Finding a cost-effective way to feed your book addiction can be tricky – whether for a school project or just leisure ready. And while there have been tremendous strides to make books accessible for as many people as possible through the invention of Amazon’s Kindle, Goodreads, and physical bookstores, sometimes getting the books you want on a budget is still infeasible. Do you want to know how to read books online for free from your PC or laptop without worrying about breaking the bank?
We’ve outlined the best and most accessible resources online where you can access books from all over the world for free. So, if you need resources for that Google Classroom presentation or want to catch up on the latest comics, read on!
Project Gutenberg Library
Specific older works are within the public domain, meaning nobody holds the copyright over them, and anybody can use their characters in their works. The Project Gutenberg Library brings all these works into one place, offering over 57,000 titles to read for free!
Schools often use the books featured in the PGL for their literary classes, including classics like Shakespeare, Dickens, and many more beloved authors. It’s a great place to show kids to foster a reading habit since you don’t even need to download the books.
Google Books is another free resource that allows you to grow your library of books, old and new. It provides an easy-to-search feature that lets you add books to your library for referencing later on. Like the Gutenberg Library, there are options for classic tales, but you’ll also find some more contemporary works, albeit a preview in most cases.
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is one of the most famous libraries, and the rumor is that they have a copy of every book published in the past few decades in their archives. But while some lucky folks can visit this esteemed location as their local library, there’s also an online site you can access without a library card.
The Library of Congress is a superb place for old and young book lovers to enjoy their favorite genres and titles. There’s a wide range of audiobooks on their website, too – why would you ever pay for audiobook services again? If you want to offer your young child an opportunity to learn outside ABC Mouse, check out the Library of Congress.
Open Library is the quintessential digital library, offering classic titles and new books. It’s a free online website where you can “check out” books from their digital archive and read them as though you borrowed a book from your local library.
The web page is a marvel, and while specific titles like Harry Potter and other young adult novels may be unavailable, their collection of over 1 million free ebooks puts Open Library as an incredible resource you can use for yourself and fellow readers.
Remember that you’ll need to make an account, and some of the site’s books aren’t free, but their free collection is the perfect traveling companion.
A nonprofit created the Internet Archive so you can read free books online, and boy, did they make a fantastic resource you can use. One of the best parts of the Internet Archive is its easy-to-navigate UI that lists all the books in their genres.
But if you still need help choosing, then pop by Goodreads, list their most acclaimed books, and then search it on the vast Internet Archive. It’s the perfect tablet app to read books online for free.
International Children’s Digital Library
The Internation Children’s Digital Library’s contributions to children’s readers can be best summed up in their tagline, “to promote tolerance and respect for diverse cultures by providing access to the best of children’s literature from around the world.” You’ll find books for the youth that span continents and can offer your children a broader worldview.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.