If you’re a regular reader, you’ll probably already be aware of how convenient e-books can be. Particularly perfect for reading on the go, you can quite literally have thousands of titles stored away in your pocket.
The best part? There are loads of free e-books out there, including classics like Alice in Wonderland and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Discover where you can find free e-books, and learn how to download them onto your smartphone, below.
Where to download free e-books
You can build a digital library without spending a single penny thanks to free e-books. Wondering why you don’t need to pay for particular titles? Many free e-books you’ll find online in the public domain, which means they are either creative works that have been written with no exclusive property rights, the rights to the book have expired (usually 70 years after the author’s death) or they were created before copyright even existed.
Public domain books include the works of William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Lewis Carrol, Oscar Wilde. It’s not just the classics however that you’ll find out there for free, there are tons of modern titles to choose from, many from self-published authors.
If you’re an iPhone user, you don’t have to look far for free e-books. Just open up Apple Books and you’ll find loads right there at your fingertips. There are many titles available for as little as 99p, if you don’t mind spending a bit for extra choice.
Apple has a dedicated Top Free chart so you can browse what people are downloading, as well as a section for Special Offers & Free eBooks. Don’t miss out on the Free book of the week, which offers a paid-for title for free, for a limited time only.
Open up the Google Play store, and select Books to access the library. You’ll find the best free e-books stored under Top Charts > Top Free Ebooks. Alternatively, just type in Free in the search bar to see the full selection.
You can download as many free e-books are you like, without the need to sign up to a subscription, and it’s easy to pick up where you left off. If you see a book that you’re intrigued by, but it’s not free, be sure to download the preview first and you’ll be able to read a chapter or two to see if it interests you enough to buy the entire book.
Project Gutenberg was founded in 1971, by American writer (and founder of the e-book) Michael S. Hart. With a mission to make books freely available to all, Project Gutenberg focused on digitizing texts which was made even easier with the arrival of the internet.
Now the oldest digital library in the world, you'll find over 58,000 free e-books on the Project Gutenberg website. You can also download the Project Gutenberg app on iOS and Android for even easier access.
Open Library launched in 2006, with the vision to create "one web page for every book ever published". There's a huge library of e-books available to download and keep forever, alongside a large selection you can borrow for up to two weeks.
Up to five books can be borrowed at one time from Open Library, and you'll have two weeks to read them before they expire from your device. It's essentially the digital equivalent of popping into your local library to take out a book.
Another website similar to Open Library and Project Gutenberg, Many Books is a great place to find free e-books. Many classic titles are sourced from Project Gutenberg, but you'll also find more modern works - especially from self-published authors.
If you have a book in mind, you can easily find it via the search bar. Otherwise, spend some time browsing via genre, author or see what's popular with other users via the trending section.
How to download e-books to your phone
If you want to read e-books on your smartphone, you’re going to need to make sure you have an e-reader downloaded first. Your device might already have one installed, for example all iPhones come preloaded with Apple Books.
However, if you don’t have an e-reader, or you’re looking for one with features that suit your reading style, then don’t worry – there are plenty to choose from. You can download them from the App Store or Google Play if you’re an Android user, with Kobo, Bluefire Reader and Google Play Books being some of the most popular.
If you’re looking for a book that isn’t available for free from Apple Books, Google Play Books or any other in-app bookstore, there's no neeed to worry, as most ebooks aren't expensive to purchase. Just follow the simple steps below and you’ll be able to start reading in no time:
• Find the e-book you’d like to read from a trustworthy online source, like any of those we’ve just mentioned above.
• Select the book you’d like to download and browse the available formats.
• Whenever possible, download the e-book as an EPUB file. It’s the most widely adopted file format.
• If you’re using the Amazon Kindle app, you may wish to download an AZW3 file. Likewise, Apple Books users can download an IBA file.
• Once downloaded, your device should prompt you to open the file in your e-reader. For example, on an iPhone you’ll see Open in Books.
• Click on the prompt, and you’ll be able dive in to your new e-book straight away.
And that’s it, you’re ready to expand your digital library. Large screen phones are fantastic for e-book reading, and you’ll find plenty at Mobiles.co.uk. View the latest deals and upgrade your smartphone today.