Woman reading an ebook

Where can you download free ebooks?

Where can you find ebooks to read on the Kindle reader besides Amazon? If you’re interested in free (and 100% legal) ebooks to download, we have sources for you.

Something borrowed, something free

So you love your e-reader or phone/tablet reading app. You’ve managed to find most of the books you want to read in the Kindle Store. Like most Americans, however, you want a little more.

If you have an actual Kindle brand e-reader or app, you have a few options for sourcing more reading material. Provided you can follow Amazon’s instructions to email an ebook directly to your Kindle reader or app, or can handle hooking up your Kindle to your PC using the cable it came with (yes, it’s not just for charging it) you will find a wealth of free and legal books out there. Here are a few places you might want to check out.

Free ebooks & rental books for your Kindle or other ebook readers

Project Gutenberg has over 30,000 free e-books in Kindle, HTML, and simple text formats. All of the classics are here, but you won’t find current releases from any major publishers.

The Google E-Bookstore has a free section with thousands of scanned copies of books in Kindle-friendly PDF format. They also have books for purchase.

The Internet Archive has millions of rare and out of print editions in numerous languages, many of which are useful for academic purposes.

Open Library has 20 million user-contributed items in multiple editions and formats.

ManyBooks.net says they offer more than 50,000 eBooks for free — most of which are public domain and older works. To save the file to your computer, choose the “Kindle (.azw)” option on the right side, then click the download button.

SmashWords features many free ebooks along with their other offerings. Many of the titles are self-published and — well, some of those free titles might be worth exactly as much as you paid for them.

Feedbooks offers not only a selection of free ebooks, but also some free downloadable short stories.

Barnes & Noble offers a pretty good collection of free ebooks — ostensibly meant to be downloaded for their Nook ebook reader, but some of them (without DRM) can be converted to Kindle’s format.

And don’t forget that the Amazon Kindle store has an extensive free eBook collection.

Doc Durrar reminded us of another great source for ebooks in various formats: Your local (or perhaps not so local) public library! Many libraries provide access to the Overdrive service, which provides access to all sorts of titles and genres, fulfilled through Amazon.

Even if your local library doesn’t offer eBooks, a larger system in a nearby city might. For instance, in New York state, any resident can sign up for a free library card at the New York and Brooklyn public libraries, both of which offer extensive eBook collections that can be accessed via the web.

Getting it from here to there

If you need help with converting a book from the downloaded format to be compatible with your ereader, check out these tips from PC Magazine., or take a look at Calibre, the granddaddy of free ebook converter tools.

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