The best part about owner a tablet computer or an e-book reader is the ability to gain access to many free ebooks. Fortunately, thanks to literary associations like Project Gutenburg, the opportunity to read the most popular e-books is extremely possible with a simple click of the mouse. Unlike purchasing physical copies of these books, you can access them for free via your computer and read them on any device capable of viewing electronic books. I have decided to focus this article on the classic fiction genre to more specifically cater to people looking for books in this style, and I intend to in the future feature other genres in the same manner as well. These are the 10 most popular e-books currently available on the market, and more importantly they are all legally free as well!
1. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
I am starting off this article on free digital books with a book that most will be familiar with to some degree, though I doubt many have actually read the books. The archetypical concept of Sherlock Holmes has seeped into just about every show and book about detectives and crimes in some manner. Arthur Conan Doyle is an excellent author, and his work has inspired an array of television shows, movies, and additional book series as well. Most recently, the movies featuring Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes have made a good impact on the market; and perhaps have rekindled some interest in Sherlock Holmes altogether. I am pretty sure most people would enjoy this classic tale!
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula is one of my favorite books, and to have the opportunity to read it as a free ebook is just really cool! I would assume that many people are familiar with the vampiric monster Dracula, in part because of his prevalence in popular culture through movies, television, books, video games, and so forth. Like Frankenstein, Dracula has become an archetypical representation of what vampires are; and as a result many stories featuring vampires feature ones that are very similar in nature. Only recently with the Twilight Saga series of books (and poorly adapted, but outragously popular movies) have we seen an alternation in the vampire "schema" which incorporates vampires that glisten in the sun (as opposed to die) among other things. Still, most classic literature and horror fans love Dracula; and now is the best opportunity to read the original book by Bram Stoker as it is currently available as a free electronic book.
3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Harolded as one of the "first novels ever written," Robinson Crusoe is made infamous by this fact as well as the very engaging and interesting story about a man who is marooned on a desert island. I have personally never read the book, though I remember as a young child watching a film adaptation that was one of my favorite movies for a long period of time. Like many pieces of classic literature, this one has inspired a great deal of books and movies that have a similar thing and feature similar characters. In recent times, a very notable film adaptation of this story concept is Castaway (featuring Tom Hanks). Because this is a free ebook, and ranks very highly with a variety of literary critics and book consumers; it is hard to ignore it's popularity and the importance of checking it out.
4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
If you have not read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, you are certainly missing out on a great novel! This novel has defined Christmas in such an eloquent way, and further defined many traditions we partake in with regards to the Christmas season. It has inspired a range of books, movies, music (I can't get the Muppet's Christmas Carol tunes out of my head), and so forth. Charles Dickens is a very well known writer of literature, and even for someone who is not a huge fan of the Christmas season; I still find this book to be a pleasure to read.
5. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyam
This book is unique and rather odd to be featured on this list, though I have found that it is one of the most popular e-books currently on the free ebook market. Ironically, I have read this in the past as much of it's materials have to do with atheism, philosophy, cosmology, love, god, and other related themes. Unlike most novels, this story is told through poetry. It is comparable to ancient Greek poetic stories, and is certainly worth checking out because of how quaint it is; and honestly just how enlightening it can be about life and a variety of themes. Khayyam is a philosopher, and his writings are too good to pass up!
6. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
As a boy, Black Beauty was one of my favorite movies (the book has a film adaptation). In fact, I even have (still to this day) a model statue of the horse. The story itself is very compelling, as it is written from the perspective of a horse named Black Beauty. The story was one of the first of its kind, going after people who are cruel to animals. I love how the horse is anthropomorphised (perceived and acts like a human being) in this novel, and it certainly makes the story more compelling to the human senses; and I surely hope it has inspired more people to consider what animals may actually be thinking and feeling. The story is great, and the political motivation against animal cruelty is something that should be highly praised in this book as well!
7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
As some may recall, the Adventures of Huck Finn was once a book that was banned in the USA. This is strange, considering how focused it is on the nature of being an American. It is highly debated as to whether or not this is a "racist" book (I would say no, considering the time and the context in which racial slurrs are used through this book); however if you get get past the looming negativity with regards to this story; you may certainly find something to love. Ultimately, it is found that skin color does not matter with regards to friendship between Huck Finn and Jim (a runaway slave). I will stay away from getting too into the details, in case you have not read this or are not aware of the actual story (whether through other books or movie adaptations). If you are a fan of American literature, this is definitely one of the most popular e-books you could get your hand on.
8. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Hands down, this is a great book filled with a lot of action and adventure. While it has frequently been poorly adapted to the big screen, one can not judge the book itself based on the flaws of it's adaptations. The Three Musketeers is set in the early 17th century and tells the story of 4 musketeers: Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan. Musketeers are guards to the King. The men get involved in the many thoroughly enjoyed makings of a great adventure, including: betrayal, lies, assassinations, true friendship, love, kidnap, fighting, and the conspiracy by Cardinal Richelieu to overthrow the King. In this story, the brotherhood between men is portrayed as one of the most important values in life. This is an absolute must read if you enjoy any of these themes at all! Alexandre Dumas wrote some follow ups as well to this story, so if you enjoy this one; be sure to check those out as well!
9. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
A list of classical fiction writings would be absolutely incomplete if I ignored Frankenstein. It is a trademark of popular fiction writings, and has managed to seep into the mainstream media in the form of television shows (like The Munsters), movies, music, artwork, and so forth. This classic novel has taken the world by storm since its inception, and after reading it myself some years ago I would have to agree with just how great it is. The fact that it is now available for free in e-book format is just excellent for many people who have not had the opportunity to read it, and for those who want to revisit this fantastic and gripping tale of classical horror.
10. Aesops Fables by Aesop
Aesop is a writer dating back to Ancient Greece. Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have read his Fables. Strangely enough, even if you are not familiar with this collection of stories ("fables"), you have likely heard them seep their way into modern language and pop culture. For example, the story of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" is one of the fables written by Aesop. That story is retold countless times by a variety of people as we grow up. While these stories are intended to use as moral guides for children, adults will certainly find something enjoyable in the writing as well. Aesops Fables are a great tool if you are a parent as well. These are perhaps the most "family friendly" collection of stories you can get your hands on. Even though modern technology is changing and we can now get our hands on free electronic books, there is no need to forget the great writings of the ancients!
Whether the most popular e-books or just a regular physical book, these classic literature stories are sure to impress. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore them as well, considering just how popular they are; the the fact that they are FREE. Honestly, everyone likes free things; and to have the opportunity to read these classic stories is almost unheard of. The opportunity has been granted because these books exist in the public domain (with hundreds of other similar books), as they were written before the age of copyright and trademark laws.
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