Top 12 Websites to Read Free Online Books and Download Them Legally in 2019 (2023)

THere there is no friend as faithful as a book-Ernest Hemingway

Books not only serve as a constant companion in solitude, but also as food for the mind, stimulating our imagination and creativity. However, buying a new book every time can burn your pockets. Fortunately, we have many free books online that you can read or download without costing you a dime.

Where to read free books online

We have compiled a list of the best websites where you can legally read and download free eBooks online to create your own favorite virtual book library. In this list of the top 12 websites below, you'll find a wide selection of completely free online books, from classic novels to computer technology guides.

But before you jump into the list of free eBook download sites, check out our other lists of free and legal services:

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  • The best sites for legal torrents and safe downloads

Now, let's start this list by showing you different places where you can find awesome stuff to read or download online:

Top 12 Free Book Download Sites Online

1. Open library

"A website for every book ever published" is the ultimate goal of the Open Library, an initiative of the hugely popular Internet Archive, which functions as a digital library of websites.

The site has millions of free books to read and download in other formats like EPUB, DJVU, MOBI, and PDF. You can search for good reading materials on different topics and genres such as fantasy, biography, history, medicine, art, etc.

Open Library also has an advanced search option that allows you to search for eBooks by title or author. If you can't remember any of them, you canlook forfor a specific free book that you can easily read onlineInsert a favorite line from the book.

Why use the Open Library?

  • An extensive collection of free online books in almost every category imaginable
  • Easily download free full books in multiple formats

Visitopen library

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2. Project Gutenberg

With a massive archive of over 57,000 free books to download, this site offers a diverse reading collection for readers. Because Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to make books available for free, they do not charge a registration fee or require you to register.

From classics to periodicals and from history to social sciences, there are free books available on all sorts of topics. You can search for specific titles or browse by genre and download books in EPUB, Kindle MOBI, HTML, and plain text formats.

If reading books online is on your list of 2019 resolutions, check out this free books site, as several books are scheduled to be available to the public this year. Another benefit this site offers is saving eBooks directly to cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive for easy access.

Why use Project Gutenberg?

  • Best for classic novels.
  • Books of the same genre categorized as "Bookshelves" for easy navigation

Visitproject gutenberg

3. Lots of books

With over 50,000 free online books available on the site, ManyBooks is an excellent choice for bibliophiles to satisfy their craving for good books. The site hosts a diverse collection of books formatted for e-readers like Kindle and other popular formats like EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT, etc.

Browsing books is quite easy on ManyBooks as it offers well-categorized sections of text in different genres. In addition, there is a section of recommended and featured authors that can help readers choose their next book.

Each ebook page on this site includes useful information such as genre, author name, and word count. Since most of the content on ManyBook is in the public domain, you can legally download books for free.

Why use ManyBooks?

  • Recommended for classic and contemporary books.
  • Flesch-Kincaid scores on each eBook to indicate how easy or difficult it is to read
  • Allows you to download books in all formats directly from a ZIP file to a PDF to suit your reading device

VisitMany books

4. Book storm

This site offers free books to read online in every imaginable category. If you're specifically looking for a textbook or business book, Bookboon can help you find exactly what you need.

This free books site offers thousands of eBooks to download and read. You just need to visit the free section and fill in some information to download the books. The site is easy to navigate and well categorized.

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In addition to English, Bookboon offers texts in other languages ​​such as German, Dutch, Danish, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish, and Czech.

Why use Bookboon?

  • Best for downloading textbooks and business books
  • Free online books in multiple languages
  • All books available in PDF format

Visitlibrary hangoutwebsite

5. Feedbücher

Feedbooks offers a large collection of original and public domain books for free. The site has a clean interface with well-categorized sections of books ranging from short stories, crime fiction, action, fantasy, history to academic books and more.

The download page for each book displays useful information such as synopsis, word count, reading hours, publication date, etc. You can download books online for free without subscription in standard formats such as EPUB, MOBI and PDF.

Browsing new reading material in Feedbook is easy with search options. You can find the free books to read.Free Public Domain Booksmifree original booksPlus, it includes sections like Best Sellers, New Releases, and Editorial Reviews that can help you find new books to read online.

Why use feedbooks?

  • No registration required
  • Mobile Browser Friendly Website
  • Quick and easy to navigate website.


6. Free eBooks

The motto of this site “Read anywhere. Anytime" says it all. Free-eBooks offers great literary works of fiction, nonfiction, and academic texts.

