22nd Feb 2018

How to download ebooks for free

How to download ebooks for free
Ryan Boutland

Learn how to download tens of thousands of classic books for free, and read them on any or all of your devices with these top tips.

Project Gutenberg
Books are protected by copyright, but once this copyright lapses, they belong to the public domain. Project Gutenberg is a not-for-profit organisation that digitises books that belong to the public domain. So rather than paying for classics, you can download them for free.

There are over 100,000 books available from Gutenberg and its partners, but as copyright laws change from country to country, you may want to check to see what is legal to download. In Australia, books generally enter the public domain if the author died before 1955, which means there are some great classics available from the Australian Gutenberg site that you can’t find elsewhere.

Why not get started with some classics from James Joyce, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf or D H Lawrence?

Try visiting this page if you’re not sure how to get your ebooks onto your ereader or smart device, or scroll down for some simple ways to get started on your smartphone or tablet.

A great program for reading ebooks on PC and Mac, Calibre has plenty of additional features, including library management tools and ebook conversion tools.

Library management will help you keep track of all your ebooks, so if you buy or download ebooks from different sellers,want to buy a new ereader or read on a different device, Calibre will have you covered. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to buy an ebook twice.

You may not know it, but ebooksare created in dozens of different formats. And this can cause problems, as some devices may not be able to read every format. Using Calibre, you can convert ebooks to different formats and even increase the font size.

Download for free on PC, Mac, Linux.


Managing ebooks on your smartphone can get tricky, because each app wants you to purchase ebooks from its store and nowhere else. If you want access to thousands of free classics without any hassle, these free apps can help you out.

iPhone and iPad

‘Free Books - 23,469 Classics To Go - The Ultimate Ebooks And Audiobooks Library In Your Pocket’ is an app that might not have the catchiest name but it has some great features, such as, you guessed it, 23,469 free books to download. Also included is a great night reading mode and a convenient dictionary tool for looking up words instantly. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay to download audiobooks with this app, with a $4.99 fee granting access to 4727 audiobooks.

Oodles is a free app that has a selection of over 50,000 free ebooks to download. With some other great features that make reading on a screen more pleasant, such as resizable text and adjustable brightness, it’s the best choice for Android.

Do you read ebooks? Let us know your favourite classics in the comments below, or get chatting in The Book Club.


To make a comment, please register or login
22nd Feb 2018
I registered with bookbub.com. They email me a list of e books that I am interested in daily. A good deal of them are free. You can download on ibooks or Amazon.
22nd Feb 2018
I use Overdrive, get books from local libraries, can keep for 3 weeks
micky d.
22nd Feb 2018
For a few years now I have been subscribed to "eReader IQ Daily"
I have selected their "Daily Deals and Steals" and refined that to just the categories that appeal to me such as "humour", "history", "self-help" and a few others.
Every day of the year I receive an offer to select from and I download and store in my Kindle reader.
Never cost me a cent.
Couldn't be happier.
22nd Feb 2018
Best site for free ebooks in Australia is https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/
22nd Feb 2018
Scribd is a good source of PDFs, but it's not free.

Where else does one get free PDFs?
2nd Mar 2018

They are excellent, you can only download five a month, but they are free and there are many authors, in many different subjects and themes, if you are an author and publish with them you get downloads free across the board
22nd Feb 2018
With Gutenberg you can also download a text version of any book to your computer. This is very useful for anyone who doesn't like using a kindle or e-reader or prefers to print it out and read in bed.
25th Feb 2018
printing or buying paperback is not environmentally friendly
The Phonse
2nd Mar 2018
does anyone have trouble sleeping from using an ipad /tablet because of reduced melatonin when reading before bedtime?
2nd Mar 2018
yes, but you can get a script from a specialist GP to get a compound script made up, or you can buy a prepared script from the USA, we get both as the compound costs over $70 for 60, while the one from the USA is a 1/4 of the cost

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