Top 20+ Best Free Sites Read Books Online Without Downloading
Top 20+ Best Free Sites Read Books Online Without Downloading

In this era of e-books, we all want to read free books without breaking the copyright rules or without downloading books from an illegal site, which may cause us trouble in the long run.

The internet is the ultimate tool for finding answers and items we need. With a vast majority of products available from online stores, you don’t have to leave home to get anything that’s on your wishlist, including books, movies, games or audiobooks.

Luckily, the savvy reader knows there are plenty of places online to legally download books without spending a single penny. In this post, we’re giving you 21 of the best places to find free books online, so that you can satisfy even the most debilitating of book addictions, guilt-free.

But what “read books online” means exactly? It means you won’t need any of these:

  • A dedicated device, such as a Kindle e-reader
  • A tablet with a book reading app installed
  • An ebook reader application on your computer
  • An extension for your internet browser

All you need is a computer connected to the internet and the internet browser of your choice, such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Here are 20+ best free sites to read books online without downloading.

Top 20+ Best Free Sites Read Books Online Without Downloading

1. Google Books

2. Open Culture

3. Open Library

4. Project Gutenberg

5. BookBub

6. ManyBooks

7. Feedbooks

8. Free-eBooks

9. The Online Books Page

10. World Public Library

11. Riveted

12. Bookyards

13. Smashwords

14. Internet Archive

15. Tor

16. HathiTrust Digital Library

17. OverDrive

18. Swoon Reads

19. International Children’s Digital Library

20. Kindle Store

21. The Library of Congress

22. Bookboon

23. BookRix

24. Read Print

25. Authorama

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1. Google Books

Photo: teleread
Photo: teleread

Google Books has a big catalog of free eBooks available online, which you can add to your library and peruse on the go. These free-to-access books, both classic and contemporary, span a wide array of genres and are accompanied by suggestions for similar eBooks you may also enjoy, making it easy to keep your reading list full.

Link to Best Free Site: books.google.com

2. Open Culture

This online database offers links to free downloads of hundreds of eBooks, which you can send to your smartphone or eReader and take with you for easy reading while traveling. You'll find the classics here, including works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There's also an extensive audiobook collection available, with links to contemporary fiction by Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, and David Sedaris, among others.

Link to Best Free Site: openculture.com

3. Open Library

This resource allows you to browse, borrow, and read stories online, including 3,000,000 free-to-access eBooks, which are organized by subject and include the biography, romance, fantasy, history, detective tales, and children's books. The program also hosts a lending library with 200,000 eBooks available to borrow, one at a time.

Link to Best Free Site: openlibrary.org

4. Project Gutenberg

Photo: aaron-hoffman
Photo: aaron-hoffman

Project Gutenberg offers a database of downloads in the public domain, including out-of-print and hard-to-find texts. There, you'll find over 58,000 free-to-access eBooks you can read online or download to your eReader.

Link to Best Free Site: gutenberg.org

5. BookBub

BookBub is a free online service that helps you discover new discounted and free ebooks from critically acclaimed indie authors to top-tier publishers, for a limited time.

Once you register with your email, plug in your book preferences and the device you want to read on. BookBub will filter available content based on your choices and devices, and send handpicked recommendations and deals in your inbox each day.

You can’t download free ebooks from the site though. It simply introduces you to books you’ll love that are available on other platforms such as Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Amazon Kindle store, Apple Books and more. This way, you spend less time searching by surfacing reviews from people you trust.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.bookbub.com/

6. ManyBooks

ManyBooks is another good site from which you can read a book for free. Established in 2004, the site has expanded its selection and currently offers more than 50,000 downloadable ebooks, some at a discounted price.

Most of the early ebooks are from Project Gutenberg archives, so you’ll get a rich mix of old classics and a rapidly growing list of contemporary titles too. Its categories include cooking, art, drama, business, computers, war, health, music, psychology, espionage and several others.

