If you love reading and consider yourself a bibliophile, you might be thinking: “How will I ever read through all of those in my lifetime, where will I store them, and more importantly how will I ever afford to collect them all?”
Thankfully, there’s the cloud, e-books, and websites where you can read for free.
While nothing beats the experience of having an actual book in your hands; sometimes, we’re okay with digital versions of books too. So thanks to the following websites, we got the chance to catch up on our reading while discovering digital version of classic prints that are now hard to find.
So read along with us! Here are the websites to visit to get your reading-fix.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit library that offers millions of free books and other digital or digitalised files of photos, music, videos and more. It has a collection of about 6 million books and text files that are fully accessible to the public. We even saw a digital copy of the Mother Goose’s Story that was published way back in 1899! Amazing!
Another great thing about this site: they have a text to speech function to cater to visitors who are blind or with other physical disabilities.
Open Library is a project of Internet Archive with the goal to feature every book ever published. They have gathered over 20 million books from 6 million authors. You can read books online for free by just look for the READ icon next to the title. However, while not every title is accessible, you can also download the ebook versions to your computer if applicable. And if you get extremely OC with typos or have a book you want to help digitise, then you’d appreciate that The Open Library is also open (yes, a pun!) for editing typos, adding a book, or writing a widget.
Did you know that eBooks were first invented in 1971? Project Gutenberg was founded by Michael Hart and is the first provider of free electronic books (or eBooks). His memory continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.
The website now offers over 53,000 free ebooks that you can either read online or download to your tablets or kindles. Their books are easily searchable through their catalogs -- with some of the books featuring illustrations and even the original cover of the book (it’ll make you feellike you’re going back through time). So if you love discovering how the first print of classic books looks like, then this is the site for you!
When you visit Google Books, it is just like its home page: a search box. Through Google Books, you can preview a book or read it in its entirety (it depends on the book or its publisher). If the ebook is in public domain (meaning the intellectual property rights have expired), then you are free to download it in PDF format. Google Books also gives you the option to either “Buy this book” or “Borrow this book” (but the borrowing feature is sadly only available in the US). The website also has a references pages feature, to make it easier for visitors to search for books, book reviews, and more.
Smashwords is the largest distributor of indie ebooks with over 55,000 books priced for free. It enables authors and publishers to distribute their ebooks fast, free, and easy; but still giving them control over how their books will be published, marketed, priced, sold and sampled. And if you’re a writer, then this is probably a site you may want to bookmark as it’ll give you a platform to publish your work and reach a wider range of readers.