If you love to read, the internet is like a gold mine. You can find lots of free ebooks on a wide variety of subjects.
Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library and has over 50,000 public domain books. You can read them online or download them to a Kindle or other device. They also allow contemporary authors to self-publish through http://self.gutenberg.org/.
Some of Project Gutenberg’s most popular books are:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana
Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Minute Mysteries by Harold Austin Ripley
My Secret Life, Volumes I to III by Anonymous
The King James Bible
Simple Sabotage Field Manual by the US Office of Strategic Services
Open Library is a project by the Internet Archive that allows you to read public domain books online or download. If you sign up for a free account, you can also borrow some contemporary books – up to five titles for two weeks each. Some of the newer books include:
Appetizers by Sunset Books
Novels by James Lee Burke
Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
Brainpuzzlers (Math games and activities)
Business Etiquette by Ann Marie Sabath
The Rugrats’ More Jokes by David Lewman
50 Common Birds of the Southwest by Richard L. Cunningham
Dr. Seuss books
For those of you who prefer to have the physical book to read, Open Library will also tell you what libraries near you have the book.
Feed Books has a section for public domain books that can be downloaded and read on your device. They also have original books available.
Smashwords is an indie ebook distributor that has a selection of free books.
Directory of Open Access Books offers an online catalog of academic books that may be downloaded in pdf form.
The UC Press E-books Collection has almost 2000 academic books published between 1982 and 2004. You can search or browse by subject. (Look for ones that say “public” to find the freebies.)
OpenCulture has a list of free online textbooks. No, you’re not going to find that $350 textbook your professor said you had to buy, but there are some great resources for the self-learner.
Loyal Books has free public domain ebooks and audiobooks. Most are gotten from Gutenberg or Librivox, but this site may be an easier way to browse.
For those that like to have their stories read to them (it makes commutes and road trips so much more enjoyable), there’s Librivox and Podiobooks.
Librivox has public domain books read by volunteers. You can browse the site by author, genre, title, or language.
Podiobooks has serialized audiobooks and lets you browse by genre. They’re free to download but since they are by current authors, you are encouraged to “tip” them if you enjoy their work.