Best websites for readers looking to download free e-books

Best websites for readers looking to download free e-books.
Image: YouTube | News4JAX

For those who love reading, e-books going mainstream is one of the modern era’s best technological developments. The ability to consume new and classic novels, nonfiction texts, and other materials digitally has made commutes, waiting rooms, bad dates, and long lines much easier to endure. Plus, virtual libraries prevent users from running out of content when things like unexpected travel delays pop up.

However, with the recent proliferation of streaming platforms and food delivery services, it can be hard to find room in the budget for new books.

Luckily, several websites legally host free e-books that you can use to refill your smartphone, tablet, or Kindle.

Project Gutenberg

Named after legendary inventor and printer Johannes Gutenberg, Project Gutenberg gives visitors access to over 60,000 free e-books. The site catalogs public domain works that have been meticulously digitized to enable mass consumption.

By its very nature, Project Gutenberg does not feature contemporary tomes. But its library is packed with great works of literature that are much more fun to read than that designation would suggest. Its “Frequently Viewed” page is a great place to start because it lists a slew of captivating books.

The site provides e-books in HTML, EPUB, Mobi, and txt formats, so its offerings are compatible with the vast majority of e-readers and apps.

Google Play Books

Google gives users access to a staggering amount of content through its Play Books app, available on Android and iOS.

The big tech giant created the platform as the e-book section of its larger Play Store. That said, it hosts a wide variety of free material that extends far beyond out of copyright literature. The service lets users download several new science fiction, romance, textbooks, self-help, how-to, comics, horror, mystery, and recipe books at no cost.

Admittedly, its selection is not the best, but the price is right, and Play Books doubles as an e-reader app.

True to its name, hosts 100,000 free books, audiobooks, and academic texts via signup or Facebook plugin. Its library is incredibly diverse, featuring flash fiction, web design guides, memoirs, and tutorials on bass fishing and tarot reading.

Its materials are available in a variety of formats, although PDF is the most common. It also lets users post reviews and star ratings for its content to make unfamiliar works easier to parse. only has two real drawbacks. One, users have to sync their media to their e-readers manually, and two, it limits consumers to five free downloads a month. That said, if users want greater access, it offers memberships for $7.95 a month, $39.95 for a year, or $49.95 for a lifetime.


OverDrive is a company that lets people from 84 countries borrow e-books and audiobooks from their local library systems.

The program is very user-friendly and lets subscribers check out digital media for up to 21 days. It determines content availability by location and syncs users to their closest public and school libraries. If a certain title is unavailable, you can put a hold on it and be added to a waitlist. It does not even require consumers to have a physical card connected to any specific institution.

OverDrive also gives users a choice on how the reader receives their chosen downloads. It can send e-books, magazines, and audiobook files to an owner’s Kindle/Kindle app or one of three proprietary applications. As it can connect readers to millions of titles in a few minutes, it is unbeatable as free platforms go.


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