Where to Download Thousands of Free eBooks

It would be a stretch to say this article relates to genealogy; however, I have found that many genealogists are also avid readers with a broad range of literary interests. With this in mind, I thought I would share some ideas for those times when you want to enjoy reading a good book on a different subject.

Did you know you can obtain thousands of free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle, iPad, or other ebook reader?

Many of the available ebooks are electronic versions of classic literature. In other words, they are old books and are out of copyright. However, mixed in with these are quite a few more modern books where copyright permission has been obtained.

Most of these books can be read on a Kindle, iPad, or Nook, as well as on the screen of any Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, or Linux computer. This is a great way to obtain a lot of reading material.

Check out these web sites:

Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org is probably the oldest and largest of all the free ebook sources with more 54,000 free ebooks. You can choose among free epub books and free Kindle books, and you can either download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, especially older works for which copyright has expired. The books have been digitized and proofread with the help of thousands of volunteers. The result is fewer scanning errors than most of the other free ebook sites. No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, you might want to donate a small amount so the site’s organizers can digitize more books and improve Project Gutenberg’s programs and offerings.

Classic Reader at http://www.classicreader.com offers about 4,000 free books of fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, short stories, and young reader options. You can read books on-screen, but if you wish to download a book, you will have to sign up for a free user account.

ManyBooks at http://manybooks.net offers more than 33,000 completely free books, and the majority of those are available for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and many other readers. Plus, you can read online or download your pick as a PDF.

Planet eBook at http://www.planetebook.com only has about 80 books, but all of them have been carefully selected as literary classics. The books range from 1984 by George Orwell to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence.

Happy reading!

9 Comments

You can also get some free books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and free and reduced price books at Booksends.com and Bookbub.com. You can also use the Overdrive APP to borrow ebooks from your local library or libraries.

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And there’s Google Books at https://books.google.com as well, where one can download mostly old books, but aren’t those the ones who are more important to us? 😉
Michael

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Thank you very much for this, Dick.

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Archive.org remains one of my favorite places to get old genealogy books about colonial New England ancestors, record books (RI, in particular – their state legislature ordered the books be published in the 19th century). I think the oldest (reprinted in the 19th century) is The History of King Philip’s War by Increase Mather from ca 1676. A footnote in that book refers to two of my ancestors.
https://archive.org/details/historyofkingphi00math
Since I had both maternal and paternal ancestors from colonial New England, I have a lot of links to those old genealogy books and history books, have downloaded them, quoted them in Notes. There’s nothing like genealogy research to prompt one to learn history, even if it is “only” specific eras and events.

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    This is InternetArchive and contains a wide variety of offerings, including reports (they can be of value to a genealogist) – family, state, and church histories and old registers of government employees.

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A personal favorite is https://unglue.it especially since they give free, legal access to academic books and textbooks.
But honestly? Use your public library! Almost all offer free eBooks, as well as movies, music, audiobooks, language learning programs, magazines, and other downloads. And it’s not just older items — you can borrow current bestsellers and top films.
If you don’t know what your library offers, check their website or stop in to speak with a reference librarian.

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The University of Adelaide in Australia has a really good set of books:
https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/
All are free and in a variety of formats. To my mind, they are more aesthetically pleasing in terms of font and typography than many other offerings. Stuff from Gutenberg is often laid out with too much spacing and odd line-breaks etc.

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I also use WorldPublicLibrary.com. It requires you to sign up, but as I recall there is no charge. It’s good for old titles from various locations. If they have access they will download to a digital format for you to use.

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Reblogged this on On Granny's Trail and commented:
Here’s a post on the Eastman’s Onlinline Genealogy Newsletter I thought would be good to share, because who doesn’t like “free”?

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