List of 15 places to find free books (& textbooks) to read online or download
Read without paying a thing.
Are you searching for books to read online or to download? In this article we talk about those internet based book libraries where you can have access to electronic books or audiobooks for K-12 students, college students, novel lovers, university students and other book lovers in various languages.
These digital libraries help you save some money, specially if you are a student and also as these are cloud based, you can access the books from anywhere (USA to UK, India to Australia or Philippines to South Africa for example) and using any device.
Is there a way to read books online for free?
Definitely! There are a number of websites where it is perfectly legal and free to read books and textbooks online and download in various formats for kid, adults, college, teens, young adults or for anyone looking for free literature or textbooks. Following are such sites:
- Project Gutenberg
- Internet Archive
- International Children`s Digital Library (ICDL)
- Free Kids Books
- Full Text Archive
- Page By Page Books
1. Project Gutenberg
You do not have to sign up or install any software to read books online or offline at this online library founded by Michael Hart (the inventor of electronic book) 50 years ago which has over 60,000 books.
The best part is that every single book found on Project Gutenberg is 100% free. You can read the books on the website or download in various formats (Kindle? Yes!) or even send the book to your favourite cloud storage platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Onedrive. The books are available in various languages such as German, French, Tagalog, Chinese, Telugu and more.
Funbrain is an online platform which contains Games, videos and Books for kids in Pre-Kindergarten up to 8th grade. You can click on the links of respective grade placed at the footer of this website to view the books related to that particular grade.
There is an option to read the book for free or to buy the print version but no option to download. You can also view the summary of the book, tags for grades, writer`s name and a link to buy the book. Books at this site contain nice graphics which further helps to understand the concept better in order to developing the reading skills of your kid in a more better way.
OpenStax is a charitable organization run by Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations such as Melinda Gates foundation, The Hewlett-Packard Company, Google Inc., Intel Inc. and others to provide free digital textbooks. It is entirely free forever platform where you can read the available books online at the website, on Chegg or download the book in PDF format.
This Open Education Resource (OER) repository has a number of textbooks for colleges in subjects related to Business, Science, Humanities, Mathematics etc. such as:
- Principles of Macroeconomics
- U.S. History
- Business Law
4. Internet Archive
You will be browsing one of the world`s largest digital library when you visit Internet Archive which contains 2 million plus books, magazines, journals and other texts in lots of languages like Arabic, Polish, Croatian, Swedish, Czech, Hindi, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Bengali, Catalan and many others.
It is possible to browse the books according to collections such as Bharat Ek Khoj (books related to Indian culture, History, religion, novels, biology and more), Boston Public library books, Books for people with print disabilities etc. Searching at this site is also made easy as you can search books by selecting various filters like year, creator, collection, language and others.
Books are available to read online or to download in ePub or PDF format. There is also a forum if you have any questions regarding this free web based library.
At Digitalbook, you can find more than 100,000 audio books, eBooks and podcasts in various languages such as Italian, Dutch, Greek, Latin and others in genres like mystery, history and young adults, classics, Sci-fi and others collected from various online sources including Google books, Amazon, Open Library etc.
Some of the books that you can read, listen online or download for example to practise for English as a Second Language (ESL) are:-
- Alice`s Adventures in Wonderland
- The Three Musketeers (by Alexandre Dumas)
- Black Beauty
- The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- The Return of Tarzan
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
If you looking for literature books in categories such as fiction, fantasy, romance, thrillers, novels, Young adults or children, then BookRix provides you the access to read the books online or download them in ePub file format to read on your smartphones, tablets or other electronic readers.
This online library has over 100,000 books and you do not need to sign up at the website to read or download the books. There are also books on languages including Portuguese, Indonesian, Russian, Japanese, Turkish, Spanish, Danish and more.
Some of the textbooks found on this website operated by CK-12 Foundation are Physics, Biology, Algebra, Social Studies etc. In addition to various 2nd graders, 3rd graders, Kindergarten and books of other grades for children, there are even books for learning photography, image editing using Pixlr photo editor, College Algebra, College Human Biology etc.
While millions of users around the world including USA, Australia, Europe, South Africa, India, Canada etc. use this site to learn from textbooks for various grades, there are separate sections for textbooks dedicated to Brazil, Chile, Georgia and India (CBSE courses for class 8 through 12 for Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology).
8. International Children`s Digital Library (ICDL)
The main mission of ICDL is to make the books published in a children`s mother tongue accessible to them independent of whether they are living in their home country or abroad. Due to this fact, they have categorised books according to language such as Telugu, Magyar, Bahasa Melayu, Persian and more.
