Looking for sources of free Kindle books that you can download to your computer, and then to a Kindle or Kindle app? You can do it legally in any of the sites listed below.
You can find Kindle compatible books not only on Amazon> Thousands of these books are free of charge, and you can download them to your Kindle completely legally.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind to make adding own books to Kindle easier and quicker.
First of all, remember to pick up the right file format.
While the rest of ebook platforms is using the epub format, Kindle devices and apps support a different one – mobi (also called prc). If you will be choosing a file from any of the sites below, please make sure to download this format and not any other.
In the Kindle Store, ebooks are offered in a format called kd8. It allows to put a multimedia content into the ebook. Mobi is and will be supported. Don’t be afraid Amazon will discontinue it or make it incompatible with Kindles or Kindle apps.
Obviously, you can also add pdf files, but it makes sense only if the book is not available in mobi. The latter format lets increase font size, making it easy to read on smaller screens, what gets really difficult when using pdf, especially of large-format books.
You can start collecting the library of Kindle books even before buying a Kindle e-reader. There are many free Kindle apps available for computers and smartphones/tablets, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry operating systems.
The key to Kindle ecosystem is your Amazon account. All ebooks you add to your Kindle virtual library will be synced across all devices and apps registered with that account. Not only the latest read location, but also bookmarks and notes will be synced, and this is one of the most important benefits ebooks can give.
Obviously, you can also decide to use an unregistered Kindle, but make sure you are aware of all pros and cons of such a solution.
At the end of a post, you will see a short guide on how to add Kindle books to your device.
Download free Kindle books from these 9 sites
1. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is the longest-established ebook site in the world and the top place to download free classics. It’s the primary repository of free public domain ebooks.
When the title enters public domain, it means the rights to this work have expired and the book is publicly available. On Project Gutenberg the public domain books are free to download.
It’s quite possible that elsewhere you will find the same classic titles in ebook format, for which you’ll have to pay. This is what may happen in the Kindle Store, for instance. You can get Jane Austen’s book for free from Project Gutenberg, and find out that the same title costs one or two dollars in Amazon’s Kindle Store.
A good thing about books from Project Gutenberg is that if the original print edition had illustrations, you will be also able to get them in the ebook version. If you want the illustrations, make sure to download Kindle (with images) file. Please, keep in mind that ebook files with images take much more space.
The site offers a very useful Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive integration. If you connect your cloud service, you will be able to download ebooks with just one click.
It’s worth noting that you can access and download Project Gutenberg ebooks on your tablet or smartphone, in a browser, as the site is mobile friendly.
Smashwords is a top online site with ebooks from independent authors and publishers. There are currently over 500,000 from over 100,000 self-published authors. You’ll be able not only to download books in mobi or pdf format, but also read them online in your browser.
Smashwords is a leading source of newly released independent ebooks. What’s more, if you are looking for free Kindle books in languages other than English, visit Smashwords, and you should find here books in your mother tongue.
To see which books are free to read in your internet browser, go to Smashwords’ catalog of free ebooks. Then, change the way entries are being displayed – from stacks to list. Do it by clicking the bullet list icon in the top right.
This way, next to each title you will see a list of available formats. Keep in mind that the format that’s compatible with Kindle is called “mobi.”
Currently, there are between 50,000 and 100,000 free ebooks on Smashwords. That number depends on how authors promote their books. Sometimes they make a book free for a limited time. It usually happens with first volumes of book series.
3. Kindle Store
Did you know that there are many free ebooks in the Kindle Store? The thing is how to find them.
The best way to get free books is to go to “Bestsellers in Kindle Store” and pick up “Top 100 Free”. You will be able to see the most popular free titles in the Kindle Store.
The list is being updated a couple of times a day, so it collects the hottest free titles that are currently available.
The other way to find free Kindle books is to search Amazon. While being in the Kindle Store, in the search box type “free kindle books.” This method gives an idea how many books are free in Amazon’s own ebook platform.
Please, keep in mind that to access free books in the Kindle Store, you have to be signed in with your Amazon account and have a Kindle or Kindle app registered with the same credentials. Otherwise, you would not be able to get free ebooks from the Kindle Store to your device. The process of delivering an ebook is different from downloading a file to your computer’s disc. It’s performed via your personal Kindle library in the cloud.
4. Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with a mission of “universal access to all knowledge.” The website is a huge digital library of text, audio and video files.
The catalog includes over 25,000,000 fully accessible books and other text files. From here, you can also start browsing a collection of 1.3 million contemporary ebooks that you will be able to borrow for free once you register an account.
The ebook section is available at archive.org/details/texts. Sub-collections include American Libraries, Canadian Libraries, books from Project Gutenberg, titles from the Million Books Project, and books for children.
