Free Resources For Your E-Reader
As the popularity of E-Readers grows, so, too, does the supply of free content. There is a huge pool of purchasable materials out there, of course, but on this page you will find links to online sources for free e-books that work with many of the E-Readers currently available. Not all sites have Kindle-compatible e-books.


Freading. More FREE e-book titles to choose from! Over 200 participating publishers, with more being added monthly.

This service is offered through the Library of Virginia through funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Service.

Zinio offers is unlimited access to magazines with unrestricted viewing 24/7. Magazines may be viewed via computer or smart devices, inside or outside of the library and are accessible via various apps (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook and Blackberry Playbook).

This service is provided through a partnership between Library of Virginia and RBdigital (Recorded Books).


Check out these two articles which discuss Google Books, currently the largest collection of digital books. There is also a lot of good information regarding the Kindle.

Laura Miller from Salon wrote this article which discusses Google's e-books.

Check out this explanation of Google Books by The Tattered Cover bookstore.


Here are some lists of websites where you can download e-books for free. Many of these sites can also be used for Nooks, Kobo and Sony Readers, as well as simply reading on your PC. There are several different types of formats available, such as: ePub, PDF, HTML, Mobipocket, and Txt. You will need to check to see if your device can read the particular format.
  • This article from Suite 101 lists several sites with free content.

  • This article from Top Ten Reviews evaluates seven sites with free content.

  • The website published a blog post listing the twenty best websites for free e-books. This blog later added another 16 listings -- that second set of websites can be found here.

  • iLibrarian offers a list of 5 e-Book Collections with over 100,000 free e-Books.


Here is an incomplete list of sites from which you can download free e-books. The statement shown with each is taken from that website's self-description.
  • Project Gutenberg is a place where you can download over 33,000 free e-books to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device.

  • represents itself as the Internet’s #1 online source for free e-book downloads, e-book resources and e-book authors.

  • is a free e-books site "where downloadable e-books are totally free."

  • Barnes and Noble claims to offer thousands of free e-books, but only about 100 or so are listed. These can be used on iPad, iPhone, Android, NOOK, and PC.

  • "There are more than 29,000 e-books available here and they're all free!”

  • The Online Books Page maintained by the University of Pennsylvania Library is described as "listing over 1 million free books on the Web."

  • At Kindle e-books, look under Special Features/Free E-Book collections. “Free classics and out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books, as well as limited-time free promotional e-books available for Kindle.”

  • At Smashwords you'll "discover great E-books from indie authors and publishers.”

  • Although its name mentions a specific brand of E-reader, at Kobobooks you'll find hundreds of titles in multiple formats.

  • The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books.

  • At Google e-bookstore you can “read nearly 3 million free e-books and hundreds of thousands of titles that are ready for purchase; you can read all of your favorite books using just about any device with an Internet connection. You can read Google e-books on the Web, with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and supported e-readers. You can't use your Kindle to read any e-books you buy from Google.” See the link above for free books from Google.

  • This site claims to offer a guide that covers where and how to obtain free e-books of all kinds.

The Handley Regional Library thanks the Carnegie Stout Public Library in Dubuque, Iowa, for assembling and sharing this very useful list of online resources for free E-books. The Handley Regional Library encourages you to investigate these free resources available for E-readers but also reminds you the Library itself has a growing collection of OverDrive E-books that are always free to cardholders!

Still have questions about how e-books work? Check out help page on our Blue Ridge Download Consortium web page.

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Page updated 18 July 2013