Get Your Free eBooks Here
Since the days of the Pharaohs, libraries have offered access to the printed wisdom and folly of humanity, but only to “authorized personnel” in the beginning. Most people had to pay for books, and that was hard on budgets. But now the Internet makes available more good books, old and new, than one person can read in a lifetime. Here are a few examples of where you can find quality reads free of charge...
Millions of Free Ebooks
There has never been a better, easier, cheaper time to be a bibliophile. If you don’t know that word, that’s OK; this article is for people who like books, too. Here are five sources for free ebooks:
Project Gutenberg is the oldest free, open-source collection of literary works online. It was founded in 1971 by American author Michael S. Hart, who is sometimes credited as the inventor of ebooks. He himself typed into text files the words of public domain books to start the world’s first digital library. Volunteers all over the world joined in, and the Gutenerg Project grew to include millions of works. Today, Gutenberg works are available in plain text, HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and Plucker formats. It’s still all free, supported by donations.
Project Gutenberg Australia operates under copyright laws different from those in the U. S., so you can find titles here that are not in the public domain in the U. S.
Open Library contains almost three million free ebooks. Most are available for immediate reading via the Web, in PDF format, or in EPUB format (for portable e-reader devices). There's a smaller pool of several hundred thousand books, that are available under more restrictive terms, for copyright reasons. Many libraries contribute licenses that they own to Open Library, allowing OL patrons to borrow up to 5 of these books for 2 weeks each. When your borrowing period is up, you are no longer able to access the ebook files you borrowed. If OpenLibrary doesn't have the ebook title you want, you can use their WorldCat catalog to find a real-world library near you that has a copy available for borrowing.
Bartleby has to be the best source for online students, researchers or any other readers who need reference material. They have indexes by authors, titles or subject and access to both contemporary and classic works. Included are Harvard Classics, Gray's Anatomy with engravings, religious books, encyclopedias and other reference books. Also available are poetry, fiction and non-fiction. You can read these ebooks online, and search within the text.
Free Books on Amazon?
Amazon has a Kindle Classics library of free ebooks for the Kindle e-reader. Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Lewis Carroll, and many other authors familiar to every graduate of high school in the U. S. are available free of charge. Mark Twain’s “On the Decay of The Art of Lying” remains popular among government and public administration majors.
Amazon also has a Top 100 Free Best-Sellers collection. These are the best-selling books whose authors have generously (or shrewdly) made available free for a period of time. You won't find too many big-name authors here, but perhaps some of them will become household names in the near future. Look for books in this area that have lots of positive reviews. (There's a number next to the star rating that indicates how many reviews. Placing your mouse over the little down-arrow between the stars and the number will display a preview of the reviewers' comments.)
If you are a techie, FreeComputerBooks.com offers a huge collection of free ebooks for Computers, Programming, Mathematics, Engineering. Choose from over a dozen top level categories, and over 200 sub-categories.
Finally, we have ManyBooks, which emphasizes tools for digital readers. Utilities that convert one ebook format to another are popular, as are open-source ebook readers for various platforms. Most of the site’s actual ebooks come from other sources such as Project Gutenberg.
And don't forget your local public library. If you are a member, you can often "borrow" ebooks for even new and popular titles. In order to abide by their contracts with publishing houses, the libraries must limit how many copies of a given ebook title can be on loan at once. So if you want a current best-seller, you may have to wait.
Whatever your taste in literature, there is likely an ebook about it out there someplace. Like I said, there has never been a better, easier, cheaper time to be a bibliophile. If you're still not sure what that word means, look it up in a free online dictionary.
Have you used any of these free ebook sources? Do you have another one you'd like to recommend? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 30 Mar 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Get Your Free eBooks Here (Posted: 30 Mar 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved