIT Internet Classics Archives, Bartleby, and others.
25. Planet Publish
Planet publish contains over one thousand free materials accessible to all learners across the world. The resource comprises of free classic e-books in pdf formats. Resources cover diverse topics and themes ranging from history, romance, plays, fiction and many others.
26. Classical Chinese Literature
Classical Chinese Literature comprises of approximately one thousand materials. The resource focuses specifically on collecting materials based on Chinese literature with learning tools for English speakers.
27. Christian Classical Ethereal Library
Christian Classical Ethereal Library is an excellent resource consisting of approximately one thousand materials. The source provides learners with books and classic sources on Christina’s life and is sorted based on popularity. The resource center deals specifically with Biblical commentary works.
28. O’Reilly Open Books Project
O’Reilly Open Books Project is another great resource with about one thousand materials. O’Reilly has published numerous open books, some been “open: copyrights varied for some authors. In partnership with Creative Commons and the Internet Archive, the resource center makes Open Books available to readers globally. The source consists of technical audiobooks like a programming language, which are vital for learning software development.
29. Google Books Search
Google Books Search is a resource center comprising millions of books. The source scans all books globally covering numerous topics like biography, business, history, computing and technology, children, and many others. The resource center also controls access to entire texts through copyrights.
So, of these on the list although it has many books not all of them are completely free and accessible when compared to the other sites. There is still more books you can read here than you will be able to do in your lifetime.