8 Places to Download Great Books for Free on Kindle
Being a bookworm doesn't have to break the bank. Here are the best places to download free books for your Kindle so you can fall in love with reading over and over again.
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Save money with free Kindle books
Like everything else, the cost of books keeps increasing. And while e-books are certainly cheaper than their print counterparts (hence the popularity of e-readers like Kindles), they’re still an expense that adds up, especially for avid readers. Life is short and your wallet is thin, so why pay for a book you may not enjoy when there are free Kindle books you can try out?
There are a ton of websites that let you read books for free using your Kindle device or the Kindle reading app on your phone or tablet—all super lightweight and portable alternatives to bring joy to your commute, beach trip or cozy reading nook. And while it’s obviously awesome to save money, it’s even more awesome to get your e-books from legitimate sites that pay hardworking authors (and won’t download a sketchy virus onto your device).
We’ve compiled eight awesome places to download some of the best books of all time and discover and support your new favorite writers. So start donating your physical books to little free libraries in your community, and read on to discover how you can save money while saving space on your bookshelf. While you’re at it, make sure to check out these Kindle Unlimited books, free audiobooks and free online books for kids so you can pass along your love for reading to the next generation.
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Amazon Kindle store
There’s a reason why Amazon is a leading bookseller worldwide, and it’s not just because it’s a great resource for used books online. With millions of e-books available in the Amazon Kindle store, you can also find an incredible selection of free books for Kindle, including recent releases, the most-anticipated books of the year and the best fiction books and nonfiction books. You can browse the list of the top 100 free Kindle books. Or search the Kindle page for your favorite book genre (the “Categories” tab at the top is the place to start), click “See all results” at the bottom of the page and set the “Sort by” function to “Price: Low to High.” From there, you can download books for free with a single click. It’s even easier if you have a Kindle device: Simply search for “free,” and click “Free Kindle Books” in the results.
It’s important to note that free Kindle-edition books are different from books you can get for free with a Kindle Unlimited membership. At $9.99 per month, membership isn’t free. That said, if you’re an avid reader and willing to spend some money, you can sign up for unlimited access to 3 million books, including popular series and bestsellers like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Colleen Hoover’s Reminders of Him and It Ends With Us.
- Millions of e-books
- Can easily filter by genre and reader reviews
- Constantly updated with new free Kindle books
- No return deadlines
- Requires an Amazon account
- Must download the (free) Kindle app if you don’t already have a Kindle device
- Distinguishing between free Kindle-edition books and Kindle Unlimited books may be confusing
Looking for your next great book? Read four of today’s bestselling novels in the time it takes to read one with Reader’s Digest Select Editions. And be sure to follow the Select Editions page on Facebook!
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Amazon Prime Reading
Admittedly, this one is free only for Amazon Prime members, but for those who already have Prime for priority shipping and streaming services, Prime Reading is an added bonus you should fully take advantage of. Not to be confused with Kindle Unlimited, Prime Reading gives you access to a (smaller) rotating list of free Kindle books, audiobooks, magazines and comic books. Prime subscribers can also download one free pre-release e-book every month and access Amazon Original Stories without paying a cent.
- Free with Amazon Prime
- Access to one of a handful of editor-selected pre-release e-books each month
- Access to Amazon Original Stories for free
- Free Kindle books are updated every month
- No return deadlines
- Requires a Prime membership
- Allows only 10 Prime Reading e-books at a time
- Access to only a few thousand books
Your local library via OverDrive or Libby
Public libraries are essential community and educational spaces, especially within low-income and immigrant communities. Live a bit far from the closest library? No worries! Nowadays, many library websites offer e-books that you can borrow. Once you sign up for a library card, you have access to millions of popular books, even free audiobooks for kids who need a little entertainment during long car rides. Publishers may not hand over all of their bestsellers as free Kindle books, but you can find the book everyone’s talking about by heading to a virtual library.
Keep in mind, however, that Kindle devices can borrow e-books only from the OverDrive service, whether it’s via your library’s OverDrive website or Libby, OverDrive’s library-loaning app. Libby is easy to browse, lets you create digital bookshelves for the titles you want to read and makes sending library books to your Kindle a cinch. While not every library offers OverDrive, more than 81,000 of them do—that’s more than 90% of North American libraries.
