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It seems like most people I know these days have an e-reader or tablet. It has definitely become increasingly more affordable to buy these devices, plus e-readers and tablets are so easy to use. With so many great options for consumers, now is a great time to buy an e-reader or tablet.

Books, on the other hand, are still pretty pricey to purchase. We’re talking the same price you’d pay for a book from your local bookstore, that is if it is still open.  Anywhere from $10-20 seems to be the going rate for a novel on iBooks or Amazon.  But what about the inexpensive or free books?

iBooks

Amazon, iTunes and Google Play each offer large selection of free books, most of these free books fall in to the “classics” category, titles that fall under public domain.

Just search for the book you want. Some stores may post top free books on their sites and apps, while others make it harder for you to find.  There are tons of great works to choose from, from authors such as Mark Twain, Jules Vern, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde, all free and even newer books. Books that would cost you $10-15 dollars in paperback on Amazon or your local bookstore are completely free on the Kindle or Kindle app.  All you have to do is go looking for them.

In addition to the classics, you can also check out some works that authors are distributing for free. Warning, for some reason there are a ton of romance novels on these free lists.  Hey whatever floats your boat.

Depending on the tablet or e-reader you’ve purchased, you may recoup the cost of your hardware after your first 4 or 5 free books.

Are you an Amazon Prime Member and Kindle owner?

There is an additional benefit of being a Kindle owner, The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. In order to take advantage of the library you must be a Kindle owner and an Amazon Prime Member ($79 a year).  Having both give you access to 300,000 titles including 100 current and former NY Times Best Sellers. And of course Prime Members get free 2-day shipping and access to unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows.

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Other Sources

There are also a handful of websites out there that provide a vast library of ebooks readily available, and a lot of them for free. Most notably Project Gutenberg has gathered pretty much any book prior to 1923, that has its copyright expired, or from authors that are willing to give away their work. Gutenberg claims to have over 30,000 titles. You can also check out OpenLibrary.org (over 1 million books), ManyBooks.net (26,000 books) and also Archive.org (over 2.5 million titles, Archive.org boasts a large number of research and historical titles in addition to leisure reading).

For most e-readers you can use your browser to navigate to m.gutenberg.org then you can search and download the title, or you can go to gutenberg.org from your computer to download and send to your e-reader or tablet.

For Android and Apple devices, there are available apps on their respective stores that make it easier to navigate through, download and read the appropriate books. Just remember not all content formats are the same.  So its best to go to the Gutenberg website to follow the directions that are associated with your tablet or e-reader.

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Have you been to your local library recently?

One of the easiest ways to get access to free eBooks is from your local library.  By partnering with companies like Overdrive and 3M (yes the same 3M company that makes adhesive tapes) libraries are able to offer eBooks for free. Rather than meddling with this technology, they’ve outsourced this service to people who can do a better job.  Most library systems appear to have links on their website to access free eBooks, but you don’t have to take my word for it. (Thanks Levar Burton).

First off though, you need a valid library card like a real library.  The same rules of borrowing from the library exist as it does in this virtual format.  If the book(s) is checked out you have to wait for it to be returned. Libraries have to abide by copyright rules regardless of electronic of physical copies, so just be patient if the book you’re looking for is still checked out. You also have a set loan period that you have until the book is removed from your device.  There is a handy timer that keeps track of this length so you know how long before you have to return it.  Best of all, no late fees, the book just simply gets pulled from you and gets placed back into circulation.

At any rate, it is nice to know that you the option of downloading a ton of free quality books. Happy reading and let us know in the comments below if you’ve found any other cool resources for free eBooks.