You don’t have to be a total bookworm to embrace the concept of free books.
As someone who loves receiving all kinds of free stuff, books are always welcome in our home.
If you’re a fellow book-lover and would to know how to get free books (both offline and online), make sure to bookmark this page as I add and update these resources:
5 Places You Can Get Real Free Books
To those who are loyal to the smell of printed paper on your hands as you snuggle in a corner of your house until you finish a book, digital books can never really replace paperbacks.
Check this list of traditional and non-traditional sources of printed books you can get for free:
This Corpus Christi, Texas-based independent bookstore has only been around since December 2016 and is much much smaller than Barnes & Noble-type bookstores, but it has been giving away a book a day from Mondays through Saturdays since January 2019.
Free books are first-come, first served. Every day, the bookstore announces the title of the giveaway book. Whoever visits the store first gets the book completely free of charge.
The owner, Dr. Jimie Owsley, simply wanted to help promote children’s literacy. The free advertising given to the small family-friendly bookstore is a major plus.
2. Paperback Swap and Other Swapping Sites
If you’re willing to let go of some of your books in exchange for new, free books from other people, Paperback Swap, Swapbooks, Book Mooch and other similar sites let you swap books with other book lovers.
BookHopper is a bit similar, but has an inspiring system because the more books you list on the site, the more books you can request from other people. Note that you’ll be shouldering shipping cost to people, so you’d have to be okay to receive yours at a later time.
As a fan of Dolly Parton, I will never ever get tired of mentioning how cool it is for her to lead this Imagination Station project.
The downside is that the free books are only children’s books.
However, if you have a child (as young as a few months old to 5 years old) and your local area (in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland or Australia) participates, they could send high-quality books for your kids regularly.
BookCrossing is home to a community of 1.8 million booklovers, who are perfectly fine with releasing their books “into the wild” for a stranger to find, or through “controlled release” to a fellow BookCrossing member.
If you’re looking at getting a book or two, there are designated book crossing spots all over the world, and if a spot is near you, go there and see if you’d like to pick up the book.
The books are tracked from the journal entries of those who were able to “catch” the books anywhere in the world.
This one is another popular booklover community with millions of books exchanged annually across 100,000+ libraries from over 100 countries.
The main idea behind the Little Free Library is to set up a library of free books in almost every community, especially in areas where books are scarce.
It’s been around since 2009 and originated in Hudson, Wisconsin thanks to founder Todd Bol, who built an adorable mailbox-type “library” with books that anyone can get to read. From there, this concept expanded around the country, and beyond the US as well.
14 Sites that Offer Free eBooks
For those who want something to read, but can’t physically go to the library, swap books to other booklovers, or take advantage of the other methods of receiving free books as I pointed out above, your next best thing would be eBooks.
And if you don’t know it yet, you have an infinite number of options when it comes to ebooks.
The 14 sites below are just the most reliable, most popular ebook resources out there – you’ll be able to find thousands of sites like these, but you have to start somewhere and I’m positive these first 45 will keep you busy for the next several months, or even years.
1. Project Gutenberg – Project Gutenberg is home to over 57,000 free ebooks from the public domain. You can read, download and even redistribute any of the ebooks posted here without fees or apps to download. This should be your go-to if you’re interested in exploring classic books at no cost.
2. Internet Archive – This non-profit site is one of the oldest libraries around with ebooks, videos, audio, and other files stored in different formats like PDF. The site itself isn’t fancy, but there are thousands of ebooks available via search.
3. Open Library – This is also a resource of public domain books, so don’t expect modern titles here. Cool thing about this website is that you can join the community and contribute in organizing titles.
4. ManyBooks – Offers “many ebooks” in different reading platforms like eReaders, Kindle, iPads, and Nooks.
5. Free-eBooks.net – Not the most unique name for a website, but it serves its purpose quite well. There are hundreds of ebooks in categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi, business, romance, self-help, business, and a whole lot more.
6. FreeTechBooks– Ideal for college students, this website has mostly textbooks, lecture notes, whitepapers and other resources in tech subjects like computer science, engineering and programming.
7. BookBoon– This is another publisher of online educational literature, if you can’t find what you’re looking for from other sites.
8. FreeBookSpot – The difference between this “spot” and others is that it offers free ebooks in over 90 categories.
9. GetFreeEBooks– Explore more fiction books in horror, sci-fi, fantasy and other genres on this site.
10. KnowFree – This is the go-to resource for professionals in need of ebooks, case studies, research papers, magazines, etc.
11. Issuu – What’s awesome about this site is that there are over 20,000 ebooks uploaded here daily, since Issuu allows anyone from around the world to upload and distribute their publications free of charge.
12. Google eBookstore – Yes, even Google’s playstore gives free access to some of its classic or modern ebooks. You just have to be on the lookout when the sale happens.
14. Official sites of local public libraries – Visit the official website of your community’s public library. In most cases, they’ll let you access their ebooks for free, as long as you log into the site using your library card details. And since you don’t have to physically “return the book,” you won’t be fined with any late fees ever again.
Free Books Galore
Anyone who just loves reading books, but are not collectors, would probably love the idea of BookLender.
Here, you choose a plan (whether to go with limited or unlimited) and rent a book with free shipping. There is no late fee or due dates ever, but you can cancel your plan anytime if you want to. Limited plans only give you a list of titles monthly, while unlimited is all for the taking.
If you’re a fan of audiobooks, make sure to check out this list of free audiobooks for all your hands-free reading.
Do you know any other ways to get free books from both online and offline source? I’d love to hear some of your recommendations…