There is a special section on the site that shows the best e-books of the moment and the best books of all time. Browse the categories to find what you like. Although there is a limit of 5 eBook downloads per month, and also in PDF format, the rich collection of free books to read on the site makes up for it.

Why use free eBooks?

  • It features curated lists of books in specific genres and the best picks of the month to help you discover great reads.
  • It also offers audiobooks.

Visitfree ebooks

7. LibriVox

Would you rather listen to books than read them? Try LibriVox. It is a completely free digital library of audiobooks. The free audiobooks are read by volunteers who work to publish quality recordings of classic books.

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While audiobooks aren't technically eBooks, they certainly are a great way to enjoy books on the go and keep you entertained. It is also a great help for the visually impaired, helping them to enjoy great literary works for free.

You can download tracks in MP3 format and there are links to eBook versions available on each track page. LibriVox also runs weekly podcasts if you're interested. Since all the books are recorded at 128 kbps, it's a comfortable listening experience.

Why use LibriVox?

  • The best site to download free audiobooks.
  • good audio quality
  • Useful for the blind

8. Keywords

If you're looking for literary works by independent authors, you've come to the right place at Smashwords. This online book directory features content created by independent authors and publishers from around the world.

Smashwords online book collection includes various themes and genres such as Adventure, Business, Classics, Fantasy, History, Religion, Philosophy and more. Just be sure to click the Free tab before searching for a book.

You can search the platform with quick filter buttons like word count and ratings to find eBooks you like and download free eBooks in various formats like EPUB, MOBI, PDB, and TXT.

Why use Smashwords?

  • A collection of over 475,000 online eBooks to read
  • Anyone with a taste for writing can publish their literary work on this platform


9. Book PDF World

If you are looking for a good site to read and download PDF eBooks for free, your search ends here. This eBook publisher digitizes books that have achieved public domain status for download in a multi-device readable PDF format.

PDF Books World's interface is easy to use, and content has been categorized into Fiction, Nonfiction, Romance, Academic, and Young Adult. The vast bookshelves on this platform offer free PDF books on any subject for readers of all ages.

Unlike other platforms, PDF Books World does not include download links to external websites. Instead, they store them themselves on their servers and offer a free lifetime membership.

Why use PDF Books World?

  • To download free eBooks in PDF format

Visitworld of books pdf

10. Buchhöfe

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This web portal allows you to explore thousands of free online books as well as audiobooks of various genres such as art, biography, computer science, fiction, history, and many more.

Bookyard has a very basic website where you can post books by author or category of your choice or download them for free. Downloading content from Bookyards is easy and requires no registration.

Visitors to this site can also donate if they wish and refer to the educational links for additional reference materials and documents.

Why use Bookyards?

  • To download PDF books and convert them to Kobo
  • Easy option to share on different platforms


11. Por Hathi

Hathi Trust is a digital library dedicated to the student community. It was established by a partnership of leading libraries and research institutes who have joined forces to ensure that all cultural records are preserved in a digitized format for the use of future generations.

Various academic research organizations in the United States and libraries around the world serve as sources for digital content hosted on this site. It has a powerful search option that allows you to find free books online in its database by title or author.

Hathi Trust has a compilation of shortlisted collections of texts on topics such as ancestry, manuscripts, and ancient psychological texts. You can read books online on this site without registration, but to download them you need to register.

Why use Hathi Trust?

  • For classic literary works and scientific texts

Visithathi confidence

12. Wikilibros

If you're looking for nonfiction books, wikibooks might be the best place to start. As part of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, the site hosts an extensive collection of eBooks on topics such as the humanities, engineering, computing, science, languages, and other academic subjects.

Navigation on the site is fairly easy, and the progression of topics into various categories makes it easy to find specific content. If not, you can always use the search option to do a site-wide search as well.

You can read books online on the website or download PDF files for offline reading. The Recommended Books section displays books that are liked by the majority of the Wikibooks community to help other readers choose eBooks to read.

Why use Wikilibros?

  • Recommended for textbooks (mainly academic)


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Final words: Which free book site do you prefer?

All the above online sources provide a good collection of books. Also, these sites are not listed in any particular order; so go ahead and get a rich collection of free books on these platforms. Since they offer a deluge of reading material, I'm sure you won't run out of books any time soon. In the meantime, if you find any other good free online book sites that we missed, please let us know in the comments section.

