There might not be any dearth of e-book and audiobook subscription services available each promising to outdo the other with superior services and collection. While that is great, most, if not all, come at a cost. That again might not suffice the requirements of those who’d like to listen to or read audiobooks and e-books without splurging much, or maybe for free.
Here is a collection of websites that won’t charge you a dime for downloading e-books and audiobooks of your choice.
Think of free reading content and the first name likely to come to your mind is Project Gutenberg. They have become almost synonymous with free reading material of which they have an excellent collection comprising of more than 60,000 titles. You have the option to either read the books online or download them to your device, which can be an e-reader, smartphone, tablet, or desktop, and such. The e-books are available in the ePUB or MOBI formats while many of the books can be saved in PDF format as well.
That said, there might be quality issues with the e-books as instances of missing content or maybe even an entire chapter being left out isn’t quite uncommon. However, the reason the site is still at the top of the list here is the sheer number of e-books it has in its collection. That makes it quite worthwhile to check out if the site has the e-book you are looking for. Who knows, the particular title might turn out to be well formatted after all.
Standard Ebooks is a relatively new site that started operations in 2015. It does not boast a huge collection as well, with just around 680 e-books to offer. That said, the site is still a must-visit given its strict adherence to quality and other standards that makes its offering, as Neowin stated, look professional and consistent. The site also offers a search feature that is quite efficient in letting you find the title that you are looking for.
Among the other features the site offers include the word count, scores for the ease of reading of each title, and a short description of the title. You also have the option to download the e-books in a range of formats. These include ePUB, advanced ePub, AZW3, and KePub, to name a few. Plus, there is a preview option available as well that will let you have a feel of the book before downloading the same.
LibriVox is unique among others mentioned in the list in that it offers audiobooks exclusively. Also, the collection comprises titles that LibriVox members have contributed voluntarily though the content is of acceptable quality. The site has been tailor-made to suit the requirements of audiobook lovers, offering a range of options in the process. The site offers a powerful search feature wherein you can search for an audiobook by title, genre, author, or language.
There are several ways you can download the content, which include downloading the zip file of the audiobook or subscribing to the audiobook and then listening to the chapters via iTunes. Then there also is the option to add the RSS feed to your favorite podcasting app. Apart from these, the site also offers a play button beside each audiobook title so that you can listen to them right on the site itself.
Global Grey belongs to that group that values quality more than quantity. So, the collection might not be huge – around 2000 free e-book titles – though the good thing here is that you get high-quality e-books. Categories covered are varied and diverse, which includes classics to the occult, psychology, folklore, and almost everything in between. You have an efficient search mechanism as well that will let you look for titles based on categories, author, book series, and such. Or you can look at the recently added list for the titles added more recently.
Further, the e-books available on Global Grey have custom covers that enhance their appeal all the more. There is a variety of download options available too, which includes PDF, ePub, MOBI, and AZW3. Or you can also choose to read the e-books online right off the site itself. There also is the option to buy a collection of e-books if you so want. Among the collections available include the Ancient Civilisations Collection, the Children’s Literature Collection, the History Collection, the Poetry Collection, the Philosophy Collection, the Religion Collection, and so on. The proceeds from the sale are used to maintain the site.
The site has a connection with Project Gutenberg in that the title that Sticmann Ink Homeschool collection offers has mostly been taken from the former. However, Sticmann Ink Homeschool makes sure the e-books are in perfect order and have the right format so that they have a proper and nice feel to them. Also, the titles are those that are included in Ambleside Online’s homeschool curriculum. The books are also categorized as per the school years as mentioned on Ambleside Online. The books are available in ePub and AZW3 formats with titles ranging from children’s books to those suitable for teenagers and adults as well
Internet Archive, as the name itself suggests can be considered an archive of a range of content. Those can be e-books, videos, music, and software. However, you can view the e-books by selecting the ‘Text’ option in the Media Type section on the sidebar. This way, you will be able to refine your search to include only e-books. The collection is also huge, which happens to be one of the biggest reasons the site finds mentioned here. Otherwise, quality can be an issue. Further, most titles are available in PDF format.
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