Sunday, July 6, 2014

Part I--Where to Find Free eBooks and Audiobooks to Download onto an eReader

Part I--Where to Find Free eBooks and Audiobooks 
to Download onto an eReader

I love to read books on my Kindle and I usually check them out from my public library via Overdrive.  However,  I sometimes run out of time to search for new (free) books, so I buy a few and keep them in reserve so that I will never run out of really great books to read.  

What?  What could cause a librarian NOT to want to read print fiction books any more?  Don't you love the feel and smell of the paper, especially from those old books that have been sitting on library shelves for years?  Yes, I still love the smell of books in an old library.  It takes me back to my college days when I worked at the EdPsych Library at Battle Hall at the University of Texas in Austin. And I will admit that I still read non-fiction in print form; it's easier to read charts, graphs and view photographs in a real book.

Why? My eyesight is not as good as it used to be, and I find that eReaders have an advantage over print books in that I can adjust the font to make it large enough to read easily.  Another advantage is that I can carry the equivalent of thousands of books on a simple device, especially when I am traveling.

This post is based on a request from a library coordinator--To provide access to free eBooks and free audiobooks all together in one place.  These are all reliable, reputable web sites with links to legally acquired titles, by the way.

Don't you think that every student, teacher, and librarian should be able to select a free eBook and download it to his/her eReader, whether it is a Kindle, Nook, Kobo eReader, iPad, or smart phone, etc.? Isn't this a 21st Century skill that is more important that being able to play videogames? (Please write comments below!)

Free eBooks

Project Gutenberg
Select from over 45,000 free ebooks in epub or kindle formats.  You can download them to your eReader or read them online. You can use the search box to search by title, subject language, or author.  Also, you can select from the top 100 downloaded books, the most recent downloads, and the newest titles added. I tried The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and was offered the ePub or Kindle format, or I could have read it online immediately. Once you download a book from Project Gutenberg, you own it, so you don't have to return it.  It's a great idea to locate and download a few eBooks from Project Gutenberg so that you always have a book to read! is probably my favorite online free eBook source because it is so easy to use.  At, you can browse the popular titles, recommendations and reviews.  With more than 29,000 eBooks available for Kindle, Nook, iPad and other eReaders, you can search by author, title, genre, language, and more. One of my favorite features of is that the main page for a title will give you the title, author, publication date, a brief summary, and reviews written by readers.  Also, if the title is available as an audio file from LibriVox (see below), it is hyperlinked. Select your preferred download format (from ePub to html to Kindle to RTF and PDF...over 19 different formats in many cases.)  On this site, you can download the titles without having to register with

The Online Books Page
The site, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, has links to over one million free books on the Web. 

Free Audio Books (Read by Actual Humans!)

With more than 7,000 audio book recordings in more than 90 different languages, LibriVox makes public domain books available online for free.  They are a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project and welcome volunteer readers from around the world in a variety of languages.


Lit2Go, funded by grants, is hosted by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida.  With more than 200 titles available, Lit2Go includes free books, stories, and poems in mp3 format and can be downloaded to iTunes or played directly on your computer or tablet.  Each title includes the date and place of publication, a brief abstract, the Flesch-Kincaid reading level, the word count, and the genre, as well as a citation in APA, MLA, or Chicago formats. Broken up into passages, the sections include the playing time, a PDF for downloading, and student activities.  Students can search by author, title, genres, collections (such as "Here Be Dragons" or "Science" or "Math," for example), or even by readability level.

Verkaro Audio
Originally called LiteralSystems, Verkaro Audio links to 39 audiobooks that are mostly for children, and includes fairy tales, poetry, and more. Verkaro states that it takes 20-30 hours to produce one hour of a finished product.  With support from iBiblio, Verkaro provides these audiobooks for free. 

Open Culture

Edited by Dan Colman, the Director and Associate Dean of Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program, Open Culture has links to 550 free audiobooks from the above resources and more, all in once place.  You can select from iTunes version, MP3 version, or if you are a member of, you can select a free version from there. 

Open Culture also has links to 600 free eBooks, 675 free movies,  language lessons, and more.

 Coming Soon--Part II--How to Borrow free eBooks and Audiobooks

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