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Guide: Best Websites to get Free and Discounted EBooks
The bookworm in us will agree that only books can provide the much-needed escape from reality. Whether it’s an adventure or a chilling thriller, they know for sure how to feed our vivid imaginations. While the scent of a new book is almost irresistible, most people today are taking the digital path by investing in either mobile device or a Kindle.
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Undoubtedly, e-readers like Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or PDF readers in browsers have made reading books so much easier. But buying books – both online and offline – can sometimes cost the world.
We list the best sites for free ebooks. After all, a one-time freebie wouldn’t hurt much, right?
Read: 4 reasons to still buy a Kindle or another e-reader
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A site with more than 2.7 million books and 52 million scientific articles, BookZZ certainly deserves the top spot. Claiming to be the largest library in the world, this site contains almost every book you can think of. Moreover, one can view the latest collection of this huge library with just one click.
Not only that, there are several formats you can download (depending on the reader type). The user interface is minimalistic with the right things in the right place.
So you can search by category or via the search bar on the home page. The more than a million books are neatly arranged in genres such as art and photography, entertainment, non-fiction, science, and more.
In addition to the huge collection, BookZZ also lets you choose from 15 different languages in your quest to download the golden book.
2. Lots of books
A site similar to BookZZ with a few handy ones features added in, Many Books will leave you speechless with its collection of over 33 thousand free ebooks. The advantage of many books over BookZZ is that you can choose to read a book directly in the browser.
Featured on many of the popular sites like Mashable and LifeHacker as the go-to ebook site, it has a neat UI with the main page book genres and deals.
Many Books also allows you to view the latest deals on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. from the site.
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3. Project Guttenberg
Project Gutenberg is one of the oldest publishers of free content and has more than 53,000 books. Considered primarily a treasure trove of English classics, you’ll find everything from Pride and Prejudice to Shakespeare.
The UI is a bit clunky so you may have to shop around a bit to get the hang of it. You can download the ePub or Kindle format or choose to read the online version, whichever suits you best. There are several search factors that will help you discover some useful books such as Most Downloaded Books or Top 100 Books and Authors.
So if you’re on the hunt for classics or a bunch of history books, this site will help you land gold.
The ebooks are free to use in the US, but the user must check the copyright information before downloading it in another country.
4. Open Library
With the slogan “One web page for every book ever published”, Open Library prides itself on having collected over 20 million books to date and is still going strong.
A little different from the popular Project Gutenberg, Open Library claims it lists every published book. This site, an offshoot of the internet archive, has a large collection of books – new and old. Like real libraries, this site too features the ‘waiting’ section for the books that will be uploaded or checked out soon feature where a user has already checked out the book.
Most of the available books can be read online or downloaded in popular formats. There are many options to explore and I’m sure it won’t disappoint. The best part is that you can find books that are out of print.
Overdrive is a digital representation of the good old library. You need a library card to access this site, but once that’s done you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from any participating library.
Overdrive spans more than 30,000 libraries in more than 40 countries and claims to have a catalog of approximately 2 million ebooks, audiobooks and videos combined.
The collection is overwhelming – with the most popular bestsellers coming together with acclaimed books. However, as with most libraries, you may have to wait for books that are already checked out.
Android userRead the full guide to listen to audiobooks on Android
Smashwords is the gateway for all indie authors and readers. It takes pride in providing up up to 60,000 free books and has about 400,000 books in both the free and paid domain.
Smashwords offers a change to both the readers and the authors by publishing new work and making it available to the public. So the odds are a bit tough if you’re looking for a piece by a well-known author or an old classic.
It offers most of the popular formats such as ePub, Mobi, PDF and an online reader.
7. Centsless Books
Centsless Books are for the avid Kindle readers. Just like the much popular website Hundred Nullen, this site too features the books that are free on Amazon.
This site has a decent collection of the latest novels and short stories. But there’s a little catch: most books can be used for free, only if you’re a member of the Kindle Unlimited program.
The list is regularly updated and you can choose to drop a newsletter in your inbox with the latest additions.
Feedbooks is an ebook seller with a large collection of free and paid books. The collection of free books is quite impressive because of the public domain offerings and you can easily have great short stories and books.
Moreover, the public domain books are neatly divided into different categories such as short stories, historical, literary and etc. Like most websites, this one also offers the download format of ePub, Mobi and pdf.
Looking for a site with good educational books on the natural sciences or marketing? Look no further, BookBoon has you covered with its range of free books. It has over 1000 student textbooks and 600 ebooks for business professionals in more than nine languages.
Founded in 1988 in Denmark, BookBoon is the site for students and managers alike. So far there have been about 75 million downloads. To download, you just need to sign up for the newsletter with your e-mail address. Only PDFs are available on this website.
While basically a cataloging website, Goodreads is also a lesser-known haven for free ebooks. A large number of books can be found under the e-books section.
Launched in 2007, the site has 55 million readers and a whopping 50 million reviews. The best part is that you can sort the books by readability or popularity.
So, which one is your go-to site?
These were some of the thrifty sites where you have plenty of free ebooks for you heart’s content. You can also browse Stanford University collections or the Google Play Store for more information. And while you’re there, don’t forget to tell us your favorite site, right?
Also read: The difference between EPUB, MOBI, AZW and PDF eBook formats
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