How to Get Free eBooks

Where to find thousands of e-books and how to read them

Picture of books and a tablet with an ebook
© John Lamb / Digital Vision / Getty Images

Free e-books are available on every different subject you can think of in both fiction and non-fiction. There are free e-books available 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 free e-books, but it's actually very simple. With the steps below, you'll be just minutes away from getting your first free e-book.

Tip: For other ways to get free books, see our list of the best places to download free 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 to read an e-book is on an e-reader, such as a Kindle or a Nook, but you can also read e-books from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Most e-book files open on your computer using a program you already have installed, but with your smartphone, you have to have a specific e-reader app 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 e-books easy.

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

  • Kindle Ereader App: This app lets you read Kindle books on all your devices, whether you use Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, BlackBerry, etc. A big advantage of the Kindle reading app is that you can download it on several different 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 e-book files, you can also use this app to get free Kindle books from the Amazon store.
  • Nook Ereader App: Download this free reading app for your iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows computer. You can get use it to get free Nook books as well as other types of e-books.
  • Kobo Reading App: This is another nice e-reader app that's available for Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows and Mac computers.
  • Apple iBooks: 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 e-books, 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 e-books that will work with just about any device or e-book reading app.

  • Project Gutenberg: More than 57,000 free e-books you can read on your Kindle, Nook, e-reader app, or computer.
  • ManyBooks: Download more than 33,000 e-books for every e-reader or reading app out there.
  • FeedBooks: Select the Free Public Domain Books or Free Original Books categories to find free e-books you can download in genres like drama, humorous, occult and supernatural, romance, action and adventure, short stories, and more.
  • Bookyards: There are thousands upon thousands of free e-books here.
  • GetFreeBooks: Download original e-books here that authors give away for free.
  • Obooko: Obooko offers thousands of e-books for free that the original authors have submitted.

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

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 e-book, you'll want to make sure that the e-book 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 iBooks App: EPUB and PDF

Tip: If your device or app won't open the e-book 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 free e-book you want to read, select a file type from the list above that's compatible with your device or app.

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

How to Open the Free eBooks

If you're downloading a free e-book directly from Amazon for the Kindle, or Barnes & Noble for the Nook, these books 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 e-books 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 e-book is in the PDF format and you want to read it on your computer, you'll need to have a free PDF reader installed on your computer before you can open and read the book.