The Mermaid's Tale

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Read classic books online for free

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As you may know, written materials such as book pass into the public domain seventy years after the author's death. Once they are in the public domain, they may be freely reproduced and shared. This allows the creation of ebooks of those titles at the desire of anyone who wants to take the time to do so. These classic books are available for free download (to your browser, tablet, or via a PDF).

Certain sites have been established to help share these classics with others by digitizing them and publishing them online for free.

Where to find free books

project gutenberg

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a volunteer-run site which aims to digital the written work as a means to archive it. Books which are public domain under US law are available in several formats (HTML, PDF, Kindle, etc). There is a search feature to assist in locating specific titles and/or authors. No account is necessary, but donations are appreciated to help further their efforts.

  read.gov

Read.Gov

A Library of Congress site featuring free ebooks of the classics to read in your browser. No account is necessary to read, but there is no option for download.

Visit Read.gov
classic reader

Classic Reader

A small archive of public domain works. The books are available for free download to members who have an account.

  page by page books

Page by Page Books

An independent site with a few hundred classic public domain texts to read online. No account is needed to access the texts, but there is also no option for download. This is HTML-only.

open library

Open Library

Open Library is an open project run on a wiki interface which aims to archive every book ever. It is a division of Archive.Org (aka the Wayback Machine). With a free account, members have access to the book database to search for titles and/or authors. Many books are available for "borrowing" from the Lending Library by members for up to 14 days. It is just like a real-life lending library!

  public domain review

Public Domain Review

Among the many resources at Public Domain Review is its collection of books which have passed into the public domain. No account is necessary to read the books online, nor are there any fees (but donations are welcome and appreciated). The selection seems very limited in my opinion unless you like small-press pamphlets. There is likewise no option for downloading these books.

internet sacred texts archive

Internet Sacred Text Archives

A sizable collection of public domain texts from the religions of the world. Non-denominational, and officially promoting religious tolerances. All public domain religious texts are welcome. There are guidelines posted if you want to contribute. Many but not all texts are available for download, else the ever popular "Save As".

 

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