25 Best Sites to Download Free Ebooks

– List of 25 Free and Legal E-Book Downloading Sites
– Reviews of Each Ebook Download Site
– What You Need to Know About Copyright Laws
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Before we start, let's get the legal stuff out of the way: Nanowerk will not be held liable for data breaches, infected/hacked devices, or ISP logging caused by using unverified 3rd party applications or streaming websites. We at Nanowerk do not endorse or encourage piracy at any level or in any form. While looking for media downloading websites, all the responsibility falls on you to check the copyright and legal status of the content(s) you access!
And while we have checked the free book websites in our download list below, we cannot guarantee they are all safe at the time you are reading this. That's why we can't emphasize enough that you protect yourself with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) prior to visiting these sites. This will hide your streaming and download activities and protect you from website operators, hackers, and your ISP.
Please note: Downloading copyrighted content with an illegal book downloading site is an offense, and you may face legal sanctions when caught. While we recommend using a VPN to stream and download content from websites, this list is for free ebook websites that fall within the public domain, as we never encourage using pirated content.
Also, check out our 25 Best Free Streaming Sites to Watch Movies and TV Shows Online. If you are an Anime fan be sure to check out our list of 25 Top Anime Streaming Sites to Watch Free Anime. If you are a sports fan, you might want to have a look at our 25 Best Free Sports Streaming Sites. And for music fans, we have compiled the 20 Best Free Sites to Download Music Legally. For staying in touch with friends & family, check out our 15 Best Sites and Apps to make free phone calls. As a Windows user you might be interested in our 12 Best Driver Update Tools. You a gamer? Check out the 8 Best Streaming Sites to Watch Video Gaming. For free and legal music streaming sites check out The 15 Largest Free Music Streaming Services.
Here is an overview (detailed descriptions are below the table; sorted alphabetically):

List of Best Websites to Legally Download E-Books for Free

NameContentAudiobooksOnline Reader
Amazon Kindle Unlimited2+ million ebooks, audiobooks and magazinesYesYes
Audiobooks.comFree 30-day trial gets you 3 free audiobooks & unlimited access to all other audio entertainmentYesNo
AuthoramaA good selection of high-quality, free books you can read right in your browserNoYes
Barnes & NobleDownload thousands of free ebooks online in any genre for adults and kids of all agesNoNo
BookRixTens of thousands free ebooks online in many languagesNoYes
eBooks.comA selection of hundreds of free popular classicsNoYes
FeedbooksThousands of titles that are in the public domainNoNo
Free Computer BooksThis site is a directory of hyperlinks to free ebooks, tutorials, and lecture notes, etcNoNo
Free-Ebooks.netFree ebook library with downloads from thousands of authors across 124 categoriesYesYes
Google Play BooksFeatures a section with free ebook downloadsYesYes
HathiTrust Digital LibraryOffering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the worldNoYes
International Children's Digital LibraryA large digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world.NoYes
Internet ArchiveOver 20 million freely downloadable books and texts plus a collection of 2.3 million modern eBooks that may be borrowedYesYes
KoboA wide selection of free ebooksYesYes
LibriVoxA large selection of free audiobooks in multiple languagesYesNo
ManyBooksA library of close to 50,000 free eBooksNoYes
Open Culture800 Free eBooks and 1000 free audiobooks for iPad, Kindle & other devices YesNo
Open LibraryThis universal catalog provides links to discover, borrow, and read from the Internet Archive’s collectionsYesYes
OverdriveExplore millions of books online for free with a library cardYesYes
Project GutenbergMore than 60,000 downloadable eBooks available in a wide variety of formatsNoYes
Read PrintLarge selection of classic texts and books with Creative Commons licensesNoYes
Sacred TextsLarge selection of classic texts and books with Creative Commons licensesNoYes
ScribdA 30-day free trial subscription to 1+ million ebooks, 200K audiobooks and 1+ million articlesYesYes
SmashwordsThe world's largest distributor of indie ebooks with almost 90,000 free titlesNoNo
The Online Books PageListing over 3 million free books on the Web available for download in dozens of different formatsNoNo
WikisourceAn online library of user-submitted and maintained textsNoYes

Reviews of the 25 Best Sites to Legally Download Free E-Books and Audiobooks

Amazon Kindle Store Review

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle Unlimited offers a free 30-day trial that allows you unlimited reading, unlimited listening, and magazine subscriptions.
Free Kindle books are offered in the Amazon Kindle Store in two sections: the 'Free Popular Classics' page and its list of Top 100 Free Best Sellers.

