Reading Resources

Free E-books

Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books, or eBooks. Project Gutenberg eBooks require no special apps to read, just the regular Web browsers or eBook readers that are included with computers and mobile devices. 

Free-eBooks.net Become a member of Free-Ebooks.net and you can download five free books every month. A paid option is also available for unlimited ebooks, audiobooks and other perks. 

https://z-lib.org/ offers up to 10 free books and articles per day with a free account. 

Apple Books has a free section. 

Google Play has some free books. 

Barnes & Noble Online has a Free ebooks section.

If you search for “Free Books” on the Kindle store, you’ll see over 80,000 results. Instead of plodding your way through all of them, start by looking at their bestseller list for the top 100 Free eBooks.

Kobo has a free section. 

Open Culture is great for classic books and has a free section. 

Freebooksy “We post a free ebook at least once a day. We cover multiple genres so that there is something for everyone.The ebooks are free on the day that we post them. If you find one of our listings is no longer free please post in the comments of that post to let your fellow readers know.”

Free Ebooks – BookBub 

A book promotion service in the vein of BookBub, Robin Reads is another great way to stay in-the-know on all the hottest new titles and discounts. 

Most of the other book promotion services focus on both free and discounted books, but FreeBooksy is the biggest site that’s dedicated solely to ebooks you don’t have to pay for. 

eReader News Today is one of the more reliable promotion services. Founded in 2010, they’ve been serving up deals longer than anybody, so they’re sure to know where to find all the goods. Their Daily Book Deals span 20 genres and almost always feature at least one free book. 

Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.

 Get Free Ebooks — though again, this one isn’t an ebook hosting platform, is a site that links out to other sources.

Ebooks.com offers up a fairly large collection of free books, with a focus on the classics. Its online e-reader runs pretty smoothly and is nice for readers who like to mark up their texts, with options to highlight passages and leave notes.

For those who like to properly digest their free ebooks and then share your thoughts with an audience, consider becoming a reviewer on Reedsy Discovery! You’ll receive a free ebook copy of every title you pick up for review, plus you’ll gain followers and can even get tipped for your work.

If the refreshingly minimalist design of Planet Ebook doesn’t instantly convince you of its merits, its sizable catalogue of public domain books certainly will. And because it’s based in Australia, Planet Ebook pulls from a wider public domain than in the US, so you may be able to find titles on there that you couldn’t find elsewhere. To survey its full list of books, click here.

Standard Ebooks is another site that’s easy on the eyes, mainly for the beautiful book covers that accompany each title in its library — perfectly in line with the project’s mission to provide free ebooks that “meet or exceed the quality of commercially produced ebooks.” Indeed, here are 500+ books that aren’t just “standard,” but exceptionally formatted. 

On Feedbooks, a site that hosts vast quantities of ebooks to purchase, you can also find free public domain ebooks and free original books.

Book Cave has a pretty compelling headline: “Free ebooks you’ll actually want to read.”

BookRix hosts thousands of freebies in its online library, most of which are original stories from brand-new authors.

Baen Books has grown into a wonderful hub for SFF readers and writers alike — complete with plenty of Baen ebooks in its Free Library. 

BookBoon, a site that provides free e-textbooks, making it an incredibly valuable resource for students and autodidacts alike. 

University of Pennsylvania’s Online Books Page is a clean, accessible hub for over three million ebooks and digitized papers — some originally published more than two centuries ago. 

Combining an extensive database of free books with a daily deals newsletter, Manybooks is a great way to stay up to date on new books without missing out on the many centuries worth of books already at your fingertips.

Goodreads has many giveaways for both ebooks and physical books that will be mailed to you if you win. You can also use the search field for terms like   “free-ebooks,” “free-ebook,” “free” and more. 

Library Extension The #1 Browser Extension that lets you instantly see book and e-book availability from your local library.

Riveted by Simon Teen is the online Young Adult community created by Simon & Schuster’s teen fiction arm. Each month, Riveted offers a new range of Free Reads. Most of these titles are “extended excerpts” of YA novels, but they will also throw in a few full short stories from up-and-coming authors. And as a kicker, they offer a full free ebook to all new subscribers. 

