So you have a new e-reader or tablet, and you’re looking to fill it with books. Unfortunately, you spent all your cash on the gadget, leaving nothing in your budget for anything to read on it. Here’s how to find and download free ebooks online.
Ebooks, like their hard-copy counterparts, can be distributed for a fee or at no cost. You’ll find many commercial digital bookstores online, such as the Amazon Kindle Store or Apple’s iBookstore, but you’ll also run across many legal free ways to read digital books.
Project Gutenberg: At the forefront of free digital books is Project Gutenberg, which was created with the goal of digitizing books in the public domain and other sources, and making them available in a wide variety of digital formats without cost to users. Currently, Project Gutenberg is hosting freely downloadable versions of everything from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to the Kama Sutra.
Google Books: Similar to Project Gutenberg, Google Books is digitizing a variety of works, many of which are available for free and are readable online in a Web browser or on assorted popular e-readers.
Your own e-reader: Some new e-readers, such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook, give you the ability to lend books to friends directly through the device, similar to a good old-fashioned book exchange. Add friends to your devices, and you can begin trading without fees.
Wikibooks: The founders of Wikipedia have created another site in the spirit of the collaborative encyclopedia. Wikibooks is dedicated to making textbooks available for free and editable by anyone.
Major ebook stores: Even the big online digital booksellers, such as the aforementioned Amazon Kindle Store and Apple iBookstore, typically have free sections with large volumes of texts available for download in popular formats.
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