By Katie Moosbrugger
I love a good book, and who doesn’t? Reading is my routine before I go to sleep, although it definitely ebbs and flows. Yet right now my reading is flowing more than ebbing. This typically happens when neither of my two “shows” (yes I only have two, sad I know) are streaming on Netflix, or as we head into the summer season.
For the longest time I snubbed the use of an e-reader. I even blogged about my dilemma here. A couple of years ago, I finally got with the program but found I was spending a small fortune on books. I used to always borrow books from friends or family, but was soon buying electronic titles month after month.
I’m sure all you Kindle (or Nook) aficionados are rolling your eyes right now, but I recently discovered a universe of free and legal e-books sources, and felt compelled to share this list today. Maybe you already know a few of these on the list, or are happy to learn about new resources!
I’ve only tried a few of these resources listed below and would love to know if you’ve had good or bad luck with any of these options. I’m also not super tech savvy, so if you are looking for more of a description, I highly suggest you do more digging. Happy reading!
Many of the following sites offer free daily and/or weekly emails the deliver the deals straight to your inbox…
1. Project Gutenberg – This is a huge library (over 50,000 titles) of free ebooks, many of which are classics. There is no fee to use the service but they ask for a small donation so they can continue to buy and digitize more books. Apparently this source has been around for a while (thus the massive library), and maybe it’s just me, but it looks a little antiquated. You can subscribe to its monthly newsletter online, and receive notifications of books as they are posted.
2. BookBub – This is my favorite go-to source right now. All you have to do is sign up online (it’s free and easy) and in return you receive a daily email alerting you to limited time offers (many of which are free) for popular books in the genre(s) you indicated you liked. I also signed up to receive alerts for deals on books for my kids. You can download your book selections right to your eBook library from the site.
3. ManyBooks – Similar to BookBub in the way it notifies you of great deals, the site also says many of their eBooks are from the Project Gutenberg archives, which means you have access to a lot of classics here as well.
4. Pixel of Ink – Lots of deeply discounted and free eBook deals are published every day on this site, and for limited time.
5. Centsless Books – Bestselling free eBooks are updated on this site every hour, and are offered for a limited time.
6. DailyLit – This site offers a cool way to deliver free eBooks, especially for busy moms on the go! Once you select your book, they deliver installments of the book to your inbox everyday (at the time you designate) for free, along with a little bit of advertising. They are also working on a mobile reading app to help make reading in small installments as routine as checking your email for favorite blog.
7. Booksends – Another site that offers a daily email with deeply discounted – and sometimes free – eBooks.
8. AllYouCanBooks – This site provides allows you to download as many audiobooks, eBooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during a free 30-day trial, and it’s yours to keep even if you cancel the trial. After the trial, you can sign up for the service for $19.99 per month.
9. Feedbooks – When you first log on, it will look like a regular online bookstore. Apparently, there are free eBooks you can download under the Public Domain and Original Books tab.
10. LibriVox- Free AUDIO eBooks available on this site.
11. bookboon – The world’s first online book publisher to provide free textbooks for students! This site also offer free business resource books.
12. Planet Publish – Offers free PDF eBooks which have to be converted to a Kindle or Nook-friendly format in order to read it on your e-Reader. I have no experience in this, but through research, I learned that the best site to convert eBook formats is Calibre.
13. Amazon – Simply visit their Limited Time free and discounted eBook section. Many of these books are organized by genre (and easier to search) on sites like BookBub (and other similar sites) listed above.
Ways to borrow and swap eBooks for free…
14. Open Library– Open Library has a goal to list (like a catalogue) every book (in print or out-of-print, in stores or in a library) online as a scan or typed test. They ask for book donations and help in building their library. You sign up to get an Open Library card and use it just like a regular library card.
15. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – While the books are free to borrow, you have to have an Amazon Prime membership to use it. There are two advantages to this source: 1) there’s a Kindle First program where Prime members get one free pre-release book per month, and 2) there is also the Kindle Lending Library, where Prime members can borrow one free book per month. To access the free collection on your Kindle, go to the Kindle Store, tap All Categories and click on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Browse books and, when you’ve found your title, tap Borrow for Free.
16. BookLending – This site matches lenders and borrowers of Kindle eBooks. Every loan lasts for 14 days. At the end of the loan period the title is automatically transferred back to the book owners Kindle.
17. Lend or borrow Kindle books – Similar to the site listed above, you can simply loan a book to a friend via Amazon for 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle fire or Kindle e-reader and can read the book after downloading your loan.
18. NC Digital Library – We featured this resource as a blog on our site!
Is there another source you can add to my list?