Also read:The best free music sites to download music legally


Where can I read books for free online legally? ›

Best Websites To Read FREE Books Online!
  • Feedbooks.
  • Project Gutenberg.
  • Open Library.
  • ManyBooks.
  • Free-eBooks.
  • Bookyards.
  • Kobo.
  • Bookboon.
Jan 21, 2023

Is the Z Library legal? ›

The law of copyrights is inherently opposed to shadow libraries. As a result, Z-Library is an illegal website. Though their intentions are good, they make works available that are not legally authorized.

What are the websites that you may use to legally download scanned copies of books and other materials for free? ›

The 6 Best Places to Legally Download Ebooks for Free
  • Baen Free Library. ...
  • Feedbooks. ...
  • Project Gutenberg. ...
  • Bartleby. ...
  • Open Library. ...
  • Nook, Kindle, Kobo etc.
Feb 24, 2015

What is the best website to read books online for free? ›

1. Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is an online library of over 60,000 free eBooks that you can download or read online without downloading. As the mother of all current ebook sites, Project Gutenberg offers the world's great literature and classics.

Is it legal to download books for free? ›

It isn't legal to upload or download copyrighted material without permission, but that isn't stopping students from doing it.

Is Z-Library illegal in USA? ›

Copyright law is against the shadow libraries rules. So Z-Library is an illegal platforum. Although their intentions are good, they make available functions that are not legally authorized.

Did Z-Library shut down? ›

Z-Library was a shadow library project that provided access to scholarly journal articles, academic texts, and general-interest books. The online library of pirated books was shut down on November 4, 2022, by the U.S. federal government.

Why is Z-Library blocked? ›

Z-library was a database of pirated e-books and scholarly articles operational from 2009 to November 2022. The site was an important resource for many college students. Z-Library, a database for pirated e-books, shut down Nov. 4 after the U.S. federal government seized its domains.

What is the largest free eBook library? ›

Featuring over 36 million ebooks, the Internet Archive is possibly the largest digital library ever created. In addition to free ebooks, its catalog includes over 778 billion web pages and millions of videos, concerts, audio files, and software programs. Think of the Internet Archive as a digital time machine.

Where can I read full books online for free without signing up? ›

Project Gutenberg offers a vibrant and growing collection of the world's great literature. Read, enjoy, and share! No fee or registration! Everything from Project Gutenberg is gratis, libre, and completely without cost to readers.

Can you get caught downloading books? ›

Downloading textbooks infringes on their copyright

Without the agreement of the original creator, someone could be charged for infringing on copyright protections, leading to large fines or incarceration. A textbook is just like a copyrighted song or movie that is illegally downloaded online.

Is there any free online library? ›

Internet Archives, Project Gutenberg, National Digital Library of India, Open Library,, Hathi Digital Libray are some free libraries.

Is open library completely free? ›

Open Library is free and open to anyone. Some features require that you have an Open Library account. You can borrow books from the Internet Archive collections.

Has anyone been sued for using Libgen? ›

For example, Elsevier, one of the world's largest science publishers, sued Libgen and another site called Sci-Hub in 2015 over copyright infringement. A New York federal court awarded $15 million to Elsevier in a 2017 default judgment, and issued a permanent injunction against the sites.

Are free textbook sites legal? ›

But according to Matthew Oppenheim, lead counsel for the Educational Publishers Enforcement Group, acquiring textbooks from the internet is legally under the same category as downloading copyrighted movies or music for free—piracy.

Why is Library Genesis illegal? ›

Library Genesis is one of the oldest and largest illegal scholarly book collections online. Without the authorization of copyright holders, this shadow library hosts and makes more than 2 million scholarly publications, monographs, and textbooks available.

Can you read in Barnes and Noble without buying? ›

Read In Store allows you to browse and sample the complete contents of many eBooks for free in our stores for up to one hour per day, per title. To use Read in Store, visit your favorite Barnes & Noble retail store with your device.

Is Project Gutenberg legal? ›

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification number is 64-6221541.

What is the website that has every book? ›

The Library of Babel is a website created by Brooklyn author and coder Jonathan Basile, based on Jorge Luis Borges' short story "The Library of Babel" (1941). The site was launched in 2015.

What happened with Z library? ›

The site was first launched in 2009 and saw a surge in popularity last year thanks to social media sites such as TikTok. However, Z-Library was taken down last November after its domain names were seized by US authorities.


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