You may be surprised to find out there are thousands of free ebooks available to download from digital libraries. Whether you like to read on a Kindle, iPad or smartphone, we’ve searched the web to discover the best places to download short stories, novels, and even kids books – all without spending a dime. Let’s take a look at the best ebook libraries you can visit today to download free ebooks.
1. Project Gutenberg
Undoubtedly one of the most popular ebook libraries, Project Gutenberg is home to over 60,000 titles that are free to download. There’s no fee and no registration. Popular titles include some of the most classic novels in history, including Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Illiad, Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Crime and Punishment, and more. Books are available to download in a variety of formats, including ePub, Kindle, plain text, PDF and more.
If you are looking for a site that’s full of independent authors and publishers, Smashwords is the ideal location to download free ebooks. Currently home to more than 400,000 ebooks from over 100,000 authors and publishers, there are more than 70,000 free titles available. Titles vary but nearly every popular genre is here, including historical, fantasy, science fiction, mystery and more, so there should be plenty of choices for everyone. Downloading an ePub or Mobi-formatted book is as easy as filtering by free titles, selecting your book of choice and clicking the Download button.
3. International Children’s Digital Library
Even though most free online ebook libraries cater to adults, options to download free ebooks for children exist thanks to sites like International Children’s Digital Library. With more than 4400 titles available, all available titles are scanned online so that they can be read through the site’s own default reader. Book discovery is done through language, shape, color, genre, character, true versus make-believe and format, so it’s easy for parents to quickly discover something their child will like.
Arguably one of the best websites for historical content, Archive.org is also home to all types of free eBooks. Everything from fiction and historical to academic and children’s books is available. Download formats including PDF, ePub and Kindle shows book interests are definitely broader here than in most other free ebook libraries. All totaled, there are more than 20 million downloadable books and texts for free with more than 2.3 million of those being “modern” ebooks.
5. Amazon Kindle Store (Adults)
As much as Amazon pushes books for purchase, the online retail giant still offers ebooks for free through their website. The best place to start is the Top 100 Free section, which often includes a mix of romance, mystery, fiction, and the occasional children’s title. Alternatively, you can also explore Amazon’s current selection of free Kindle titles that changes regularly and often includes similar genres to the Top 100 list. All ebooks are available in Kindle format, so you will need a dedicated Kindle reader or the Kindle app on mobile or desktop.
Amazon Kindle Store (Kids)
Adults are not the only ones who get to enjoy free Kindle ebooks. Children will also find a choice list of free available ebooks through the Kindle Store. Available ebooks include titles good for babies all the way up to age 12. There are some fun short stories as well as a mix of books to help children understand new emotions and feelings they are just beginning to recognize. There are often a few hundred titles available, so it’s worth checking out monthly to see if something new pops up that may be of interest to younger readers.
BookBub is something of a unique entry on this list, as it’s as much of a great place to discover discount ebooks as it is for free downloads. Signing up with your email will ensure you never miss a title that drops to $0, and with titles in more than 20 genres, there is something for everyone. Top-tier publishers and independent authors are all mixed together as part of these limited-time free ebook deals. No matter the title, they are available to download across iPad, Kindle, Nook and Android devices.
An Amazon property that’s excellent for book discovery, Goodreads is also home to a curated selection of free ebook titles. There are a few hundred in each genre, including books for teens, general books, Project Gutenberg books, permanently free books, etc. It’s an eclectic mix of titles, so it takes a little bit of searching to find something that’s right for you. Because it’s Amazon-owned, Goodreads will take you back into the Kindle Store, but it’s still a great way to help discover new and free ebook titles for future reading.
While Manybooks.net doesn’t offer anything particularly unique as a site, it does offer a resource of more than 50,000 free ebook titles. What it does offer is a visually friendly way to identify your genre of interest, then search for books. One benefit that is notable is that each genre allows you to search by language, and there are more than three dozen languages available. Ebook downloads are available as ePub, AZQ, Mobi and more, or you can read online using the site’s dedicated eReader.
When it comes to science fiction or fantasy genres, look to Baen as a go-to library for free ebooks to download. The site has a large selection of novels that you can read online or download in five different formats. In addition to science fiction and fantasy, Baen also includes young adult, nonfiction and paranormal romance genres. You won’t find any new releases or a very deep library, but it’s a great site to discover some hidden science fiction and fantasy gems.
10. Barnes & Noble (Children)
Like Amazon, Barnes and Noble also offers a strong selection of free eBook titles for children. With more than 5000 available books, they are broken down by ideal age group, new releases, top 100 and more. Downloading each ebook is completely free and can be read across a spread of Nook-supported tablets, eReaders and apps for Windows, iOS, Android and iPadOS. The book selection changes every so often, so it’s good to check back a few times a month to see whether new titles have been added.
Barnes and Noble (Adult)
Similar to its children’s site, Barnes and Noble offers a similarly solid lineup for adults as well. Whereas the children’s site is broken down more by age and new release, the adult site is focused more on genre. Genres including cookbooks, young adult, thrillers, romance and science fiction are all available for free ebook discovery. There’s a really deep selection of titles for each genre – science fiction alone has more than 12,000 free ebooks available. Like the children’s site, free ebooks can be read across any supported Nook tablet or smartphone app.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are all of these ebooks free forever?
Yes! Best of all, there are no limitations on how long you can keep them or how many times you can read them.
2. Are these free ebook download libraries safe?
Absolutely. All of these free ebook download libraries have been around for years with solid reputations. Project Gutenberg, for example, is on everyone’s list of top sites for free ebooks, as it is so well regarded.
3. Are there other free ebook download sites?
These are our favorite free ebook download libraries, and there are more ebooks available through these sites than you could read in many lifetimes. That said, there are still other favorite sites out there like Read Print, Open Library and free-ebooks.net.
When it comes to downloading free ebooks online, there really are so many libraries to browse through. Whittling the list down to the above choices gives you an excellent list of curated sites and digital libraries where you will find something new and exciting to read – for you and your children. No matter your genre of preference, you are covered with choices upon choices. Now that you have the ebooks, check out the best eReaders for Windows, iOS, and Android.