Another one for the readers

By Sarah Winfrey on 15 February 2007 (Updated 10 June 2007) 5 comments

Many books

So, you've read my other posts on reading (and Tannaz's ) and you've self-identified as a Reader. You want to read. But books are expensive. And big. And bulky. But you still want to read. In fact, you're dying to find just a few more words to pass your eyes over, more ideas to process, more characters to get to know.

Once again, the Internet can be your rescue, your solace, your fulfillment. Or, well, maybe not. But it can provide you with enough reading material to keep your eyes and your mind satisfied for many, many years. And the best part? All of the sites below offer at least some of their library for free.

Books Online

The sites in this category offer at least some books that anyone can read, without special knowledge, software, or hardware. Most of the books are classics, so pick your favorite dead author and dive in!

The Online Books Page

Bartleby-Named after one of Melville's saddest characters (though I'm not sure why), Bartleby specializes in classic texts.

Bibliomania-Great not only for books, but for study guides and research resources as well. You know, in case you're not reading just for fun.

Internet Public Library-They not only offer books, but articles and other resources as well.

Project Gutenberg-The grandaddy of them all, Gutenberg still has a selection that can't be beat.

Page by Page


Specialty Books

These sites offer free books in some special areas.

The Library of Economics and Liberty


Apress-Techncal and coding books

Children's Books

Proprietary or otherwise "special" books

These sites offer books that require some special hardware and/or software (like a Palm, or a PDF reader)

Free eBook Library



Pocket PC Books

Free eBooks


PDF Books

University of Georgia-Requiers DjVu plugin, in Firefox. I'm not sure how it works in another browser.

Software for book reading

This site will (soon!) offer software that makes the above proprietary methods obsolete. Here's hoping...

Open Reader-The program isn't out yet, but it promises to banish proprietary formatting on ebooks.

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Will Chen's picture

I just used the quotation library to help me research my upcoming Chinese New Year post.  Thanks Sarah.  Terrific find!

Sarah Winfrey's picture

Glad to be of help ;)  Actually...I just love to browse.  It's amazing what you can find in these digital archives.

Guest's picture

You should mention "plucker": plucker is an open source document reader for Palm (software available for Linux, Windows and Mac). It is easy to convert HTML and text documents from the above sites into an easily-readable format on your portable device. For your real cheapsters, plucker is free, literally thousands of the best books ever read in dozens of languages are free, and a reader (I use a Sony Clie I got on ebay for 50$) can be had for pennies. I also like the idea that have a small school library worth of books I can carry around in my pocket and read in line at the supermarket... :-)

Download it from:

Sarah Winfrey's picture

Pluckr looks like a great idea.  Thanks!

Guest's picture
Zbooc Free ebooks

you can search and download any books for free from mostly non-fiction, free guides and tutorials