How to Get Free eBooks

Where to find thousands of ebooks and how to read them

Free ebooks are available on every different subject you can think of in both fiction and non-fiction. There are free book downloads for adults and kids, and even those tween and teenage readers. If you love to read but hate spending money on books, then this is just what you're looking for.

It may seem overwhelming when you think about how to find and download ebooks, but it's actually very simple. With the steps below, you'll be just minutes away from getting your first free book.

There are lots of ways to get free books including sites that offer audio books.

What You'll Need Before You Can Get Free eBooks

Before downloading free books, decide how you'll be reading them. A popular way is on an e-reader, such as a Kindle, Nook, or Kobo, but you can also read from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Most ebook files open on your computer using a program you already have installed, but with your smartphone, you have to have a specific installed, which your phone probably doesn't come with by default. You can use an e-reader app on your computer, too, to make reading and organizing your books easy.

An ereader next to a stack of physical books

John Lamb / Digital Vision / Getty Images

These are some of our favorite free e-reader apps:

  • Kindle App: Read Kindle books on all your devices, whether you use Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, etc. A big advantage of this app is that you can download it on several devices and it will sync up with one another, saving the page you're on across all your devices. Besides being able to read most types of files, you can also use it to get free Kindle books from the Amazon store.
  • Nook App: Download this free reading app for your phone, tablet, or computer. You can get use it to get free Nook books as well as other types of ebooks.
  • Kobo App: This is another nice e-reader app that's available for Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows and Mac computers.
  • Apple Books: This is a really cool e-reader app that's only available for Apple devices.

Where to Get Free eBooks

Now that you have something on which you can read your ebooks, it's time to start your collection. If you have a Kindle or Nook, or their reading apps, we can make it really easy for you:

Below are some of our favorite websites where you can download free ebooks that will work with just about any device or reading app.

  • Project Gutenberg: More than 60,000 free ebooks you can read on your Kindle, Nook, e-reader app, or computer.
  • ManyBooks: Download more than 50,000 ebooks for every e-reader or reading app out there.
  • Feedbooks: Free books categorized in a number of fiction and non-fiction genres. No user account necessary; just use the download button to save the EPUB file.
  • Bookyards: Thousands upon thousands of free ebooks.
  • GetFreeBooks: Download original ebooks here that authors give away for free.
  • Obooko: Thousands of ebooks for free that the original authors have submitted.
  • Google Play Books: A collection of free books that are great if you like to read from the Google Play Books app or website.

You can also borrow and lend Kindle books to your friends and family. Here's a guide on how to share Kindle ebooks.

Google Play free ebook downloads

Make Sure the Free eBooks Will Open In Your Device or App

Every e-reader and e-reader app has certain types of files that will work with them. When you go to download a free ebook, you'll want to make sure that the ebook file you're downloading will open.

Below are some of the most popular file types that will work with your device or apps. See this eBook file compatibility chart for more information.

  • Kindle/Kindle eReader App: AZW, MOBI, PDF, TXT, PRC
  • Nook/Nook eReader App: EPUB, PDF, PNG
  • Sony/Sony eReader App: EPUB, PDF, PNG, TXT
  • Apple Books App: EPUB and PDF
  • Google Play Books App: EPUB and PDF

If your device or app won't open the ebook file you have, you can convert it to a compatible format with a free file converter like Calibre.

How to Download Your Free eBooks

If there's more than one file type download available for the book you want, select a file type from the list above that's compatible with your device or app.

Use the download link to save the file. If the book opens in your web browser, right-click the download link instead, and choose to save it.

How to Open the Free eBooks

If you're downloading a free ebook directly from Amazon for the Kindle, Barnes & Noble for the Nook, Google Play for the Books app, etc., these titles will automatically be put on your e-reader or e-reader app wirelessly. Just log in to the same account used to purchase the book.

If your books aren't from those sources, you can still copy them to your Kindle. To move the ebooks onto your e-reader, connect it to your computer and copy the files over. In most cases, once your computer identifies the device, it will appear as another storage drive.

If the ebook is in the PDF format, and you want to read it on your computer, use a free PDF reader. Another way to read PDF and EPUB books on a computer, tablet, or phone, is to upload them to Google Play Books.

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