The Top Sites for Free E-Books, Part II

Looking for some free e-books? Check out these sites

For those of us smitten with e-book readers, one of the best things about them is that there are so many free e-books available. You can get everything from literary classics in the public domain to experimental works that the writers just wanted to offer free to the world.

Last time, we looked at two of the best sources of free e-books in the known universe: the e-reader merchant sites themselves, and the amazing Project Gutenberg. This time, we’ll take a look at a few more options.

SF & F

If you’re a fan of science fiction and fantasy (especially of the military flavor), then you’ll be thrilled by the Baen Free Library. Unlike most publishers, Baen Books has elected to put a substantial number of their published books online as free digital versions, in a variety of formats. Check this out:

Admittedly, these books are offered free mostly for promotional purposes, and yes, there are fewer than 120 in the library. But odds are good that you haven’t read some of these, and many are sprawling epics that will literally introduce you to whole new worlds of wonder.

Manybooks is a site that offers literally thousands of e-books in every genre, from Fantasy and Mystery to Sexuality and Science. It even uploads entire popular pulp magazines, right up to the early 1960s.

Most of the books are courtesy of Project Gutenberg, though not all are, and Manybooks provides a simple, easily searchable interface that lets you filter by genre, author, year of original publication, and more. It’s a piece of cake to use, and they put no limits on downloads — though they do ask for donations.


While I’d take its claim to be “the Internet’s #1 source” for free digital book downloads with a grain of salt, Free is a pretty good site to get e-books gratis, both new and public domain. Yours truly has downloaded and enjoyed several, and had no problem at all doing so.

There are, however, some significant limitations. Despite its name, Free does charge for some memberships. If you make do with the basic membership, you can download just five texts per month, and then only as .TXT and PDF files.

Anything else you have to pay a “donation” for, starting at $10 per month.

Five books a month isn’t much for readers like me, and it’s a bit irksome that the need for a paying membership to acquire more books belies the site’s name. Plus, there aren’t that many books in some of the categories. But hey — it’s still a good source of free e-books, so do check it out!