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Where to Get Free E-Books Online

September 26th, 2013 Books/Audio/Video

If a work is no longer covered by copyright protections or doesn't meet the requirements to be covered it is considered to be in the public domain. Books in this public domain can be used and downloaded for free, with no permission or payment needed. Many times e​-books you're paying for on your e-reader or tablet can be downloaded for free (mostly older works that have outlived their copyright protection). Sometimes it can be tough finding a reliable, safe and virus-free website to get free e-books, though. Here are a few options for consideration:

Also known as Project Gutenberg, this website boasts to have 42,000 free e​-books. The site's books are all laid out conveniently in extensive categories ranging anywhere from U.S. Civil War literature to Witchcraft and Woodwork. Many older works like Henry James and Poe are available, but don't visit the site expecting to see many well-known contemporary titles. More recent authors like Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Carver still have their works protected under copyright.

If you're looking for contemporary works on Project Gutenberg, there is a self-published section in which writers are able to submit their own books to the website and have them available for download. While some material isn't exactly the most literary, it can still be fun to browse the self-published section. 

Although the site lacks the user-friendly function to simply browse extensive categories as found on Project Gutenberg, Free-Ebooks.net is a good choice if you already have an author and book in mind. Just go to the top of the page for the search bar, type in the author or book title and you're all set to download and start reading. Similar to other free e-book websites, it's not likely you will find many contemporary works due to those pesky copyright holders, but you'd be hard-pressed to not be able to find a classic. Free-ebooks.net has everything from Shakespeare to Jane Austen. 

Other sites to check out include Open Culture, as well as Book Boon, which specializes in textbooks, business-based publications and literature.

The only thing you have to do now is figure out what to read first!