Websites to Read Free Books Online

Websites to Read Free Books Online

Reading is a great way to exercise your brain, learn new things, and even improve your vocabulary. It is also a good way to pass time. However, sometimes you just can’t seem to find the right book to read either because you are far away from the library or just don’t have the money to buy it.

The good news is that there are sites that allow you to read free books online without downloading them. If you too are an avid reader and have been reading books offline until now or someone who wants to develop the habit of reading, this article is for you.

Here is a list of some of the best sites that offer free books to read online.

1. Google Books

Google Books is a service that is operated by Google Inc. It was launched in 2004 and serves as a search for full-text books.

The books on this database have been scanned from their original form using optical character recognition technology and then converted into digital form. With this service, you can search and find millions of books from around the world.

The database contains some books that are still under copyright and you’ll still have to pay to access them or read them. However, there are also thousands of books whose copyright has expired or those that are available to the public free of charge.

There are more than 10 million free books for you to either read online or download for offline reading. Instead of spending too much time looking for free books, narrow down your search by clicking on the section that says “Free Google eBooks”.

That will bring up a list of free books you can access immediately without any special requirements.

2. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is an online book library that was founded in 1971 by an American writer called Michael S. Hart. It is a volunteer effort designed to create as many digitized books as possible and avail them to the general public.

The library features over 60,000 books, which is quite impressive especially if you are looking for a variety of things to read. You do not need any special apps or sign up to access books from this digital library.

Instead, all you have to do is visit the website on your favorite web browser and start browsing through the collection of books available. You can narrow down your searches to categories for ease of perusal.

The library contains books as they appear in their physical form. That means you can even view the book’s hard copy image and find its table of contents. Most of the time, you can select specific parts of the book thanks to hyperlinks included in the table of contents.

You can read books online by clicking on the section that says “Read this book online: HTML”.

3. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a digital library that was founded by Brewster Kahle from California, United States in 1996. It is built around the belief that knowledge should be freely accessible to everyone.

It is a unique digital library because it not only brings together a collection of thousands of books but also includes movies, software, music, and websites. The site features a simple interface with sections labeled right at the top.

Click on the section you are interested in and then search for whatever you want to view. In this case, you’ll need to click on the books section and then search for the title of the book you wish to read.

Once you identify the book, simply click on its cover to open its first page. Every time you click on the book, the next page will appear.

Note that the Internet Archive is a non-profit and therefore stays active thanks to donations from well-wishers.

4. Open Library

Open Library is another exceptional site you can go to if you want to read free books online. It is a project of the Internet Archive and was launched in 2006.

Like its parent organization, it seeks to provide as many books as possible to people around the world for free. It currently has over 3,000,000 eBooks under different categories. Some of these categories include romance, biography, fantasy, children’s, and classics. It is worth pointing out that not all the books in the database are available for free.

You’ll need to sign up and borrow specific books to read. However, there are still thousands of books you can read completely free of charge. Such books have the “Read” label next to them.

Immediately you click on the label, you will be redirected to the book’s page where you can read without any special requirements. The site allows users to organize their books thanks to the lists and reading log features.

5. Bookboon

Bookboon is another site you should consider using especially if you are a college or university student. It contains thousands of free textbooks written by professors and scholars from different fields.

However, you have to sign up for a free account to benefit from the free book-reading offer. There are over 100 free textbooks covering categories like natural sciences, engineering, economics, finance, marketing, human resources, and more.

Once you sign up, you’ll identify the free books easily because they have a section marked “Start Reading”. By clicking on the said words, you’ll be able to access the book’s contents without any restrictions.

6. is another excellent website you can turn to when you want to read free books online. It features different categories including fiction, non-fiction, academic, and textbooks, among others.

By clicking on any of the categories, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can find free books in the said category. To read books online, click on the book cover and then scroll down to the book’s description.

You’ll notice an HTML button next to the book description. Click on the button to start reading the book immediately. If you choose to, you can become a member of the site and download five books every month for free.

You can read books from this site as long as you have access to a computer or a mobile device connected to the internet.

7. Manybooks

Manybooks was established in 2004 and strives to offer a comprehensive list of free books in digital format. It has over 50,000 free books in its database.

Once you land on the website, you’ll be welcomed by an organized layout allowing you to navigate to different sections easily. Books are categorized into sections such as romance, action & adventure, young adult, fantasy, non-fiction, science fiction, and horror, among others.

Another unique thing about this site is that it features a collection of books in more than 45 different languages. That means people from different nationalities can visit the site and find something written in their own dialect.

Once you identify a book you are interested in, all you have to do is click on the button that says “Read Online”. This will open up the book and give you access to all its content.

8. Smashwords

Another site where you can read free books without downloading is Smashwords. It was founded in 2008 and has its headquarters in California.

It styles itself as a platform for self-publishing eBooks. This is another site that contains thousands of books although not all are available to read for free.

The good news is that there are over 70,000 books that are available for you to read without downloading anything. The site incorporates HTML and Javascript technology to allow users to read books online.

If you want to read books offline, you can do so by downloading those that are available for free. The site lets users filter books according to price range or free offers and that help you find what you are looking for relatively fast.

9. Open Culture

Open Culture makes it to the list of the best sites to read free books online without downloading because of its impressive database of books and courses. This is another site that is ideal for learners and educators because it is packed with resources for such people.

It is unique because it offers links to free eBooks, textbooks, podcasts, and courses. The links redirect you to sites that contain free books you can read directly from your web browser.

There are even certain links that allow you to download books for offline reading. While Open Culture looks like a regular news site, you’ll notice that it has categorized its content accordingly.

This allows you to browse through the various sections available and land on the one that you want. Clicking a category redirects you to a page with content under the same field. Click on the “Read Online Now” button to access the content you wish to read.

10. Read Any Book

Read Any Book is another digital library you can visit to find and read free books online. As soon as you land on its home page, you’ll find an array of books considered to be some of the most popular.

Readers rate books after reading them on the site and this rating makes it possible for the site to display the most loved books first. However, you can also look to the right side of the home page to find links to different genres of books.

Some of these genres include horror, science fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, thriller, children, comedy, and classic. Click on any genre to reveal the titles available for you to read online.

Once you find a book you are interested in, click on its poster and then scroll down to find the “Read” icon. Clicking on the icon will open the book. You can even read the book in full screen if you wish.

Now that you have gotten the list of all the websites where you can devour your favorite books with all your heart, make sure you engross yourself in voracious reading and spend your me-time with your favorite book at your fingertips. Leverage the websites and download your favorite books as soon as possible. 

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