Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where to Find Free E-Books

One of the advantages of having an e-reader, whether a Kindle, a Nook, a Kobo Reader or even an I-Pad is being able to amass a free library that takes up less room than a computer.

If you are looking for classics or other works with expired copyrights, Project Gutenburg is a good place to start.  They have over 36,000 books hosted on their site, all of which were, as they say, originally published by bona fide publishers.  They also link to sites that provide over 100,000 more free reads (some of which are self-published).

The major on-line bookstores offer free copies of the classics as well, but even more interesting, they offer free copies current books as well.  Generally speaking, the offers of current books are of limited duration, and often coincide with the author's release of another work.  In other words, as of this writing MaryLu Tyndall's Surrender the Heart is a freebie.  It was originally published in August, 2010 and is the first book in a series of three set during the war of 1812.  The third, Surrender the Dawn (Surrender to Destiny) will be published this August.  It does't take a genius to figure out that the publisher is hoping that after you read the first book, you'll purchase the next two.  Other limited-time freebies are self-published books whose authors, I would assume, hope you will purchase more of their works after trying one.

The problem with those limited-time offers is being able to grab what you want when it is available.  You could just search for free book when you are in the mood to read, but who knows what you will find, or whether there is anything you want to read available that day.  You could make a habit of checking your favorite bookstore's site daily for free reads, but that gets time-consuming.  Luckily, there are folks out there who have tried to make the task easier for most of us.

If you are a regular on facebook, search for facebook groups for free books for your chosen reader.  Free Books For Kindle offered twenty books today.  I don't want any of this batch, but if you check my Mailbox Monday posts, you'll note that I do find my share of books that catch my eye long enough to download them. If they interest me at all, I go ahead and "buy" them; I don't have to read them and that way they are mine forever.  Free Nook Books Etc. had even more.

Some people have set up blogs dedicated to free e-books.  I subscribed to Free Kindle Books and Tips on my Kindle when I first got it, and it was convenient to read it there.  However, I found buying directly from the Kindle to be clumsy and decided it wasn't worth 99 cents a month to read it on the Kindle when I could read it on-line for nothing.

Finally, if you are a book blogger, check out NetGalley.  They offer review copies of just about any genre you like and while different publishers require different things from bloggers, in general, most people who blog regularly are able to access a variety of books.

What's your favorite way to find free e-books?


  1. Good info.

    I haven't searched for free books for my Nook yet because of my limited reading time.

    Typically, I read two books per month and listen to two audio books.

    I'm patiently waiting for the days of reading a book a week while still enjoying audio books, too, as I drive to my many destinations.

  2. RAnn, I absolutely LOVE Project Gutenberg and have downloaded a great many classics for my iPhone. This has led me to discover LibriVox (, which is a group that records audio versions of public domain works. They primarily use Project Gutenberg texts. I am in the process of recording Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's _Iliad_ for them.


View My Stats