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12 places to read free books online
1. The Library of Congress
(Access to over 40 million cataloged books)
If you want to read free books online, consider the Library of Congress, which is a research library for the US Congress.
It was founded in 1800 by John Adams. The Library of Congress is also the official government library and one of the oldest.
Today the library houses over 40 million cataloged books, over 70 million manuscripts and printed materials in various languages.
Some of the items you can find in the digital library are cities and towns, civil war maps, and the Bain collection.
Typically, users need to book an appointment to get into the physical library; However, you can access the digital library from anywhere.
After you get access you will find;
You can read some old titles. These include the Notated Office Book of Franciscan Sisters with Processional chant of the Catholic Church or fragments of manuscripts from the 16th century from the National Library of Medicine (US).
The platform is easy to use as the materials are available in a simple HTML format. Therefore, you can view them on your smartphone, PC or tablet.
(Access to over 575,000 books)
Smashwords is an online resource founded in 2008 that features a wide distribution of materials from publishers and authors.
Over 100,000 authors distribute and distribute materials in Smashwords, which uses robust tools to publish and manage the library.
The Smashwords library gives you access to over 88,000 free publications for readers and 575,000 paid e-books.
Some of the offers on the platform are free and examples of available e-book categories are:
- fairy tale
- public holidays
To review the books you need to log in with your email address and accept the terms and conditions. Once registered, you can read the e-books online or download them to devices such as iPhone, Barnes, Amazon Kindle and Noble Nook.
3. Google Books
(Access to over 10 million books)
Google Books is one of the most comprehensive online platforms with a list of extensive free textbooks from various scholars.
This e-book platform is one of the largest with over 10 million e-books from famous authors such as; Alfred Lord Tennyson, Beatrix Potter and Robert Louis Stevenson.
There is an excellent collection of free and public domain content where you can also find classic eBooks for kids such as:
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- Wind in the willows
The library allows users to read online and leave public or private reviews of books. Accessing the books is easy as all you have to do is type your favorite title in the Google search box and then read it online or add it to your library for future reference.
4. 24 symbols
(Access to over 1 million titles)
With over 1 million titles in a variety of languages, 24Symbols is a great website for inexpensive access to online material.
This premium service costs $ 8.99 per month to access the titles on any device including iOS, Kindle Fire, and Android. There is no obligation to pay and you can cancel your subscription at any time.
You can find the following e-books;
- Contemporary fiction
- Historical novel, essay
- Crime thriller
You can read many books online or download them to read offline.
Some of the most popular books are The Seduction, Nothing Can Hurt You, Old Love Good Girls, and Hell Hath No Fury by Michael Morgan.
5. Gutenberg project
(Access to over 60,000 books)
Project Gutenberg is a digital library that gives you tons of free eBooks from a variety of genres, from top classics to bestsellers in a variety of formats.
The platform offers over 60,000 free e-books and Kindle e-books that you can read online or download to your device. There are also some classic collections whose copyright has now expired.
You can find any book by searching the top 100 by title, language, author, subject, and popularity. There are also some offline catalogs that contain metadata and handy e-book lists.
You can read antique titles by historical authors such as Arthur John, Brown Francis, Shea John Gilmary, and Hamsun Knut.
No registration is required to access the extensive collection, and you don’t need any apps to read either.
Read recent books in Project Gutenberg; Browse by title, language, and author and get access to the top 100 titles by famous authors.
6. Internet archive
(Access to over 20 million books)
Internet Archive has a well-organized, nonprofit American library that makes it quick and easy to find an e-book by your favorite author.
Here you will find print publications in various formats and languages as well as a bonus offer of films, music and software.
It has various subsections including American Archives, European Libraries, Television Archives, and Indian Public Libraries.
You don’t pay to access the books, which can be filtered by title, creator and publication date. You can then read the content on the web without downloading it.
Examples of textbooks you can find include:
- Cusack’s freehand ornament
- Italian cookbook
In addition, the books are scanned and digitized into a simple user interface for viewing on your devices.
(Access to the book community for new publications)
BookRix is an online platform with e-books from various authors and free publications from the public sector.
It is a free service with a wide collection that allows you to read free e-books or download them to your browser or devices.
You can find different categories of e-books like;
- Fantasy books
- Young adults,
- E-books for children
- E-books with fiction
- Thriller e-books
- Lost love and money
- Love e-books from renowned authors
A plus point is the e-book community, where you can discover new publications, download e-books, suggest or review them with other fans.
(Access to e-books in high quality HTML pages)
BookBub offers free and cheaper e-books of various genres and sends notifications to your email on a daily basis to promote new publications.
There are several categories like;
- Latest offers
- Christian fiction
When you browse a category, you can see a unique arrangement of e-books by title, genre, and author.
In addition to new e-books, there are also many classic categories that you can find in your favorite area.
Here you can find books like An American Marriage and Ghana Must Go, The Power of Habit and Bringing down the Duke.
Clicking the book title will open an HTML page for easy viewing, making the content easier to load and for you to view on a browser or mobile screen.
9. International Children’s Digital Library
(Access to books in over 59 languages)
The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) works in partnership with the University of Maryland and is an online platform that has been providing free e-books to children for over 20 years.
The website contains various e-books written by many authors and you can access thousands of books by self-published authors in different languages.
You can find multiple children’s books from the following sections or categories: color, shape, format, genre, and character.
The ICDL is a non-governmental organization that encourages young children around the world to read educational, fiction, and children’s story books.
To access the materials you need to do the following;
- Log in and then click on the shelf area to access the e-books.
- After you find the book you want to read, you can read it online or download it to your device.
|children||Children’s stories, fiction, adventure|
|Educational||Multicultural and multilingual school books|
(Connects over 80 million readers)
Wattpad is an e-book website that connects up to 80 million readers from around the world.
The website offers a variety of offers, including advertising for paid stories; However, most of the content of the e-book is free and you need to register and log in to have full access to the site.
The browse button is the starting point, and here you can choose from different genres and categories, including Adventure, Fiction, Romance, Urban, New Adult, and Werewolf.
After selecting the book from the list provided, you can click on the cover and as soon as a pop-up bar appears you can start reading.
11. Open the library
(Access to over 3 million books)
Open Library is one of the major projects of the Internet Archive, the main focus of which is on the collection of library records and the creation of a single website for published goods.
This internet resource is easy to use, straightforward, and easier to find free books, faster. For example, you can access documented expenses by clicking on a specific book.
In the Classic Books category, you will find up to 3 million books that you can read for free. After you’ve found your favorite book, you can now decide whether to download it or read it online.
(Access to e-books in simplified formats)
If you want to download free e-books online and read them offline, you can choose Authorama, a simple platform that provides e-books in simplified formats and instructions.
All of the materials featured on the site, including book pages and illustrations, are in the public domain and you do not need to register or pay to access the books.
Here is a comprehensive list of fiction books by famous authors such as;
- Charles Dickens
- Francis Bacon
- Mary Shelley
The platform is easy to navigate as the pages are digitally scanned into HTML format and you can therefore also view them on mobile devices.