Reading books online is a new lifestyle for most people. With countless resources, it's now much easier to find our desired book online than in a library or bookstore. Today we'll introduce the best famous websites for free books online reading, including Google Books, Project Gutenberg, Open Library, Manybooks, etc. Some of them offer download links as well.
Best Sites to Read Books Online for Free
It would be silly not to include Google Books on this list. It's the largest free books online reading platform in the world. If you haven't read e-books on Google Books, you are outdated. The resources on Google Books are provided either by publishers and authors through their Partner Program, or by Google's library partners through the Library Project.
You can see Google Books as a big search engine for free books online. You can find online e-books at almost any topic and any edition here, it will link you to the search results when a book is found with the content that matches your search terms. To search with filters, simply jump to the advanced search.
When the book you're searching is out of copyright or Google Books has gained the publisher's permission, you'll be able to view the entire text or a preview of the book. In the search result, you can see a "Read" or "Preview" button below each book. A book with the "Read" button means it's a free book for online reading. As for the books with a "Preview" button, that means you can only preview them for a few pages and have to pay for the entire text. Some online books can even be downloaded as PDF files if they're in the public domain.
- Major topics of books: no index and no limitation.
- Download Available: PDF.
1. If you find the desired book on Google Books but prefer to save it as EPUB rather than PDF, you can use a PDF to EPUB Converter to fix the problem.
Project Gutenberg is an online library that provides over 60,000 free e-books and audiobooks. With the help of a group of volunteers that are passionate about books, Project Gutenberg has been continually growing and determined to collect more useful e-books for their readers. They focus on older works of literature for which U.S. copyright has expired and digitized them as e-books format.
When you find the book you want on Project Gutenberg, you can choose to read the free book online in HTML format or download it to your local device for offline reading. The supported downloading formats are EPUB, Kindle and Plain Text. If you want PDF books, just convert EPUB to PDF.
The e-books online reading experience on Project Gutenberg is unique. Unlike most books online reading website, Project Gutenberg makes the whole book on a web page so that you can read it without flipping pages. You can save the web page as an HTML file in the browser if you like, read this tutorial Save A Complete Webpage as HTML for easy instructions. Also, you can then convert the HTML to PDF, if needed.
- Major subjects of books: Literature.
- Download Available: EPUB and Kindle.
As an initiative of the Internet Archive, Open Library is a non-profit digital library website of valuable e-books. The mission of Open Library is to create a website for every book publisher and the digitized version of every paper book. There are nearly three million books that are available in digital form on Open Library, you can borrow or read these books online.
Books that are freely available for reading or download will have a "read" icon next to them. For those books that have a "borrow" icon next to them, you can only borrow them for up to two weeks once you sign up to Open Library. The books you borrowed can be read online with the Internet Archive BookReader, they can also be downloaded as PDF and EPUB formats.
- Major catalogs of books: Science, Biographic, Textbooks, Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, etc.
- Download Available: EPUB and PDF.
Goodreads is claimed to be the world’s largest site for online e-book readers and book recommendations. Up to now, 2.6 million books are added to this website and more to be continued, a major part of them are free for online reading. You can build your online library on Goodreads by adding books to your reading list and keep track of the books on your wishing list. Goodreads will also send you personalized book recommendations base on your online reading behavior and their analysis of the 20 billion data points.
On the "Sort by" filter of the e-book page, you can select the "Readable" option to sift the book can be read online for free. Choose the books that are with "Read book" or "Download eBook" on the right side, and click the button to open the online reader.
When you log in to Goodreads with your Facebook account, the website automatically detects your friends on Facebook that are using Goodreads. You can connect with these friends on Goodreads and see what books your friends are reading. This adds much more fun to book reading online.
- Major genres of books: Romance, Fiction, Young-Adult, Fantasy, etc.
- Download Available: PDF.
Tips: Some books on Goodreads might not be able to read online and can be downloaded as PDF only. But when the book contains many images the PDF file could be huge like 50 MB. You might need to compress PDF to reduce the file size.
The International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) is a free online library for kids all over the world, which provides digitized children's books in 59 languages that can be read online. The main audiences of the website are children from age 3 to 13 and their parents. The books here are strictly selected based on value, quality, and suitability. Every book online is delivered with copyright permission from publishers or writers in their original language.
The mission of the International Children's Digital Library is to foster children's reading hobbies, build their passion to learn, and promotes tolerance and respect for diverse cultures. To read free books online, children just need to search for their favorite books and click on the "Read this Book" link. On the online reader, children can choose to read the free book in a single or double-page view, and they can zoom the page image as they like.
- Major topic of books: Children's Literature.
- Download: Not available.
Founded in 2004, Manybooks has continuously offered free access to a comprehensive internet library of over 50 thousand digital books. In the last decade, ManyBooks has developed into a platform where writers of self-publishing can share and publish their eligible new books on, which is better than Library Genesis.
Most e-books on Manybooks are free to read online and can be download as PDF and other formats. Some books are not free, though. For the books that are not available for free, Manybooks will offer you a few links like Amazon, Apple, Google B&N, and Kobo that you can purchase from. To read an e-book online, you don't have to be a registered member, just click in the book title and choose "Read Online". Manybooks has its online reader that allows you to change the font size. But you'll have to sign up for free if you want to download e-books.
- Major genres of books: Fiction, Action & Adventure, Bios & History, Children's Fantasy, Horror, Non-Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, etc.
- Download Available: PDF, EPUB, MPBI, RTF, HTML, etc.
Conclusion: Picking the Best Free Books Online Reading Sites
In this post, we share some of the most famous resourcing websites for you to read free books online. So what does it take to choose one perfect platform for your online reading? It's all about what subjects you're fond of.
If you're looking for books for your kids, go to the International Children's Digital Library. For choosing a literature classic e-book, Project Gutenberg is your first choice. If you don't have a specific book or topic to target at, Open Library, Goodreads and Manybooks can help you with tons of genres. Or you can just go to Google Books. Everyone knows Google has the most resources in the world, I guarantee you can find anything you want there.
To add more valuable websites to this list, you can contact us via email or leave a comment below. If you're interested in, read more topics like Websites to Download Free PDF e-Books and Download PDF e-Books from LibGen.
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