There is perhaps no shortage of e-book and audiobook subscription services, each promising to outdo the other with superior services and collection. While great, most, if not all, come at a cost. Again, this might not be enough for those who want to listen to or read audiobooks and eBooks without splurging too much, or maybe for free.
Here is a collection of websites that won’t charge you a dime to download e-books and audiobooks of your choice.
Think of free reading content and the first name that might come to mind is Project Gutenberg. They have become almost synonymous with free reading material which they have an excellent collection of over 60,000 titles. You have the option of reading the books online or downloading them to your device, which can be an e-reader, smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, etc. eBooks are available in ePUB or MOBI formats, while many books can also be saved in PDF format.
That said, there can be quality issues with e-books, as cases of missing content or maybe even an entire chapter omitted are not rare enough. However, the reason why the site still tops the list here is because of the large number of eBooks it has in its collection. It’s worth checking to see if the site has the e-book you’re looking for. Who knows, the particular headline might turn out to be well-formatted after all.
Standard Ebooks is a relatively new site that started operations in 2015. It doesn’t have a huge collection either, with only around 680 eBooks to offer. That said, the site remains a must-visit given its strict adherence to quality and other standards that make its offering, as Neowin stated, look professional and cohesive. The site also offers a fairly effective search function to allow you to find the title you are looking for.
Other features offered by the site include word counts, ease of reading scores for each title, and a brief description of the title. You also have the option of downloading the eBooks in a range of formats. These include ePUB, Advanced ePub, AZW3, and KePub, to name a few. Moreover, there is also a preview option which will let you have an idea of the book before downloading it.
LibriVox is unique among the others mentioned in the list in that it exclusively offers audiobooks. In addition, the collection includes titles to which LibriVox members have voluntarily contributed although the content is of acceptable quality. The site has been tailor-made to meet the demands of audiobook enthusiasts, offering a range of options in the process. The site offers a powerful search function where you can search for an audiobook by title, genre, author or language.
You can download the content in several ways, including downloading the audiobook zip file or subscribing to the audiobook and then listening to the chapters through iTunes. Then there’s also the option to add the RSS feed to your favorite podcasting app. Apart from these, the site also offers a play button next to each audiobook title so that you can listen to them right on the site itself.
Global Gray belongs to that group that values quality over quantity. So, the collection might not be huge – around 2000 free eBook titles – although the good thing here is that you get high quality eBooks. The categories covered are varied and diverse, which include occult classics, psychology, folklore, and almost everything in between. You also have an efficient search mechanism that will allow you to search titles based on categories, author, book series, etc. Or you can check the recently added list for more recently added titles.
Moreover, the e-books available on Global Gray have custom covers which further enhance their appeal. There are also a variety of download options available, including PDF, ePub, MOBI, and AZW3. Or you can also choose to read the e-books online directly on the site itself. There’s also the option to buy a collection of e-books if you want. Some of the collections available include Ancient Civilizations Collection, Children’s Literature Collection, History Collection, Poetry Collection, Philosophy Collection, Religion Collection, etc. The proceeds from the sale are used to maintain the site.
The site has a connection to Project Gutenberg in that the title offered by the Sticmann Ink Homeschool Collection was mostly taken from the former. However, Sticmann Ink Homeschool ensures that the e-books are in perfect condition and have the correct format so that they feel correct and enjoyable. Additionally, the titles are those that are included in the Ambleside Online home study program. Books are also categorized by school year as shown on Ambleside Online. The books are available in ePub and AZW3 formats with titles ranging from children’s books to those suitable for teens and adults.
Internet Archive, as the name suggests, can be thought of as an archive of a range of content. These can be e-books, videos, music, and software. However, you can view eBooks by selecting the “Text” option in the Media Type section on the sidebar. This way, you can narrow your search to only include e-books. The collection is also huge, which happens to be one of the main reasons why the site is mentioned here. Otherwise, the quality may be a problem. In addition, most titles are available in PDF format.
With a keen interest in technology, I make it a point to keep up to date with the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. This includes smartphones or tablets, but even extends to AI and self-driving automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. In addition to writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music or experimenting with different recipes. Cinema is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I will make a film in the future.