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15 Places to Find Free Books Online

The following is a guest post from Karen Schweitzer, who writes reviews of online classes for

Finding free stuff online is a great way to save money when you’re in college. Here are 15 places to find free books, audio books, and textbooks online.


Classic Reader – a great source of classic literary works from previous centuries to the start of the 20th century. You can find thousands of free downloadable classics from Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, and other popular authors.

Get Free Books – offers hundreds of free fiction and nonfiction books that can be downloaded in multiple formats.

Many Books – offers one of the largest collections of free eBooks anywhere. Books are available in multiple formats–they can be read on your desktop or downloaded to a PDA, iPod, or eBook reader.

Project Gutenberg – widely considered to be one of the best sources on the web for free books. The site has nearly 30,000 books in its catalog and provides links to another 70,000 books that can be found for free online.

The Online Books Page – lists more than 35,000 free books in its index, including full text books, definitive collections, and serials.


Audio Books

BooksShouldBeFree – provides hundreds of classic audio books along with nonfiction books. Each book can be downloaded in plain text form and as an mp3 file.

Learn Out Loud – specializes in educational books and materials. The site hosts more than 20,000 audio books, MP3 downloads, and podcasts.

Librivox – volunteers record public domain books and publish audio files that can be downloaded by anyone. New books are added weekly.

Lit2Go – offers free stories and poems in mp3 format. You can read along online or print out pages to make your own book.

PodioBooks – features free serialized audio books delivered on site, through iTunes, and via an RSS feed. PodioBooks is a good place to find modern works of fiction by undiscovered authors.



Connexions – provides educational materials in a unique format. Hundreds of textbooks are currently available–many include complementary courses and course notes.

FreeTechBooks – lists online computer science, engineering, and programming textbooks that are freely availably over the Internet. This site is also a good place to find lecture notes and other tech-related books.

Textbook Revolt – has saved students tens of thousands of dollars since its inception. Students can give away the textbooks they don’t need anymore and receive the textbooks they need for free in return.

Textbook Revolution – began in response to the rising cost of textbooks. This student-operated site is easily one of the best places to find free textbooks online.

The Global Text Project – dedicates itself to making textbooks freely available online. The site also hopes to make open content electronic textbooks available on paper, CD, or DVD in the near future.

Stephanie’s note: Thanks to Karen for sharing this list of resources on Poorer Than You! Now I have some free books to make my way through!

13 responses to “15 Places to Find Free Books Online”

  1. Kate

    Wow, I just found your website on the Wisebread top 100 blogs list and already it’s proving useful! Why couldn’t I have known about these free book sites when I was in college? Oh well, hopefully some of these will have new releases. I’m really hoping to read 10-10-10 and The Power of Small, but I think I might have to just bite the bullet and get them on!

  2. Writer's Coin

    Great resource list!

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  5. Matt

    Also check out the Baen Free Library by Baen Books – . They’ve got lots of science fiction and fantasy for those looking for an escape

  6. Jordan Rivers

    Thank you so much for your help on finding free books online. Not only do I have two sons who need this, but so many of their friends do too. With the way the economy is going now, I doubt there are too many people who aren’t needing this kind of help these days. Thanks for all the time you put into this.

  7. Roger

    A great list of resources, Stephanie. I recall finding some fun stuff on Project Gutenberg, quite a long time ago, so perhaps it’s time I go back and look for more free books. Thanks for the suggestions.

  8. kristina ahmed

    How safe is it to dowload free audiobooks?
    Are these websites safe?

  9. Aidan

    Thanks, yet again.

    Though it’s always handy to be a little cautious of free downloads, you should always scan for viruses prior to opening the files.

  10. Aubrey

    Do you know if any of these are compatible with the Kindle? I can’t believe how many books are offered for free online. Speaking of which that reminds me, Stephanie Meyer’s just put out “the short second life of bree tanner” for free online last Saturday.

  11. Jesper

    Looks like I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me. Thanks for sharing:-)
    Aubrey you can use a program called Calibre to convert the files to Kindle. It’s free.

  12. Claus

    I recently bought a Kindle so this is great info for me. Thanks

  13. Joey G.

    You have a few good points but I think your missing a lot of really go places to look for cheap textbooks. There are many other options then buying such as renting or borrowing from friends. Here is a good site with lots of info to help you out. Free isn’t always the best option when getting textbooks either.

    Good Luck!

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