Books which are no longer covered by copyright are considered to be in the public domain. Anyone can publish them for free. Many classics are in the public domain, and the following tips and websites are to help you find additional free options for ebooks.
Tips for Downloading Free eBooks
There are many out-of-copyright classics available for free online. These tips will help you navigate the available options to find books compatible with your device.
- If a site gives you a choice of file formats, choose the format native to your ebook device. Suggested formats for popular devices:
- Kindle: MOBI, AZW, & PRC
- Nook: EPUB & PDB
- Sony E-reader: LRS, LRF, & EPUB
- Most readers can display an Adobe document in PDF format, but unless it is specifically formatted to the device, the font size may be unreadable. The ability to zoom text in a PDF document varies depending on the device.
- Avoid sites which promise you the latest bestsellers for free. The free books on legitimate sites are old enough to have entered the public domain and are no longer protected by copyright. Sites offering recent works are most likely going to send unwanted spyware or viruses with your ebook download.
- Never give personal information to a site in exchange for free ebooks. All of the recommended sites below allow the download of public domain books without requiring any information.
Recommended Sites for Free E-books
GADD offers out of print classics which never expire and do not count towards your 5 book check-out limit. These books are in EPUB format only.
Science Fiction and Fantasy publisher Baen offers several of its titles for free in all formats. The rest of its catalog is available at paperback prices.
eBooks at EBSCOhost provides older eBooks on a variety of topics, including reference books, scholarly monographs, publications of many university presses, and consumer books. Books can be downloaded onto portable devices using Adobe Digital Editions. Requires GALILEO password; contact the library for more information.
Feedbooks offers free public domain books, both old enough to have dropped out of copyright and new works by authors hoping to get noticed. Books are available in mobi, epub, and pdf formats.
Search thousands of free public domain books by author, title or genre. Books are available in all e-reader formats.
Microsoft provides free ebooks to help you learn how to use their products. Some of these are for IT professionals, but if you scroll past those ebooks, they have ebooks for the layperson like Windows 7 Power Users Guide and several classroom guides.
Munsey's has some classics, but mainly seems to specialize in old adventure, science fiction, and detective pulp fiction. Books are available in all e-reader formats.
Project Gutenburg is the original free ebook site on the web; creator Michael Hart made the first ebook in 1971. Project Gutenburg's mission is to make books as accessible as possible. Originally the books were only available in pdf and txt format, but now many are available in epub and mobi formats.