Authorama Review

All the classic literature featured on this site, as well as illustrations within the book pages, are in the public domain. Other texts are Creative Commons licensed by Authorama.com
Authorama offers a good selection of free books from a variety of authors, both current and classic, written in HTML and XHTML – which means they're in an easily readable format. Most books here are featured in English, but there are quite a few German language texts as well.
The search box is basic and the only other way to find books is by scrolling through the author list.

Barnes & Noble Review

Barnes & Noble
Download thousands of free eBooks in any genre for adults and kids of all ages.
In order to take advantage of this offer, you must have a valid NOOK account with a credit card on file. For those who do not have a NOOK account, please follow the prompts to create an account for free. The free eBooks will be delivered to your NOOK device or NOOK app.

BookRix Review

BookRix is a free self publishing platform that offers eBook distribution services to independent writers.
Locating a book on BookRix is simple when using the search field. You can find a book using the authors username, author name, book title, or keywords.
Not all books can be downloaded.

eBooks.com Review

You can browse DRM-free books as well as their collection of about 400 popular classics.
Download formats are PDF or Epub and you have to complete a checkout process, even for free titles.
Sort by author, title, popularity, or new arrivals.

Feedbooks Review

Although mostly a commercial site, there still are thousands od free and downloadable titles, mostly classics.
Unfortunately, the search tool includes both paid and free books.

Free Computer Books Review

Free Computer Books
All the books and documents listed in this site are just hyperlinks to other web pages all over the world. That includes, but is not limited to, ebooks, lecture notes, and tutorials, etc.
Therefore, this site is as legal as any search results by a search engine. In fact, over 95% of the books (links) listed in this site were the search results by Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines. The rest of links were recommended by authors or readers like you.
Genres include computer and programming languages, computer science, data science, computer engineering, Java, and networking and communications, each with many subgenres.

Free-Ebooks.net Review

Free-Ebooks.net is a leading website for free books, across 124 categories such as Fiction, Non Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi, Self Help, Business, and so much more.
The majority of books are offered in your choice of either HTML, TXT, PDF, ePUB or MobiPocket (.PRC) formats.
Standard memberships are FREE and allow members access to 5 eBooks each and every month in the PDF and/or TXT formats.

Google Play Books Review

Google Play Books
Users can purchase and download ebooks and audiobooks from Google Play, which offers over five million titles.
The free books section includes many popular classics.
Requires a Google account to download eBooks. Books are readable online, through the mobile app, and offline as an EPUB file.

HathiTrust Digital Library Review

HathiTrust Digital Library
HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of 17+ millions digitized items (therof 8.5 million books and 470K serial titles) from libraries around the world.
HathiTrust offers reading access to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law.
Requires an account to access eBooks. Books are readable online and downloadable as an EPUB, PDF or .txt file (where available).

International Children's Digital Library Review

International Children's Digital Library
Note that books on the International Children's Digital Library website are scans of physical books, so each page is a separate image to scroll through and read.
Apart from an alphabetical list, browse books by language, color, shape, format, genre, character, and by true vs. make believe.

Internet Archive eBooks and Texts Review

Internet Archive eBooks and Texts
The Internet Archive offers over 20 million freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 2.3 million modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free archive.org account.
Books on Internet Archive are offered in many formats such as PDF, EPUB, and Kindle, including DAISY files intended for print disabled people.
There is also a collection of several thousand audiobooks.

Kobo Review

The Rakuten Kobo catalog has over 5 million ebook and audiobook titles to choose from and some of them are free.
They have a section on 'Free ebooks"that you can find in the menu.
The free Kobo app is available for all ebooks and audiobooks.