The books are also categorised according to format (short story, comic, picture etc.), genre (Plays, Funny, Award winning etc.), cover color, shape and others. When you click on a book, you will be able to see various infos such as a short summary, writer, genre, published date etc.
9. Free Kids Books
The books available at Free Kids Books can either be read online or can be downloaded in PDF format. These books are divided into mainly three categories - Toddlers, Children and Young adults where the amount of graphics used in these books decreases as the age group of the students increases.
Each book have also been divided according to grade, age group, ESL level (Beginner, Intermediate, Fluent), subject, author, publisher (Michigan Open Book Project, NCERT, African Story Books etc.) and language (Farsi, French, German, Hindi and Spanish). Example of a book for children aged from 6 to 9 years old is Punctuate My House by Zehnya Bruckert which teaches about punctuation marks.
While you can read the books online at ManyBooks without registering at the site, you need to sign up if you have to download them. There are genres/ categories of books like horror, poetry, drama, satire, war, games, children`s, biography and even banned books at this website.
Beside English, there are books available in Tagalog, Norwegian, Finnish, Hebrew, Icelandic, Bulgarian and others. Example of a book available at ManyBooks is Beneath the Fallen City by Jamie A. Waters which is a Science Fiction.
There is also a discussion section where you as a reader or an author can ask questions and get answers in topics such as book recommendations, how to self publish a book? etc.
If you are a fan of audiobooks then LibriVox has a collection of public domain audio books like Children`s books, books on true crime or textbooks such as "The ABC of Atoms" (under non fiction), short stories and more in languages such as English, German, French, Italian, Luxembourgish, Ukrainian, Yiddish, Romanian and others.
You can browse books based on title, language, author, subject or search with advance search options and then listen online or download the book. There is also a forum to discuss an issue or to suggest a book to others. You can browse lots of books without having to view any ad at this non-commercial and not for profit site such as:
- The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
- The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
- Candide by Voltaire
- Sonnets by William Shakesppeare
- Discovery and Exploration of the MIssissippi Valley by John Gilmary Shea
12. Full Text Archive
You can search by title of the book, author or based on a key phrase at Full Text Archive. There are also links to popular books, collection of books of an author or keywords on the homepage and in the footer section of the website.
It is possible to either read the book online (in HTML format which loads faster than using a reader) or download the PDF version of the book for offline use. This UK based site contains books from various popular authors such as:
- Mark Twain (Following the Equator, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
- Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
- Joseph Conrad (Some Reminiscences, Heart of Darkness)
- Jack London(The Iron Heel, The Call of the Wild)
Books at Read Print is absolutely free to read online but there is no download button (you have to buy the book at Amazon). You can either search for books, authors, quotes etc. or browse the books by categories such as teens, comics & graphic Novels, parenting & families,business & investing, health, mind & body, computers & internet, cooking, food & wine and more.
There are even quotes categories by subjects or authors. Following are some of the popular books that you can read at Read Print:
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
- The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
You will only be able to download the books from this completely free legal book download site, mostly in PDF format. While there are ads on the web pages of this website, downloaded books are free from any ads. One book that is exclusively available on obooko is "Angels of Russia" by Patricia le Roy.
You just need to click on a button that says "GET MY BOOKS!" in order to view categories of books or use the search bar. The books are divided into two broad categories - Fiction and Factual and other specific categories available on this site are crime, thriller, mystery, money & personal finance, UK travel guides (Suffolk, Durham, Kent and more ), books for teens & young adults, computer and programming books such as HTML5 Canvas, Introduction to SQL, AngularJS etc.
15. Page by Page Books
As the name suggests, you will be able to read a book page by page and not the whole book in a single page so as to load the content faster and make it easier for you to keep track of the page that you are reading in order to help you find the page for reading after a period of time such as a day.
You can browse book list by title of the book, by the name of the author or by the list of books for each author arranged alphabetically. While you can read the book online at Page by Page Books, you won`t find any download button at this completely free website of classic books.
We hope through this article, you have got some idea for question such as where to find literature books, textbooks, books for kids or audio books without paying a dime on the web?
In summary, Project Gutenberg is the best overall site while Funbrain, CK-12, ICDL and FreeKidsBooks are for kids of various age groups or for children who are in different grades, OpenStax is for finding books for college and university students, Internet Archive has books related to a variety of topics and also has very large collection of books, magazines and other textual contents which is also used by other websites such as LIbriVox.
Other websites mentioned in this list mainly has a collection of fiction and non fiction books.