What e-books have you downloaded free of charge?

Plenty of books whose copyrights have expired have entered public domain, so they’re free to download. Project Gutenberg was the first to make these available online, and now many other websites have joined in, offering a variety of formats.

Jacket Copy asked its readers what public domain e-books they’ve downloaded, and the list (see below) provides some great ideas for what to read next. What are your favorites? And what books in general have you found legally online for free? Lots of authors run daily or weekly sales on their books, marking them down in an effort to gain readership. I think it’s a fantastic tactic, one made easier without the costs of print.

“@paperhaus all of Jane Austen

“@paperhaus Cather, Conrad, Defoe, Hardy, Jack, London, Eliot, Conan Doyle, GK Chesterton, Rebecca West, Wilkie Collins. To name just a few.

“Jane Eyre. Apparently 2 print copies weren’t enough. RT @latimesbooks What public domain ebooks have you downloaded to iPad/phone/ereader?

“@paperhaus “Huckleberry Finn,” Sherlock Holmes stories, some Henry James (“Washington Square”)….

“@paperhaus lots of HG Wells, Byington’s Choctaw-english Dictionary, Conan Doyle, 19th C nonfiction where I can find it.

“@latimesbooks I have just read Omnilingual by H Beam Piper thru project Gutenberg

“@paperhaus Complete Shakespeare, Chekhov stories, Bartleby the Scrivener

“@paperhaus I love me some Chekhov short stories. Here’s a good primer: t.co/LTBbadur

“@paperhaus I got Frankenstein, Dracula, and a lot of other classic horror. Dracula was mind blowingly good — I hadn’t read it before.

“@latimesbooks mostly classics and the oddity “Alleged Haunting of B– House” by JP Crichton (probably no relation to Michael)

“Pride & Prejudice on my @nookBN RT @latimesbooks: What public domain ebooks have you downloaded to your iPad/phone/ereader?

“@paperhaus Twain, Dickens, yep, also Sabatini and Haggard, and old epics like Y Gododdin, various Annals.

“@latimesbooks I’ve downloaded too many to list but actually read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Journey to the Interior of the Earth

“@latimesbooks also the Well at the World’s End and Oliver Twist

“@paperhaus Anne of Green Gables and a couple of poetry anthologies.

“@latimesbooks First and favorite public domain ebook I’ve downloaded-Middlemarch. I’ll never tire of this wonderful book.

6 thoughts on “What e-books have you downloaded free of charge?

  1. valerierlawson

    i’ve dowloaded robert louis stevenson, mark twain, jane austen, and shakespeare to name a few, but the great new thing for me is that my library has just started loaning ebooks. i recently downloaded and read walter dean myers and rachel cohn from my local library free of charge!

    1. Stephanie

      That’s a great point! Libraries are a great way to read e-books for free, but unfortunately publishers aren’t making it easy to do so. It’s an ongoing struggle. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Sarah

    I love that we have access to the classics for free. I could never pick a favorite, but I’m so grateful I am finally reading some of these. This list is helpful too, there are several in there I knew nothing about. Thank you Stephanie!

    I have to say it again…LOVE the new look :) I can read it on my phone so much better now too….

    I hope you’re doing great Stephanie and that the new computer is keeping up with you!

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