LibriVox Review

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then they release the audio files back onto the net for free. Since all books are read by volunteers, performances can be hit or miss.
The site gets most of our texts from Project Gutenberg, and the the audio files are hosted on the Internet Archive.
LibriVox recordings are Public Domain in the USA. If you are not in the USA, please verify the copyright status of these works in your own country before downloading, otherwise you may be violating copyright laws.
Large selection of childrens' books. Search by author, title, genre and language.

ManyBooks Review

Not just the classics but many books in popular categories like Romance, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction, Biographies, Action & Adventure.
Search by author, genres or language.
Book downloads require a free account. Download formats include EPUB, MOBI, PDF, FB2, RTF, HTML. ManyBook's built-in book reader allows you to read books online.

Open Culture Review

Open Culture
Download 800 free eBooks to your Kindle, iPad/iPhone, computer, smart phone or ereader. The site also features a collection of 1,000 free audiobooks.
Collection includes great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including works by Asimov, Jane Austen, Philip K. Dick, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Neil Gaiman, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf & James Joyce.
Note that Open Culture doesn't host ebooks but serves as a hub for all manner of free online resources.

Open Library Review

Open Library
Open Library is a universal catalog for book metadata. Its universal catalog provides links to discover, borrow, and read from the Internet Archive’s collections.
Open Library is free and open to anyone. Some features require that you have an Open Library account.
Books that are freely available for reading or download will have an open book "read" icon next to them. Books that have a "borrow" closed book icon next to them can be borrowed for up to two weeks by registered users.

Overdrive Review

Explore & read millions of books online for free with Overdrive's app, Libby. But you'll need a library card for each library you want to borrow from. You can add multiple libraries to Libby.
Libby is their flagship app for borrowing ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines from your public library. Sora is their app for schools, where students can access ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines.

Project Gutenberg Review

Project Gutenberg
On the Project Gutenberg website you can choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for you to enjoy.
Project Gutenberg eBooks require no special apps to read, just a regular web browsers or eBook reader.
Search and browse by author, title, subject, language, type, popularity, and more. Top 100 list or ranked by popularity.
Handy eBook listings and metadata to consult offline.

Read Print Review

Read Print
Read Print is an online library of thousands of titles in almost 30 categories, ranging from arts and literature to nonfiction and travel.
To read a book use the Read Online button to launch it in your browser. You also have the option to Launch Reading Mode if you're not fond of the website's reading interface.
In order to download an eBook, the site provides links to Amazon, where you can download a title for free if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited.

Sacred Texts Review

Sacred Texts
Sacred Texts is the largest freely available archive of online books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric on the Internet. The site is dedicated to religious tolerance and scholarship.
The site strives to produce the best possible transcriptions of public domain texts on the subject of religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric. All texts are posted for free.
Search by lists of all the books by title or author, book title, author, or subject or browse by category. If you're unsure what to look for simply click the 'random'button.

Scribd Review

Scribd offers a wide range of reading materials and audiobooks including sheet music and news and magazine articles.
There are two ways you can find titles you're interested in: by searching or by exploring.
Although this is a subscription site ($9.99/month) they offer a free 30-day trial.

Smashwords Review

Smashwords is the world's largest distributor of indie ebooks. They make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers and thousands of libraries.
The Smashwords HTML and Javascript readers allow you to sample or read online, via your Web browser. Several of the available formats at Smashwords, such as EPUB, MOBI and PDF, are easily read on a personal computer or tablet.
Narrow your search by dozens of fiction and nonfiction categories.

The Online Books Page Review

The Online Books Page
The Online Books Page is a website, maintained by the University of Pennsylvania, that facilitates access to over three million free books on the Internet.
Downloads are available in dozens of different formats.
Search by by new listings, author, title, subject, or serial.

Wikisource Review

Wikisource is an online library of user-submitted and maintained content with hundreds of thousands of pieces of content available to read.
The site's subsection 'Wikibooks' contains thousands of open-content textbooks collection that anyone can edit.

What You Need to Know About Copyright Laws

In the U.S., the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended the terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever end is earlier. Copyright protection for works published before January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date. For example, works published in 1926 entered public domain on January 1, 2022.
In member states of the European Union, copyright protection is given for a term of the author's life plus seventy years.