Are you tired of paying big bucks to buy books? Do you know that millions of books are available online for free? Do you want to know the secret to finding “free books online to read”? Do you want to read free eBooks online and listen to free Audiobooks?
You have come to right place.
A man who doesn’t read doesn’t live. It is true because one can only truly experience the joy of this beautiful world when one reads.
A man may live a single life but a reader lives as many lives as the number of books that he reads.
It is only through books that one can travel across the seven oceans and see the seven wonders from the comfort of one’s home.
Reading is cheap and reading is stimulating. It has been scientifically proven that readers are by nature, more empathetic and intelligent.
While books are a man’s best friend and should be read by every individual. Not all of us are equipped with the right means and resources to afford books on a regular basis.
This proves all the more difficult when one seeks books that are popular in international markets but are quite expensive in the Indian ones.
Luckily, the internet has proven to be a huge boon for readers. And if you know where and how to look, then you will come across not thousands but millions of books that can be read for free.
In the post, we will tell you 11 ways to read free books online – eBooks or audiobooks that you can easily find with the click of a few buttons on your mobile or PC.
These are platforms – mostly apps and websites that are catering to the needs of millions of readers around the world. And now, all this knowledge is available to you for your perusal.
Read below to know about the 11 ways to read free and cheap books online.
Table of Contents
- Juggernaut Books (Free currently)
- Project Gutenberg (Free)
- Archive.org (Free)
- NetGalley (Free)
- LibriVox (Free Audiobooks)
- Kindle Reading App (Free & Paid)
- Wattpad (Free and Premium)
- AnyBooks (INR 620/- Lifetime Payment)
- Storytel App (INR 299 per month)
- Free ebook downloader (Free)
- Kindle Unlimited Subscription (INR 169 per month)
Cost – FREE currently
Juggernaut is an Indian publishing house that has made a name for itself in the Indian writing and publishing space. Headquartered in Delhi, the publisher puts a huge emphasis on short books by Indian writers.
They also have a digital writing platform that allows a hassle-free self-publication process to writers.
Some of the famous authors that they have published include William Dalrymple, Raghuram Rajan, Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, Twinkle Khanna, Sourav Ganguly, Perumal Murugan, Meena Kandasamy, and Thant Myint-U.
Juggernaut has a collection of thousands of books and they have a yearly membership costing INR 300 that allows access to the books on their platform.
Their books are meant for all kinds of readers – kids, children, young adults, and adults.
They also have certain special sections like Hindu Fables, Spirituality, Non-Fiction, The Ascend series from Harvard Business Review, Kid’s Corner, Romance, Thrillers, History & Politics.
Given the recent Covid-19 pandemic, the publisher has made its books free for access to all readers.
This free offer is only temporary and will be lifted by the company as and when they deem feasible. But even then, the INR 300 ($4) a year is an offer too good to be true and presents a very effective way to access cheap books.
Cost – FREE
The Project Gutenberg came into being as a result of a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural books.
Founded by an American writer named Michael S. Hart in the year 1971, it is also known to be the world’s oldest digital library.
The sole objective of the website is to create and encourage the distribution of eBooks. Out of more than 60,000 books currently available on its platform, most of the books are free.
The project focuses on public domain books on which no exclusive claim to copyrights applies. The books are available in a wide variety of formats ranging from HTML, PDF, MOBI, EPUB, and Plucker.
While most books are in English, there are books available in other languages as well.
Cost – FREE
Popularly known as the internet archive, the platform is an American digital library whose mission is to ensure universal access of all knowledge.
Its focus areas include music, websites, apps, software, movies, and books amongst other things. It is known to be one of the world’s largest book digitization project.
The platform has a collection of over 2.5 crore books and its main focus is on public domain books especially American books.
Cost – FREE
NetGalley is an exclusive and one-of-a-kind platform that serves as a bridge between readers and writers. This platform is a boon for book readers who can get access to advance reader copies.
It is a website that allows you to create a free account and request books for review. You are to make a profile that will feature your likes and preferences.
This app will mostly benefit readers who can review books. If you have a blog, a website, a Goodreads account, or a YouTube channel where you post book reviews, your chances of getting noticed and approved increase exponentially.
But even if you are just a reader who is willing to provide honest feedback for every book that he reads, it is fine.
You can request a book from a huge number of books that are available for reading. If a publisher likes your profile your request will be approved. And you will be given a stipulated time to read and review a book.
The most critical part of your profile is the feedback ratio which is a ratio of books you have reviewed to the books you have downloaded.
The best part of this website is that it features books by some very popular authors like Jodi Picoult, Kevin Kwan, Karen McManus, Ruth Ware, Meg Cabot, Lisa Jewell and, Shari Lapena amongst many others.
Cost – Free
LibriVox is an audiobook app that is quite popular amongst students. The advantage of this app is that all the audiobooks are available for free.
The project is run by volunteers from all over the world who volunteer to serve as recording artists for the various books available on the app.
The main focus of the app is on public domain books that have no exclusive copyright claim.
These mostly include classics and many academic and research-oriented books that are difficult to come across on many paid audiobook platforms.
Another factor that differentiates LibriVox from other audiobook apps is that there are often multiple narrators for a single book. Thus giving the listener a wide variety of voices to choose from.
Cost – Free and Paid
The Kindle reading app is probably the best in the market when it comes to eBook reading. The reading comfort and ease of use are just unbeatable.
