ArtsWeek: Where can you go for free e-books?

CATEGORY: ArtsWeekA question arose in a comment thread on an earlier post. To wit: I love reading, and Kindle is cool, but books are expensive. (Okay, that’s really more of a statement than a question. You get my point.)

It’s true. Now granted, the average e-book is a lot cheaper than even a paperback, but still, if you read a lot you can run up a hefty tab in a hurry. Amazon is thriving for a reason.

The good news is that there are a lot of sources for free Kindle and e-book content. Here are a few:

You can also get Kindle books on loan. There are e-book lending libraries. Here are some more. Apparently, the whole e-book loan idea is a hit, at least with some folks.

Another thing to note: if you find e-books that aren’t in Kindle format and you’d like to convert them, Calibre is straightforward and easy (and free).

So there you go. Get to reading, and happy ArtsWeek.


  • Be careful. Many of these books are classic lit – don’t want anyone getting dangerously over-educated.

  • I agree with Jim. We can’t have too many people wandering around reading Mark Twain.

    • It’s true – too much learning is a bad thing. But this is America, where people always make the best informed, rational judgments about what’s good for them.

  • Thanks, Sam. (It was my question that spurred this post.) I just realized that the problem with Kindle and e-readers is that it will make it that much harder and complicated to read NEW books for free as I do via my public library. (Spoken as one who is not married to physical books by any means — I actually give away most books I buy used and very occasionally new.)

  • Our public library lends through Overdrive,the files of which work with Adobe Digital Editions, which is free and plays nicely with Kindles and Nooks. I sometimes have to get in the queue for a new book that they only have one or two copies for, but the email notification that it is my turn is always a welcome surprise.

  • Here’s another resource from a conference I’m at:–more.html

  • If you still want the physical book there are still a few resale book stores. Our favorite is Edward McKay. We’ve gotten a LOT of great deals there including Art books that are fabulously expensive anywhere else.

  • I do like free, online books but nothing can compare to an actual hard copy. I know that makes me a little eccentric, but I do love my dead trees.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s