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5 Websites to Find Free Books

Updated on May 30, 2015


Netgalley is a website where you can get free advanced copies of different books in exchange for feedback to the publisher through their site. You can read books from your favorite authors before they hit the shelves, and for free. I've read books like Defy, Don't Even Think About It, and The Kiss of Deception, and I have been pre-approved for books written by bestselling authors like Janet Evanovich.

However, you need to keep submitting feedback if you want to be approved for the books you request. Publishing companies won't approve you if your feedback percentage is low. Even though sometimes there are books put up that you don't have to request and everybody can read, you have a wider selection of books to go through if you keep your profile looking good.


Booktrack is one of my favorite places to read books online. If you want to read something that really brings you into the world, this is it. Self-published novels and stories are mixed in with public domain books and short stories to read, all with unique soundtracks to go along with it, made by the author, the booktrack team, or just soundtrack enthusiasts. As you read, you can adjust your reading speed so the background music will by in sync with the words you read as you read them. So when the protagonist hears a scream, you hear a scream. When a door slams, you hear that. It is the most unique reading experience I have ever had, and it is a lot of fun. And it is free to sign up and start reading stories from all categories.

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For those who like teen romances, Swoonreads is the way to go. There are hundreds of romances available on their website in all different genres, including Inspirational and LGBT. Anyone can post their book on the website, so the quality is sometimes questionable, but I've read several good books on there, my favorites being Child of Destruction and Shades of Alabaster, among others. After reading, you can leave comments for the authors and other readers to see, as well as Swoonreads employees out to choose the next book that they want to publish. So not only can you get a good read, but you can help decide which books are worthy to get a Swoonreads publishing deal.


Smashwords is an online marketplace for ebooks. It's sort of like Amazon, but they don't try to hide the ebooks marked "free". In fact, you can do searches on their website just for free ebooks. The books can be both fiction and nonfiction and come in all different lengths. When browsing for my next free read, I prefer Smashwords over other online marketplaces because it's easy to find free books, and you can get them in many different forms, including, PDF, Epub, and Kindle.

Project Gutenberg

This is one of the best sites for those who like the classics. Project Gutenberg has over 20,000 books on their website that are in the public domain and therefore free. You can read them online or download them onto your computer. I don't think the website is the most easy to navigate, and the formats for the books can be weird, but you still get the entire text in readable form. Sometimes, there are also really cool things, like pictures of the first draft of the A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and letters written by Beethoven.


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    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 7 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you for sharing this information. Since I love reading the classics, I will check out Project Gutenberg.

    • satomko profile image

      Seth Tomko 7 months ago from Macon, GA

      A good list. I've used Project Gutenberg before with my students to help them find free online editions of books.

    • Kara Skinner profile image

      Kara Skinner 17 months ago from Maine

      Yes, it is.

    • profile image

      amy 24 months ago

      i would like to use that image at the top; is it in the public domain?

    • vasmenon profile image

      vasmenon 2 years ago from India

      Thats really some piece of useful info here...thanks a ton

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is a very interesting and useful hub. Since I love the classics, Project Gutenberg excites me. I also like Booktrack. Thanks for sharing a great hub!

    • sandeep15r profile image

      Sandeep Rathore 2 years ago from New Delhi

      Great hub for the people who love reading.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 2 years ago

      Great hub, thanks for thew tips, Lee

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I think I've heard of Smashwords before, but had forgotten about it. I just took a look, and I think I will open an account. Thanks for sharing about it.

    • Kara Skinner profile image

      Kara Skinner 2 years ago from Maine

      I'm glad you like the links, peachpurple. I hope they are helpful.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Thanks for yr links. I will hangout there