- Access to millions of bestsellers and popular books
- Supports your local community
- Library memberships can often get you discounts on local events
- No late fees, since digital books are automatically returned on their due dates
- Requires a library card
- Return deadline gives you limited time to read the book
- Limit to the number of e-books you can borrow at one time
- May require downloading the Libby app
Founded in 1971, Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books. Today, it’s a volunteer-run nonprofit that legally offers 60,000 books in the public domain. This means you can easily search for and access a ton of the best classic books with expired copyrights, like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A favorite resource for students on a tight budget and classic book lovers alike, Project Gutenberg allows you to read directly on the website, download as EPUB files to your device or upload directly to a cloud storage account like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. And, of course, you can send the books to your Kindle device too.
- Offers multiple download/read options, including EPUB and Kindle e-books
- Can upload directly to cloud storage
- No registration necessary
- No app necessary
- No return deadlines
- Mostly on older books
- Not the most eye-catching user interface
If you’re the sort of bookworm who likes to seriously stock up, Freebooksy will be your new best friend. The team updates the site with at least one free e-book daily, though they often post multiple e-books from various genres, including romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and even YA novels and children’s books. You’ll find the book cover, a brief blurb and when the book will be free (for a limited time only!), so you can decide if it’s the right book for you.
What’s great about Freebooksy is that you don’t have to create a separate account or download an app; it simply links to the free book in the Kindle store. Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list so you don’t have to check the website every day. Instead, Freebooksy will send recommendations straight to your inbox.
- Easy to navigate and filter by genre
- No app necessary
- No need to create an account
- No return deadlines
- Need to click over to Amazon to see the books’ ratings
- Have to scroll vertically for a while
- Books are free for a limited time only
- Mostly self-published books and titles from small publishers
Founded in 2012, BookBub is a free service that works with publishers and independent authors to market their works and boost future sales. While BookBub offers discounted books as well, it’s best known for offering free books for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple Books and Google—essentially all e-reader devices. It’s important to note that these books are discounted or free for a limited time, so make sure to sign up for the daily BookBub newsletter.
Once you create an account, you can pick your favorite genres, allowing the website to tailor its book recommendations to your preferences and notify you about discounts, new releases and preorders.
- User-friendly feature for filtering and finding books
- Fun way to find and support new writers
- Can get tailored recommendations
- No return deadlines
- Must create a BookBub account
- Not a ton of bestsellers
- Free only for a limited time
Another website that offers both classic books in the public domain (think: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes), ManyBooks also features newer writers, including bestselling romance novelists and even self-published authors. This is another easy and legal way to discover and support new writers—ManyBooks emphasizes that it has received permission from modern writers to share their books.
As is often the case with Kindle free books, it may be trickier to find high-quality writing among some of the newer titles. Here’s a useful tip: Filter the collection, and sort by rating to browse the cream of the crop. As an added bonus, ManyBooks offers many gay and lesbian titles for fans of LGBTQ+ books.
- Intuitive and eye-catching user interface
- Features more than 50,000 free e-books
- Can filter by reader rating, genre, subgenre and language
- Read on the website itself or download the app
- Easily compatible with Kindles and the Kindle reading app
- Requires a ManyBooks account to download e-books
- May be difficult to find new, high-quality titles
Similar in concept to Freebooksy, eReaderIQ is a price-tracking service for Kindle books that makes searching for your preferred genre of free e-books easier. After all, time is also money! Not only does eReaderIQ post free books for Kindle, but it also updates hourly. You can even sign up for notifications to learn about new additions and track price drops for books and authors on your reading list.
Head to the “Freebies” section to see book covers, descriptions and the last time the price was verified. You can filter by your favorite genre or subgenre—getting rid of everything but historical fiction, for instance—and the book’s length. You’ll also see Amazon ratings, making it easier to decide at a glance whether the book is worth the click over to the Kindle store. Sure, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge a book by its four-star rating.
- Offers thousands of free books on Kindle
- Can filter by length, genre and how long the book has been free
- Updated hourly, so you never have to worry about missing a free ebook
- Displays and sorts by both Amazon star rating and the number of reviews
- Allows you to track price drops for specific books and authors
- Doesn’t require signing up or downloading an app
- Ads can be large and intrusive
- Cluttered and slightly dated user interface
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