5 ways to get free ebooks


Ebooks are great. OK, they will never replace REAL books where you get the joy of ownership, the feel of paper in your hands and the pleasure of being able to use your favourite bookmark. BUT eReaders and eBooks are great for avid readers who have run out of space to store their library of books, for taking multiple books with you which would otherwise not fit in your bag, and for the fact that there are loads of free eBooks out there just waiting to be read!

Just a word of warning – Kindles will only accept eBooks in their particular file formats, hower you can convert ePubs to Kindle by using the Calibre software. Kobos allow you to read books from any source (Kobo store or other) so long as they are in ePub format, and iPads and other tablets allow you to read any format via the eReader apps – Amazon, Kobo, Nook and Bluefire for instance.

1. Libraries

Most local libraries offer free eBooks for loan. If you have a library card then check online or ask at your local library. In Nottinghamshire we are given a pin number and you simply log in, find a book and download it to the Bluefire app and off you go. You get to borrow up to 5 books at a time for loan periods of 1 to 21 days (depending on the publication). If the book you want is out on loan you can request it and you can opt to be emailed when it becomes available to you. The drawbacks are that the ePub format won’t download to Kindles, and works best via the Bluefire app on iPads. Most libraries have a decent catalogue but it is not always up to date with the latest titles.

2. Amazon

Amazon compiles a handy Top 100 Free eBooks list, but you can also search for books by price by using this handy link from MoneySavingExpert. That second link lets you narrow down the list by category, recency and author to find the books you want using the left hand menu. Don’t search or you will end up back in the paid section!

MoneySavingExpert Forums also have a thread where users post free books they have found – on Amazon or other sites, so join the forum and follow the thread to be notified of free eBooks by email.

3. Kobo store

The Kobo store by WH SMith has over a million free eBooks, which you can read via your Kobo or the Kobo app downloaded to any tablet.  Just visit the site to create a Kobo Store account (free) and start adding books to your library. Then access the store via your Kobo eReader or download the app and sign in to your account from the device. Your books will be visible in your library and ready for you to read! The free eBooks available from Kobo are listed here.

4. Barnes & Noble Nook store

The Nook eReader is supported by an extensive store of books by Barnes & Noble. They list nearly 2 million free eBooks on their site, so once you have set up your

5. Other useful sites

There are a host of other sources for free eBooks including:

Apple iBook – This app come pre-loaded on most Apple devices and allows you to access a range of free eBooks. The range is limited compared to other sources but still worth a look.

eBook Friendly site lists a good number of sources in their post.

And if none of those have the ebooks you want for free, then sorry folks you will have to buy them!

Have you found any other great free eBook resources?