Updated: 10 February 2011
Search Engines and Lists
- eReaderIQ – Tracks price drops on the Kindle store, or you can enter a specific Kindle title and the system will alert you if the price changes.
- “Best Places to Get Free Books – The Ultimate Guide” – Includes lots of links to genre collections and real-world book swapping sites as well.
- Digital Book Index – Searches for free and paid versions of ebooks.
- Project Gutenberg – The biggest source of public domain titles, in multiple formats. Its Magic Catalog is a file you can store on your Kindle to browse for books.
- ManyBooks – Nearly 30,000 English language titles, as well as books in dozens of other languages.
- Foner Books – A hand-selected list of free classics on the Amazon Kindle store.
- Google ebookstore – Perform a search, then on the results page select the “free only” filter to see all public domain and otherwise free titles.
- Internet Archive – It can be a bit of a chore to slog through the unfriendly interface, but you can find lots of public domain material here in multiple formats.
- Open Library – The goal of this project from the Internet Archive is to catalog every known book. If an e-version exists, it will usually be listed.
- Feedbooks – A good collection of public domain titles. If you’re using a Kindle or mobile device, try the mobile version of their site.
Some readers gather online to swap ebooks via the lend-once feature offered by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For both retailers, lending can only be done once, the loan lasts 14 days, and is enabled on a title by title basis at the publisher’s discretion. At present lending only works in the U.S., largely due to rights issues in other regions.
- Kindle Only
- KindleLend at Reddit
- GalleyCat’s facebook page
- Kindle Book Lending Club on facebook
- Kindle Lending at Goodreads
- Ebooks libres et gratuits – French language classics.
Sci-Fi and Fantasy
- TEXTFILES – Archive of content posted to Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) in the mid-1980s. Includes some fiction, but the real value is buried in all the other, user-generated categories.
Tech and Computer Books
Magazines, Trade Pubs, Business
- Podiobooks – Serialized audiobooks.
- Well Told Tales – Sci-fi, horror and pulp stories.
- The Drabblecast – Sci-fi, fantasy and horror short fiction.
These aren’t places to find free books, but rather communities you can join to talk to other readers and find recommendations.
(Illustration based off a photo by ktheory)