Harlequin’s website also offers a huge collection of serialized romance stories from some of their best authors — for free. New chapters are posted every week, or you can browse a massive back catalog of completed works.

In addition to regularly publishing reams of freely available short fiction, Tor.com also hosts an eBook of the Month Club. To participate, all you need to do is sign up (for free, of course), and then once a month, they’ll email you a link where you can download their selection in either epub or mobi format. You do need to act fast when these emails come in — the titles are only available for a few days — but this is an excellent way to regularly get a sci-fi or fantasy hit from one of the biggest publishers in the genre. 

Libby, is an app provided by OverDrive. OverDrive allows libraries to purchase ebooks for lending out to their patrons. Each “copy” of the ebook can only be checked out by one patron at a time. Loan lengths and the total number of titles you can have at once varies by library. Books may be checked out and downloaded directly through Libby, or downloaded for reading via Kindle. Because only one person can check out each copy at a time, though, there are often hold lists on popular titles — sometimes significant ones — so be sure to keep an eye on that when you’re picking your next read. However, the catalog available to each library is quite extensive, and if there’s ever a title your library hasn’t purchased yet, there’s an easy button to request it right in the app.

Hoopla allows you to borrow and enjoy audiobooks, eBooks, comics, movies, TV, magazines, or music. All you need is a library card. hoopla syncs across all your devices, so you can stream titles immediately or whenever you’re in the mood. Most titles can also be downloaded to your phone or tablet. hoopla offers more content, in more places, than any other digital library platform and it’s all FREE thanks to your public library! Titles may vary based on library catalog. Unlike OverDrive, patrons are limited to a set number of total checkouts per calendar month, as determined for by your library. However, because there are no limits on how many people can read a book at once, this makes hoopla a great way to read new and high-demand titles — no hold lists required!

Lovers of fanfic have long been familiar with sites where users can upload stories one chapter at a time, but Wattpad brings that idea to life in the original fiction world — with a few additional benefits as well. Started in 2006, Wattpad is perfect if you’re looking for a wide range of diverse voices and unconventional stories that might get overlooked by big publishers. Chock-full of talented writers and enthusiastic readers, it’s a community unlike anything else in the reading landscape. Leave comments, follow your favorite authors, and upvote the stories you love. With the free app, you can even keep up with all the best stories right from your phone.

Many authors use Smashwords as an aggregator to distribute their ebooks, the Smashwords store ends up hosting quite a few books itself — and according to its stat counter, a whopping 86,000+ of those books are available for free. 

Free Audiobooks

In Open Culture’s own words, they scour the internet for the “audio books you need, the language lessons and educational videos you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.” 

 LibriVox offers free audiobook versions of public domain books across dozens of different languages.

Storynory offers free audiobooks for kids, featuring everything from classics to brand-new originals exclusive to the Storynory site.

Spotify, the music streaming giant, hosts a number of audiobooks on their service, and have even entered the game by producing their own series of high-quality, professional audiobooks. Both of these lists feature public domain works, meaning their 95 year copyright has expired and they’ll be fairly old classics. Spotify also houses a large number of short story podcasts featuring works from around the world, so it’s worth searching for the authors or stories you’re interested in on Spotify’s search bar. A great starting point is the 1001 Classic Short Stories and Tales podcast. Just remember that you’ll need a (free) Spotify account to listen to any Spotify content.

Lit2Go is a free collection of public domain books, offered by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at USF.

If you’re looking for contemporary audiobooks, or you’re after a specific title that isn’t in the public domain, Amazon’s Audible offers a massive number of professionally narrated books. Though it’s ordinarily a paid service, you can sign up for a 30-day trial that comes with a free audiobook and access to a bunch of perks like Audible’s fiction podcasts and a further selection of free audiobooks for Alexa users.

Audiobooks.com is another service you ordinarily have to pay for, but their generous trial offer includes 3 free audiobooks. Like Audible, this is ideal if you’re after specific contemporary releases, or don’t particularly fancy the classics. 