The readers have an option to buy a Kindle eReader which is a special device for reading eBooks. Or they can also download the free version of the app on their mobiles from Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
The app very conveniently can also be downloaded on one’s PC. It is usually assumed that Kindle eBooks mean paid books but that is often not the case.
There are many ways you can find eBooks on Kindle available for free. One just has to know how to find them.
One way is to go to your Amazon account and in the search box type ‘free Kindle eBooks’ or ‘Kindle eBooks for free’.
Another way is to go to the Kindle store and sort books on the basis of price – low to high. And Viola! You can download hundreds of books for free.
It requires a little patience as you will have to carefully look for books that you might like to read but it’s worth the effort.
The recommended course of action is to first download the app on your mobile or PC. And then if you develop a liking for it, you can opt for buying the Kindle eReader.
Cost – Both Free and Premium
Wattpad is an app meant for both readers and writers.
It’s a highly interactive platform that allows the writers and readers to engage with each other in a never-before way.
It is a highly popular platform in international circles and now Wattpad is making a way for itself in the Indian reading and writing scene too. It currently boasts of 80 million readers spread across the globe.
Wattpad has certain genres that differentiate it from other platforms and apps.
For example, there is a separate section for fanfiction that allows writers to write and readers to read fanfiction written about their favourite characters or even celebrities.
The content is visibly diverse and includes sub-genres like werewolf fiction, teen fiction, adventure, vampire fiction, etc.
The app can be downloaded on both mobile and PC and is currently available for free.
However, it does offer some exclusive paid content to those who go for the premium version.
Cost – INR 620/- as onetime payment
A much popular app amongst regular readers, AnyBooks was a free platform until recently.
However, just a couple of weeks ago they have put a one-time charge on the app which is available on Google Play Store.
For a one-time charge of INR 620 ($9), the app provides access to thousands of books from across the world.
It has many well-known and popular books whose imported editions come for a very steep price in India. The platform has books across all genres.
And the interface of the app is quite similar to the Kindle mobile app with options to adjust brightness, font size, and font style.
The reading convenience is quite good and there are special eye care and night reading mode for the comfort of the readers.
9. Storytel App
Cost – INR 299/- per month
The next in the list is the Storytel app which is an audiobook app.
The company was founded in the year 2005 and eventually became a huge phenomenon in many countries like Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and, Netherlands.
Storytel finally forayed into the Indian market in the year 2017.
Currently, the subscription is available for INR 299/- for 1 month (auto-renewal and regular version) and INR 599/- (3 months and no auto-renewal).
The app offers thousands of books across all genres and for all age categories.
It has audiobooks for kids aged 0 to 3 years, 3 to 6 years, 6 to 9 years, and so on. It also has audiobooks for teenagers, young adults, and adult readers. The platform also boasts of many eBooks.
The best thing about Storytel is its focus on content in regional languages.
In addition to the widely popular English, the app also has a lot of content in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and, Bengali.
They have a separate section for non-readers and new readers who are not in the habit of listening to lengthy books. To cater to the needs of such readers, Storytel has a lot of bit size content that ranges anywhere from fifteen minutes to 1 hour.
Storytel also comes out with a lot of original content that is only available on their platform.
For this, they rope in popular authors like Ravinder Singh and many others.
They also bring in many Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities to narrate their content.
These include Soha Ali Khan, Konkana Sen Sharma, David Attenborough, Benedict Cumberbatch, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Michelle Obama and, Kate Winslet.
Cost – Free
This is an app available on Google Play Store that provides access to thousands of free eBooks PDFs across all genres.
The upside of the app is that there are many books available for download.
But the downside is that the interface of the app is not that great and requires quite an effort on the part of the reader.
Cost – INR 169/- per month
This is not an app or a website but a reading subscription plan that allows subscribers free access to hundreds and thousands of books across all genres.
This is a sort of an upgrade to your regular Kindle app because there are a lot of popular books that are made available on the Kindle Unlimited platform.
Currently, the subscription is available for a monthly fee of INR 169/- but yearly plans are also available for those who wish to go in for the long haul.
The reason we recommend Kindle Unlimited is because it allows access to hundreds of books by many popular Indian writers like Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Chetan Bhagat, Christopher C. Doyle, Vineet Bajpai, Agatha Christie, Ajay K Pandey, Khushwant Singh, Jim Corbett, Savi Sharma, R.K. Narayan, Devdutt Pattanaik, and many more.
It also offers many books in Indian languages like Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Malayalam.
While also hosting many popular series like Harry Potter and Amar Chitra Katha.
The one thing that differentiates it from other platforms is that Kindle Unlimited allows you to borrow books and not permanently retain them. You can only download and read 10 books at a given time.
There are few other websites where you can find books to read online for free.
Which of these apps/websites do you use to read free books online? Or have we missed out on listing some wonderful platform that you know of?
Let us know in the comments below.
Juggernaut Android App, LibriVox Android App
Juggernaut Android App, AnyBooks Android App
Gutenberg.org, Archive.org, Open Library
Questia, National Digital Library of India, NPTEL
National Digital Library of India, NPTEL, OpenStax, Open Textbook Library
Open Textbook Library
NCERT (www.ncert.nic.in/textbook/textbook.htm), NDLI (www.ndl.iitkgp.ac.in/homestudy/school)