Websites to Find Free Ebooks

22 February, 2017

Have you wanted to try an ebook? Would you like to keep ebooks handy to read on your phone or tablet? Has the cost of ebooks stopped you?

Well, there are ebooks out there that you can download some books without spending any money at all.

Several websites offer free ebooks. Others share information about where to find free or discounted ebooks.

There are several reasons some ebooks are free. In some cases, the book's copyright has expired. In other cases, writers offer books for free to grow a readership. Often a free ebook will be the first in a series. The writer hopes you will like the first book enough to buy those that follow.

When you find a free ebook you want to read, get it right away. Often the offer is open only briefly. If you wait too long, you may discover the book now has a price attached.

Be careful of websites that offer free ebook files to download directly from the site. These files could have malware designed to infect your computer. For example, be suspicious if a best-selling novel is available free on an unfamiliar website. It is best not to download ebooks, or any file, from an unknown site.

Some free ebook sites offer referral links to other websites so you can download the free ebooks there. These referral sites help you find free ebooks of interest to you. They also let you know when an ebook is free or goes on sale.


Amazon is filled with free Kindle ebooks you can download, if you know where to look. Check out Amazon's Best Selling Free Kindle Books, a list of the top 100 free ebooks on Amazon.

This list changes constantly, based on how well the books are "selling" and whether they become or remain free.

Amazon's Best Seller list is divided into Paid and Free. Check out the free sections in dozens of genres, such as:

  • Non-fiction
  • Business and investing
  • History
  • Foreign Language
  • Computers and Technology
  • Romance
  • Teens and Young Adults

Each genre lists the Top 100 free ebooks so you will have a lot of choices.

Prime Reading

If you are a member of Amazon Prime in the United States you can download free Kindle books through its program called Prime Reading.

Amazon Prime Reading
Amazon Prime Reading

The ebook has to be eligible for the Prime Reading program. You can keep the book as long as you want, as long as you remain a member of Amazon Prime.

When you want to download a Prime Reading Kindle book from Amazon, click the "Read for Free" button to download it.

Prime Reading also includes magazines to download for free. To learn more, check out the Amazon Prime Reading page.


Amazon is not your only source for free ebooks.

OverDrive is an ebook service that works with local libraries to lend free ebooks to readers. If your library is a member of OverDrive, you can borrow free ebooks, without even having to go to the library.

OverDrive Sample Titles
OverDrive Sample Titles

OverDrive includes a wide collection of ebooks, from new best sellers to classics. Sometimes there is a wait for a library ebook, just as there can be for a popular print book.

Project Gutenberg

Started in 1971, Project Gutenberg has over 53,000 free ebooks. Their website is filled with books that are no longer protected by copyright and are available to download for free.

Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg books are available to download in the U.S. but may be restricted in other countries if they are still protected by copyright. You can also check out its partner sites in other countries.

Apple iBooks

You can read free ebooks on your iPhone and iPad using the iBooks app. After you download the app, head to the iTunes App Store and click the "Free Books" category. You can see a list of the top best sellers in the free category of books.


Click "Get" to download those books to your phone or iPad.

Google Play Store

Check out Google Play Store's Free Best Sellers to find popular books that will not cost anything.

Google Play Free Ebooks
Google Play Free Ebooks

You can also search by genre, such as

  • Fiction & Literature
  • Cooking, Food & Wine
  • Science & Math
  • Books in Spanish

and many more.

Ebooks from the Google Play store can be read on Android devices using the Google Play Books app.


Audible lets you download audio books, a different kind of ebook you listen to. You can get a free audiobook when you sign up for a trial membership. An Audible member can also give you an audiobook.

Audible Sample Titles
Audible Sample Titles

Audible members are permitted to send one copy of each audiobook in their Audible library free to a friend. If a friend of yours is an Audible member and has enjoyed a book, ask him or her to send it to you so you can listen to it too.

Each listener can receive one free audiobook from a friend. This audiobook program is currently available for listeners in the U.S.


BookBub is a subscription service to let you know about ebooks that go free or are on sale. You can get daily emails to alert you about free and discounted books, and choose which books you want to hear about. Select from different formats (Kindle, iBook, Nook, etc.) and genres (fiction, mysteries, biographies, etc.).

BookBub Genres
BookBub Genres

The BookBub site has a "no spam" guarantee for your email address.

BookBub is available for readers in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia.

I'm Dorothy Gundy. And I'm Bruce Alpert.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Have you ever read a free ebook? Do you have some ebooks to read when you have spare time? Which sites do you use to find free ebooks?

Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

ebook - n. a book that is read on a computer or other electronic device

discount - n. a price reduction

copyright - n. the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell a book, musical recording, etc., for a certain period of time

malware - n. software program designed to damage a computer system

infect - v. to cause (a computer or computer file) to stop working as it should

referral - n. the act of sending someone to another person or place

genre - n. a particular type or category of literature or art

eligible - adj. able to be chosen for something

audiobook - n. a recording of a reading of a book