You can browse the free books by title, author or any of the 35 language options, and download as an AZW file for Kindle, ePub for your Nook, or other file formats. An advanced search option is provided so you can locate exactly what you want.

Link to Best Free Site: https://manybooks.net/

7. Feedbooks

Photo: cybrhome
Photo: cybrhome

Feedbooks lets you read books online, and it is easy to use both on a mobile phone and a laptop or a PC. It is a digital library and cloud publishing service available for original books as well as for the public domain. You can also download or read books in various formats like pdf, EPUB, and Kindle, according to your convenience. Feedbooks is divided into two categories of free books – In one category, you will get free e-books in the public domain, and the other category consists of a large number of self-published free e-books. This helps you find your favorite genre easily.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.feedbooks.com/

8. Free-eBooks

If you love to read books anywhere and anytime, then Free e-books is a perfect fit for you, or so says its tagline. You can dive into the different genres of books, from fiction to non-fiction to academic texts, and can create your own list of books. Free e-books have curated a whole another section showing the lists of best e-books of a certain time and best books of all time. There is a limitation on the download of books per month that only allows you to download five books in a pdf format, but you can read online any time you want. It has an audiobook facility as well in case you feel too exhausted to read; you can listen to your favorite book easily.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.free-ebooks.net/

9. The Online Books Page

Photo: internet4classrooms
Photo: internet4classrooms

If that’s not enough books for you, The Online Books Page, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, boasts a staggering list of over three million free ebooks! Unlike Project Gutenberg, they don’t actually host any of the books themselves, instead providing links to where you can download them. And their website does look like something straight out of 1996. Still, when we’re talking about this many ebooks at our fingertips, can we really complain? This is a great source for classics and obscure titles that offer deep dives into arcane topics, though some newer books can also appear.

Link to Best Free Site: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/

What's in the 10 Books Banned by American Library Association?

10. World Public Library

The World Public Library offers access to the biggest repository of digital ebooks in the world. Books can be read online or downloaded in multiple ereader formats for use at a later time. Your downloaded titles, which can range from classics to some the hottest fiction of the millennia to academic research articles, can be reached anywhere and at anytime — all you need is your library card!

Link to Best Free Site: http://worldlibrary.org/

11. Riveted

Riveted, a young adult imprint of Simon & Schuster, offers one full-length title each month that visitors can read for free on its website. In addition, several multi-chapter excerpts are available for its new releases. You might find yourself spending hours perusing these engaging titles, ranging from laugh-out-loud romantic comedies to action-packed dystopian sagas. This is a great place to read free books online for kids.

Link to Best Free Site: https://rivetedlit.com/

12. Bookyards

Photo: file-extensions
Photo: file-extensions

If you love to try out different books from different niches, Bookyards is the best option for you. It has a rich collection of books on multifarious topics ranging from art to biography, history to fiction, computers to sci-fi. In Bookyards, you can easily download your shortlisted books even without any prior registration and can also upload books there according to the categories or authors. If you are searching for academic research papers and books in Bookyards, you will get a link from where you will get access to many reference materials and documents.

Link to Best Free Site: http://www.pearltrees.com/u/122699056-download-free-ebooks

13. Smashwords

The Smashwords website and app offer a distribution platform for independent authors and publishers. While some titles on offer are paid titles, a significant portion are free, including many first in series offerings. Smashwords is also a great platform to self-publish as it puts a special emphasis on getting emerging authors as many eyeballs on their writing as possible.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.smashwords.com/

14. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to digital contents including books, images, videos, audios and software. It offers over 20,000,000 books and texts. You can download the ebooks to PDF, EPUB, Kindle format, or read the books online without downloading. To start reading, just click on the book cover and it will be opened automatically in the browser. The most impressive feature for this online reader is the realistic page-turning animation, just like reading a physical book instead of an ebook.

