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How Can I Find Free E-Books?

By Edited Oct 6, 2016 0 4

Getting a new e-reader is very exciting. Maybe it is a shiny new Amazon Kindle, a Barnes and Noble Nook, or perhaps a Sony Reader, the possibilities are endless. My Nook holds approximately 1500 titles before I add a SD card! There is one little problem….. most of those books are not free. I probably spend twenty dollars each month on new titles for my Nook at Barnes and Noble and I know some spend A LOT more. E-Books, by their nature, are cheaper than traditional books. For example.. Stephen King's "Dark Night, No Stars" currently lists for $14.77 plus shipping for a hard cover purchased at barnesandnoble.com (price well below retail). The same book can be bought for $12.99 flat and delivered instantly on the Nook. While this is a considerable savings in both time and money, there are a few places you can do even better… like FREE!

Before you start looking for free E-books you need to know which formats your e-reader can read. For instance, my Nook supports: EPUB (including Non or Adobe DRM), PBD, PDF, Graphics (JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP) and MP3 audio files. Once you have this information, you can locate the file, download it on your PC, and use the USB cord supplied with your e-reader to transfer the file to your device. So… Where do you find free E-Books?

1. Your device's homepage.

Most booksellers have some E-Books listed for free. On barnesandnoble.com you select Nookbooks --- Customer Favorites --- Free E-Books. There are approximately 100 titles for you to download for free! I am sure all of the major sellers have similar offerings. Maybe they are trying to jumpstart a new author, or they are just giving away books that the American copyright has already expired on anyway. Either way.. you win! Speaking of expired copyrights…

2. The Project Gutenberg website.

Project Gutenberg, founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, is the world's oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. As of this writing the Project Gutenberg site has over 33,000 titles available for download. Public domain basically means that the copyright on these works has expired ( <- this is a very loose definition and not at all to be construed as a legal description). Here you will find some of the best works ever written. Just glancing at the list I see Dickens, Doyle, Twain, Austen, and Shakespeare. Click on the title…. Select your format…… download… plug in your e-reader… drag and drop. Not too hard was it? First time I tried it on my Nook, I couldn't find the book in my "library"…. Looked under My Documents, and there it was..."The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana" (hey... to each our own, right?).

3. books.google.com

Has over 3 million e-books available, many of them for free. Scroll down to "Best of the Free" on their homepage.

I hope this article help you to discover the tens of thousands of completely free e-books that are available for you to enjoy with your new e-reader. You could spend a lifetime reading the greatest works ever put to paper and never spend a dime.



Dec 30, 2010 9:56pm
Great tips on getting free e-books, I hope to check out these sites soon. Great article!
Jan 9, 2011 8:14pm
Thanks Sookie!
Jan 17, 2011 5:01pm
Very nice article.

I just want to point out, though, that not all free e-books are legitimate. There are a lot of sites out there that appear to be legitimate that are giving out material that is under copyright. By giving away books that are still in copyright they are often making it hard for legitimate authors to make a living.

I know there are two sides to the copyright argument, but want to make sure people know to really check to see that they are not either purposefully or inadvertently downloading material that is illegal.

Sorry for the soapbox speech, but I think it is a very important topic.

Again, nice article!
Jan 17, 2011 6:28pm
Thanks! I agree about the copyright comment. That is the primary reason I didn't list a few other sources here. Respect the work of others!
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