When you find an interesting book, click on its cover and a read-online panel will open right away. To find downloadable files, scroll down the page a bit. On the right side, you will see all available formats
In most cases, mobi format will be included – here it is called Kindle.
5. Open Library
Open Library is Internet Archive’s separate project, focused on collecting library records. Its goal is to create one web page for every book ever published. On a page of a single book, you’ll find all its documented editions.
Compared to the Internet Archive, with its vast catalog and advanced search features, the Open Library website is simpler and more user-friendly, and you can find the books you need much quicker.
When you go to Classic Books section, you will find over 3 million books that are “accessible,” which means they are free to read online or download.
To find a Kindle format of a book you like to read, open the page with its details. Then, in the left-side column, right under the book cover, you will see “Download Options.” Click on “mobi” and the file will start downloading immediately.
Open Library is more than just a catalog of free classic books. It also shows contemporary books that are free to read if you decide to borrow them. To do that, you may need to register at Open Library or find the book in your local library using WorldCat or Library Link. Each library book is marked with a “Borrow” button instead of “Read.”
ManyBooks offers free books in a clean and friendly interface. The site is ad supported but these ads are displayed usually at the bottom of the browser window and are not too disturbing.
Most books are sourced from Project Gutenberg and other sites that offer books with a Creative Commons license.
In total, over 50 thousand books are available, all with nicely designed covers. Plus, each book is available in several file formats, a lot more than what you can find elsewhere.
The major disadvantage on ManyBooks is that if you want to download the file, you will have to register an account. It’s up to you whether you want to do this or use other sites such as Project Gutenberg or Internet Archive.
To see download options, select the book you want, open the book’s product page, and click on a big button saying “Free Download.” Then, choose “mobi” from a list of available formats.
If you don’t want to sign up for ManyBooks, you can read any book for free in your internet browser. After you find the book you want to read, go to this book’s details page and click on a large “Read Online” button.
The largest book discovery site, Goodreads, offers also books in mobi/Kindle format – they are uploaded by Goodreads users and displayed in a special catalog.
Books with Free Download catalog on Goodreads is not huge – there are only 2,500 titles listed here, but they are very interesting ones. For instance, you can download Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling, a short story set about three years before the birth of Harry Potter. It recounts an adventure experienced by Sirius Black and James Potter.
Books that you can download in full length from Goodreads are labeled with “Download eBook” button on the list of results.
When you open a book page, you will see a row of buttons. Click on ‘Download eBook” to see a list of available formats. Please note that not all books are offered in a format that’s compatible with Kindle.
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.
Many classic titles from the public domain are also included in the BookRix directory of free ebooks. You will find them in the Fiction category.
When you find the book you want to read, click on its cover or title to enter the book details page. Find the “Download” button placed next to the book cover and click on it.
Please note that not all titles are available in mobi format., and there is no way to filter books by format, so you will have to check out Kindle compatibility once you find the book you would like to read.
The site is an online ebook catalog, where you can find almost 30,000 titles – all of them are free. The site is very clean and easy to explore, and this is what makes it worth exploring.
Most probably, you won’t need a search box at all. Most popular categories are featured on the left sidebar, and you can just pick up the one you are interested in to see books listed by popularity.
Plus, if a category is large enough, you can further narrow down the list of displayed books by selecting one of sub categories. There are several categories to choose from.
The most popular are Poetry, Juvenile Fiction, and Literary Collections.
It’s easy to download a Kindle compatible file. Simply, find “Download options” panel located on the right side of the book’s cover, and click on “Mobi Kindle” icon to start downloading the file.
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How to add books to Kindle
There are a couple of ways you can add own books to the Kindle e-reader or tablet/smartphone app:
1. The most popular way is to send a file to the email address associated with your device. If you buy a Kindle or download a Kindle app, first thing to do is to sign in with your Amazon account. Since that time this device/app is given a special email address to which you can send the files. You can find it in the Settings section.
2. You can also use a Send to Kindle application. It’s available for Mac and Windows, but you can also get it for Chrome and Firefox browsers. While the desktop version lets you add files stored on a computer disc, the browser extension helps add web content.
3. If you use a cloud storage service like Dropbox, you can upload the file to it from your computer, and use a Dropbox application on your tablet or phone to download the file to Kindle app.
4. If you have a Kindle e-reader, connect Kindle to your computer and drag the files into Documents folder inside the Kindle disc image.
5. If you have a Kindle app installed on your smartphone or tablet, you should be also able to add the file if you tap on it. A list of applications capable of opening it should be displayed, and if the file is in mobi format, you should see a Kindle app.
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