If you know anything about me at all, you know that I love books. From the cover inscription to the words on the page, I love everything about books. I like to pick a book up and run my hand gently over the cover, feel the embossing, check out the binding and find out if there is a Frontispiece. I begin at the first blank page inside the cover and march my fingers right through the pages that contain the publishing information and on into the content. I put the book to my nose and inhale deeply, leather books are simply gorgeous and smell better than a new car, just my opinion. Not to mention the fact that I buy a new book a whole lot more often than I buy a new car!
About four years ago I received my first Kindle (Reader, e-Reader) as a gift. I faced quite a dilemma. Kindles aren't very tactile, they don't smell good at all and they weigh next to nothing. I faced a true dilemma! Then I found out how sweet it was to have electronic books! Wow! I got over missing my 'real books' pretty quickly! I knew there were lots of free books out there, so initially I decided to read only "classics" on my Reader. You know what I mean by classics right, those books that you were supposed to read in High School, but instead you got the Cliff Notes version and made it all up. Oh, well maybe that was just me, okay. So, like I was saying, the classics. Yeah, well to be honest I soon tired of such a strict diet, but not before finding thousands of free books on several different sites.
Now you're probably wondering why someone would give away free books. Good question! These free books are not going to be your current best sellers. They may have been best sellers when they came out, but that was most likely 70 or so years ago. So the free books of which I speak are old books; oldies but goodies. Wonderful old books from authors like Jane Austen and Geoffrey Chaucer, to name just a couple. So please go look, because there are books for every reader palate out there.
Free book sites are plentiful and there are specialty sites for textbooks, computer languages, scientific books and so forth. It's easy and quick to download them. Most sites encourage a donation, and to be honest, if we don't help support them they may not be there next time we're looking for a free book. Finding these books is half the fun. One week I got on an old cookbook binge and went looking for old cookbooks. I found a ton of them, including one from the White House circa 1867. It's unbelievable what you can find out there in internet land.
I'll share a few of my favorite locations with you now. Before you go looking for these books be sure you know what kind of Reader you have, and the type of download you'll need. My primary Reader right now is my iPad which uses iBooks as the reader application. You may have a Nook, or a Kindle. If all else fails and your download fails, guess what, you can go back and try again.
First on my list is Project Gutenberg with 42,000 books. After finding a title you want start the download. There are about 14 different ways to download books from this site. Since I'm using iBooks I choose EPUB with images (if available), because I enjoy the old images. Just follow each step (usually 2 or 3) and soon you'll be reading your latest new book. The next site I like is Many Books. You'll notice that this site gives you the actual publication date, the number of pages and the reading level. I like Many Books because it's fast and simple to use. Witguides is another good source for free books. It has categories at the top of the page to make your browsing easier. You can also download documents in the PDF format from this site. Don't overlook Amazon when shopping for free books, and the iBooks application if you own an iPad. iPad users can also download the free Kindle application and read that way too! In fact, most book vendors have free books, it's just a matter of looking for them. All of these books have been translated from their original format, sometimes with pictures, to the digital format. That takes time, resources and money, which is why I made mention about donations above. If you find yourself really using one site heavily, then donate, help out, pay it forward! If you don't, then that source may dry up and be unavailable to to you and others in the future.
I could have added another 20 sites to this list but I'm running way long already! So, go forth and find free books. Let me know how you do! Tell me what your first free book choice was. Enjoy yourself. Read to your g-ma, read to your g-child, read to your husband/wife; share a book with a colleague whose near the edge. My only caution is this: reading is addictive, you may find yourself spending hours perusing and reading, free books.