BBC Sounds is a free new app by the BBC. It’s now the home of its radio channels, hosting a wide variety of radio shows, podcasts, and even audiobooks. The BBC has a long history of working with the most prolific actors in the UK to provide dramatizations for radio, and it’s now branching out to free abridged audiobooks. As long as you don’t mind listening to abridged editions, you’re guaranteed some absolutely top-quality listening. 

Operating similarly to other subscription services, Kobo’s audiobook list is quite extensive, so you’re probably going to find whatever it is you’re looking for here. Like Audible, it’s normally a paid service, but a free trial can get you a high-quality complimentary audiobook, so it’s worth a try! Just remember to cancel your subscription before you’re charged (and the same goes for all other trial periods).

Open Culture has done all the compiling for you, and rounded up a long list of free audiobooks available on the web. For that reason, you’ll see some overlap with the public domains books found on the rest of this list — but their list is so incredibly handy that you’ll get over it. 

Learn Out Loud’s mission is to offer free multimedia for educational purposes, and they’ve been doing a great job of it since 2005. Their website features over 3,000 free audiobooks for you to expand your horizons, and if you’re feeling flexible with your listening habits, you can also check out their broader directory of audio and video content: in addition to audiobooks, it lists lectures, courses, speeches, and so much more. 

OverDrive is a distributor of digital content to libraries. If you’re a member of your local public library, you may have access to OverDrive through your online account — that’s something to ask your librarian about. They’ve also launched an app called Libby to help facilitate a smoother reading experience for their users. This is an excellent, professional-quality resource that includes old classics and contemporary releases alike. 

RBDigital operates in the same way that OverDrive does: it works with local libraries, providing access to a large collection of professional-standard audiobooks. You’ll probably find that your library is subscribed to either RBDigital or OverDrive. Both boast excellent lists of reputable titles, so don’t worry, your library will have you covered whichever they choose!

Scribl is an online retailer of ebooks and audiobooks — but over half of their listed audiobooks are available to download for free, so their site is well worth a browse.

Free Classic Audiobooks is a straightforward website that’s just what it says on the tin: it allows you to download MP3 or M4B files of classic works. Sure, it’s just another option for public domain books, but the great thing about having so many options is that you can really take your pick of narrator if you hate someone’s voice. 

Project Gutenberg is the world’s oldest digital library, and run by volunteers. Like many of the services above, it provides exclusively public domain works, but it stands out because of its linguistic diversity — the site provides audiobooks in 50+ languages. Do check that the audiobook you select is narrated by a human, though, as this website also lists computer-generated recordings that are nothing if not a bizarre experience.

Mind Webs used to be a dramatized radio programme hosted by Michael Hanson. Its archive of over 100 speculative and sci-fi short stories is now available online, and it makes for magnificent listening. These high-quality half-hour shows are guaranteed to transport fans of sci-fi audiobooks into different worlds.

Sync is an annual summer reading marathon for teens, held by AudioFile Magazine in collaboration with OverDrive. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t really have to be a marathon: you can simply choose to read some books and not others.) You can learn more about how it works on Sync’s FAQ page, but the gist of it is that participants gain free access to two thematically linked audiobooks every week over the course of the summer.

You may remember Digitalbook from the old days when it was called Librophile — it’s a website that operates as a search engine for free audiobooks in the public domain. Through their site, you can find specific titles from the various sites listed here, as well as retailer sites like Amazon. With its focus on simplicity, Digitalbook really helps streamline the process of locating specific books. 

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Likewise is your personal entertainment discovery platform spanning across a suite of free products designed to help you easily find your next favorite book, show, movie, or podcast. 

Coming Soon

Additional resources for free/low cost ebooks and audio resources as well a info on how to choose you next read, and tracking what you read will be added in the near future.

Please check out the Taura’s Book Nook page here and the new group on HeyPeers for more great reading content and discussion!

Special thanks to Reedsy for the majority of this page’s content.

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