Link to Best Free Site: https://archive.org/details/books

15. Tor

Science fiction and fantasy lovers will love this website. Tor offers free original fiction, reprints, and comics on its website, with new material added weekly. They also have their own blog dedicated to bringing fans the latest news in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.tor.com/

16. HathiTrust Digital Library

Photo: guides.lib.umich.edu/
Photo: guides.lib.umich.edu/

HathiTrust is a partnership of over 90 (still growing) academic and research institutions worldwide, offering a collection of over 10 million titles from research libraries including content digitized via Google Books and the Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries. Just type the book in the search bar to find the book you need. After that, simply click the "Full View" and the online reader will open immediately.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.hathitrust.org/

17. OverDrive

A library card from your local library and the OverDrive app will allow you to check out the more than two million titles in the Overdrive catalog, ranging from the buzziest new releases to comforting classics. After downloading your titles you’ll be able to access them anywhere — during your commute, on the beach, in the car — the options are endless!

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.overdrive.com/

18. Swoon Reads

Swoon Reads is dedicated to finding undiscovered writing talent and that mission proves a boon for book lovers. Create a free account and have access to hundreds of free, unpublished books. You can then vote for your favorites, which can give a big boost to the authors. Highly rated books have a chance at book deal from Macmillan Publishers! Young adult and new adult books in a wide range of genres are available, and there’s a community forum where you can meet other bibliophiles and share book recommendations.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.swoonreads.com/

19. International Children’s Digital Library

Photo: global2
Photo: global2

The International Children’s Digital Library is a free online library designed for children ages three to 13, and was developed to overcome the language barriers present in modern society. The site offers its titles in over 59 languages, making it an amazing resource for anyone learning a new language — young or old!

Link to Best Free Site: http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

20. Kindle Store

Giving away free books has proven to be one of publishing’s most effective ways of building up an audience. And as the world’s #1 retailer of books, Amazon has become the place where many authors choose to make their titles available at no cost. If you search for “Free Books” on the Kindle store, you’ll see over 80,000 results. Instead of plodding your way through all of them, start by looking at their bestseller list for the top 100 Free eBooks.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store/zgbs/digital-text/ref=zg_bs?_encoding=UTF8&tf=1

21. The Library of Congress

If you're looking for a classic, especially if it's a well-loved children's book, you're likely to find it here. The Library of Congress has made many favorite stories accessible online, including Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Robin Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Treasure Island.

Link to Best Free Site: read.gov

22. Bookboon

Photo: isic
Photo: isic

Bookboon is an online publishing company of ebooks, focused on publishing eTextbooks for students. You can sign up for free to read 1000+ free textbooks online without downloading. Most of the textbooks in Bookboon are written by professors from the world's top universities. The subjects covered by Bookboon's student textbooks including Human Resource Management, IT, Economics, Natural Science, Management, Engineering and more.

Link to Best Free Site: https://bookboon.com/fr

23. BookRix

BookRix is a platform that offers books from self-published authors combined with free books from the public domain.

A catalog of free ebooks is an essential part of the website. On the top of a list, you will find the most popular categories, including literary fiction, fantasy, romance, thrillers, and young adult fiction.

When you enter any category, you will see books sorted by the popularity. On the top, you will see free books offered by contemporary authors.

Link to Best Free Site: https://www.bookrix.com/

24. Read Print

Read Print is an online community for users who enjoy books and reading. Members can utilize many services that include features to read free books online, rate and review books, stories, and poems, create an online bookshelf as well as search for and create groups of books. Furthermore, Read Print is one of Time Magazine's 50 best websites. You can find lots of classics in this site.

Link to Best Free Site: http://www.readprint.com/

25. Authorama

If you are looking for a site that loads quickly even when you have a slow connection speed, you should visit Authorama.

Created and maintained by Philipp Lenssen, this dead-simple website includes several dozen popular books from Project Gutenberg. You can find here books by Mary Shelley, Francis Bacon, Charles Dickens, Jerome K. Jerome (yes, Three Men in a Boat!), or Robert Louis Stevenson.

Link to Best Free Site: http://authorama.com/

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