E-books are a great way to read books if you're on your way from one place to another, without having to find space for them. Whether you have an e-reader or are just curious to download books online, read the steps below to learn how to find free e-books.
Method 1 of 3: Search Public Places
Step 1. Get public domain books from Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a non-profit organization that offers free downloads of books whose copyrights have expired. It is the first and oldest repository of e-books on the Internet and contains thousands of classic books in almost every genre. Just visit the website and use the search bar at the top left to search by title or author.
- Project Gutenberg offers e-books in a number of formats, from HTML and plain text to EPUB and Kindle reader formats. All available versions of the book you choose are displayed on its page.
- You can also browse the site's library or search for books by category. Links for these options are below the search bar.
- Chances are, if you've heard of a book published before 1920, it's available for free on Project Gutenberg. Mar Twain, Jane Austen and Franz Kafka are among the distinguished authors on this site.
Step 2. Check the Internet Text Archive
Text files are part of the Internet Archive, a project to collect and preserve content published on the web. It has more than 4.5 million searchable texts, including many books, old census reports, and other published documents.
The files are easy to search, but this website tends to display unfamiliar texts rather than popular ones. Yet it is a fascinating source of surprisingly absorbing research material and books that you had no idea existed
Step 3. Check out books in your library
More and more libraries offer electronic books to consult, as well as physical copies. This has certain downsides, in particular the fact that the library license only allows some people to have the book 'borrowed' at any given time, but it is the best (and legal) way to read new e-books for free.. You can generally sign up for the service on your library's website, assuming you have an account with the library. Once you are registered, you will be able to browse the library section and download or reserve books directly from the Internet.
- Because the e-book loan is designed to be as close-fitting as possible to the physical loan, you can only have the book for a few weeks before you have to pay it back or renew the loan. Otherwise, you will not be able to use the book after the return date.
- The waiting list for a very popular book (like the latest Game of Thrones installment) can be ridiculously long. Luckily, most libraries will clearly show how many people are ahead of you on the list.
Method 2 of 3: Find Selected Collections
Step 1. Check e-book retailers
Amazon offers a Kindle-specific library of more than 20,000 public domain e-books. The iTunes app store has an app called (appropriate enough) Free Books, which features a carefully selected collection of the same size. Barnes and Noble offers a wide range of free Nook (and sometimes the entire book) short stories, excerpts, and trailers from current authors such as Neil Gaiman and Mary Higgins Clark, as well as a public domain title.
Step 2. Get free children's books
Children's Books Online is a repository for children's books in the public domain, most with illustrations. The books are organized by reading level (there's even a section for adult readers!), And some even have audio files of the book that are read aloud. Please note that the image quality of some books is grainy.
Step 3. Get free science fiction and fantasy books
Tor and Baen, two popular science fiction book publishers, each offer a small library of stories free of charge to the public. Authors represented on Baen, a site that offers some full-length novels as well as short stories and non-fiction, include the likes of Poul Anderson and K. D. Wentworth. The Tor website offers original fictional short stories, updated regularly, but there are no complete books.
Step 4. Get free romance books
Harlequin Books, one of the most prolific publishers of romance novels, offers a small selection of completely romantic e-books for free. The "Romance" category of Free-eBooks also offers some romance novels, though they are confusingly mixed with books on how to flirt with girls.
Step 5. Get free self-published books
Smashwords is a self-publishing site for hobbyist authors. While there are plenty of amateur texts, there are also some pretty solid stories, many of which are available for free. You can search by category and then adjust the results by price to quickly see all the free offers of any genre.
Method 3 of 3: Hack Books
Step 1. Be aware of what you are doing
In this day and age, the average author makes less money selling books. For every J. K. Rowling or Christopher Paolini who gets rich, there are a hundred or maybe a thousand authors who make a second income with the waste of their books while paying the bills with a job not related to their passion. When you pirate a book, more than pirated movies or music, you take money from the authors (after all, they can't go on tour or charge $ 10 per person to make up the difference). If you prefer a pirated book, be sure to buy a new copy as soon as you can.
Step 2. Use a peer network
Because e-book files tend to be quite small, one of the most efficient ways to download them is through a peer network such as Soulseek or Ares Galaxy. Simply download and install one of these programs (or a similar program) and do a search for the title or author you want.
Make sure you find out where the program saves the entire files so you don't lose the location of what you downloaded
Step 3. Use a torrent file
First you have to download a BitTorrent client like µTorrent and then search for a torrent online. Torrent files themselves are not illegal, so they are often quite difficult to find. Torrent files are a great way to download large collections of books at once, but if you're looking for a particular title, you might be less lucky. Once you find a torrent file that you like, download it. It should open automatically in the client program. Downloading torrent files is generally faster than using a peer-to-peer network.