You don’t have to have an e-reader to take advantage of free e-books. Download free reading apps to turn your smart phone, iPad, Android tablet, and even your computer into an e-reader.
E-books have several advantages. They’re available almost instantly if you have an Internet connection, they’re usually less expensive than traditional books (not always!), and they don’t take up much space on your nightstand.
Since this is Wichita on the Cheap, I’m going to focus on just one of the advantages: cheapness. Not only can you get them cheap, you can get them FREE from all over the Web.
Before moving on, let me just point out that Parents should do the browsing for their kids. Not all of the free e-books you’ll find are kid-friendly.
Amazon has a huge selection of Free Kindle E-books to download, both contemporary titles that are free for a limited time and Kindle Popular Classics.
You can also search the free e-books at Amazon by genre. Here are a few direct links:
- FREE Mysteries and Thrillers at Amazon
- FREE Romance Novels at Amazon
- FREE E-books at Amazon for Children and Young Adults
Barnes and Noble offers a selection of FREE Nook Books. The selection may change from time to time. The downside is that you have enter payment information (even though you won’t be charged for the free books) to be used as your default method of payment for future e-book purchases. If you’ve already purchased e-books from Barnes and Noble, you might already be good to go. Download Barnes and Noble free Nook reading apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, or PC.
The Wichita Public Library has offered free e-books for years now–and not just books, but audiobooks, video and music as well. All Wichita Public Library card holders can access and download digital media 24/7 at http://wichita.lib.overdrive.com.
Project Gutenberg has digitized over 33,000 out-of-copyright (in the U.S.) books that are free to download. They are available in ePub, Kindle, HTML, and simple text formats. Because of the wide variety of formats available, you can read these with your computer, phone, tablet, or other device (like some mp3 players), but you can also get them for your Kindle, NOOK, Sony, Kobo, and other e-readers. (Note: These links take you to retailer sites. You may want to compare prices/features at Amazon, which carries several brands of e-readers, before making a purchase. Amazon isn’t always cheaper, but worth checking.)
Depending on the e-book formats available at these various sites around the Web, you may have to download (for free, of course) special software that allows you to read the books on your device. The major e-book providers listed above all offer free apps for many different devices.
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