I discovered a blog called Poorer Than You that has a list of 15 places to get free books online, including paperbacks, audio books and textbooks. Could this be better than the library?
I have not heard of most of these sites, like BooksShouldBeFree.com, which has audio copies of Pride & Prejudice, Ulysses, and other classics. All of the audio books on this website are in the public domain. That means that no one holds and copyright to these books, so anyone is free to distribute them. Audio books can be so difficult to find and are so very helpful to those whose eyesight is fading or weak. My grandmother is 90 and still reading books even though she’s blind in one eye! Eventually, she won’t be able to read, but it’s great to know that there is an option out there to keep her love of stories and learning alive.
Project Gutenberg is another site that offers free ebooks. They have over 48,000 free ebooks in their catalog and links to another 70,000 free ebooks. They also have some free movies and music available, but their main focus is books. Fun Fact: Project Gutenberg is the original, and oldest, etext project on the Internet, having been founded in 1971!
Students give away textbooks they no longer need and receive books in return on TextbookRevolt.com. This is an interesting method of sharing that reminds me of FreeCycle.org…but for textbooks! Users of FreeCycle request and donate items. I love FreeCycle because it’s a way to connect with your community and snag great freebies. If TextbookRevolt.com is anything like this, then I’m sure I’ll love it. With the prices of textbooks these days, trading seems to be a great way to go!
FreeTechBooks.com is another great site to snag free textbooks. This site lists free online computer science, engineering and programming books, textbooks and lecture notes, all of which are legally and freely available over the Internet. This site is valuable for students and those who are trying to teach themselves to code or simply learn about these topics.
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Personally, I’m still not sure if I would prefer these free sites to the library. Some days I just love to snuggle up in bed with a good paperback and hide away from technology. That being said, reading in any form is a great way to learn and these sites offer some amazing content. I will definitely be visiting these websites in the future.
How often do you read online?