7 Ways to Read Online for Free

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I am so guilty when it comes to spending WAY too much money on books. I clean out my collection and sell to Half Price Books regularly, and I still have a collection of over 200! Not to mention the collection I’m starting to amass on Kindle. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are literally TONS of ways to read for free, and better yet, there are tons of ways to read ONLINE for free, meaning you don’t even have to leave your couch! I put together this list of the resources I think are the best, but don’t be afraid to do your research and find others!

  1. Your local library - We don’t all have the time or the ability to get to the library every time we finish a book. But even if you only go to the library ONCE, to get your library card, most public libraries have ebook and audiobook programs that are totally free!

  2. Libby by OverDrive - This technically falls under your local library, since the way to get access to Libby is via your library card, but I’m so in love with their user interface that I made it a separate entry. You can be signed in to multiple libraries at once, download ebooks for offline reading, and even send your books to the Kindle app if you prefer reading there.

  3. Project Gutenberg - Project Gutenberg is the OG online reader. Seriously. It was created in 1971, and the first book it ever published online was the Declaration of Independence. For those who don’t know, the name comes from the Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever made by mass-produced movable type printing press and kick-started the age of the printed book in the western world. I think it’s so appropriate that Project Gutenberg has done the same for the ebook. It only includes books that are in the public domain, meaning they are no longer bound by copyright laws, but you might be surprised at what you can find, i.e. the complete works of Austen and Shakespeare, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Peter Pan, and tons more.

  4. The Internet Sacred Text Archive - Maybe it’s just me, but I am unendingly fascinated by world religions both new and old. Mythology, fairy tales, religious texts - they’re all fantastic and serve as a kind of window into the minds of others; what they believed and why they believed it. ISTA has all of this and more, plus they’re devoted to spreading religious diversity, tolerance, and scholarship. How cool is that?

  5. Riveted - If YA fiction is more your thing, there’s a site for that too. You can download and read tons of free YA novels; the only catch is that they are available on a limited time basis. There’s also a great community there to discuss all of your favorite books and authors.

  6. Open Library - Open Library is run by the Internet Archive, and offers over 1.7 MILLION free ebooks, from classics like Sherlock Holmes, or newer reads, like The Help. In addition to offering free books, they also include links to access paid books elsewhere.

  7. ManyBooks - Last but not least, we have ManyBooks. They currently have a library of over 33,000, with popular titles like Me Before You and It. Plus, if your TBR list is running low (like that’ll ever happen, right?), they have a series of blog posts with recommendations. You can also subscribe to their email list, and get their suggestions straight to your inbox!

I hope you enjoy diving into at least one of these suggestions. If you like one, or have a suggestion that you think should be added to this list, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.