Get Your Free EBooks On!

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library

Get Your Free EBooks On!

Google BooksThank you digital books!

It seems the era of eBooks has finally hit its stride.  We've got a number of options open to us for electronic reading, and every week seems to bring more and more.  And you faithful library fans are the ones helping get us there.  I know you're out there looking for those free eBooks, so here's a little rundown of some of the major players out in eBook land. 

Overdrive

The Library offers this service to you so that you can get the latest best sellers, and some sweet public domain works into your hot little eReading hands.  But Overdrive also has a great selection of audiobooks, movies and music too!  Library Cards have their privileges too!

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg, named after the famous printer of awesome and huge bibles, has been the prime spot for eReading for years now.  Originally all their documents were in a text file format, but they have been migrating to ePub editions which are more versatile on eReader devices and has become a defacto standard for eBook editions.  Check out the vast library of free works that they have available there.

Creative Commons

If you're looking for new works, and you're willing to go a little off the beaten path Creative Commons is probably what you're looking for.  Creative Commons is a revolutionary copyrights system that allows people to remix-reuse-resell brand new works. It basically allows you many of the freedoms of public domain works for something that is recently created.  Many CC licensed books are available for free, including works by science fiction author Cory Doctorow and many others.

LibriVox

For those with a penchant for audiobooks, LibriVox is the place to be. Volunteers read public domain works for free and the results are awesome.  There are over 3,000 titles to choose from, which ought to keep you busy for a while.  And if you've got any free time to donate you can contribute some works yourself.

Major Bookstore Chains

Barnes and Noble as well as Borders are making huge strides in the eBook arena, mostly because they've got eReader devices of their own to sell.  But you don't need to buy a Nook or a Kobo to get in on the free eBook action.  They have eBook apps that you can download to your phone or your desktop as well: Nook App, Kobo App.  Check out the voluminous public domain works that they offer for free from the NookBooks site and the Kobobooks site.

Major Web Site Contenders

Amazon enjoys a sort of primacy of place for releasing the Kindle as one of the first affordable eReaders out there.  But you don't need a Kindle to take advantage of Amazon's services, or their public domain editions.  There's an app for Kindle editions on most all devices.  Check out the Amazon Kindle Store for some free eBook editions.

Google Books burst into the scene recently with a huge library of works, thanks to a digital book scanning project that they coordinated with libraries around the world.  This of course led to a number of questionable legal issues regarding copyright, and the courts are still working on settling a number of those issues.  But for the copyright free works, there is a wealth of options available.  And of course, there's an app for that too.

That's a lot of reading, so get to it already!