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Free e-book collections – University of Reading

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Free e-book collections

A growing number of e-books are freely available on the Internet. These are often works which are out of copyright or works that authors have chosen to make freely available. This is a selective list of some useful free sources of e-books. Some sites enable you to convert their e-books into formats that can be read on e-readers.

  • BookBoon
    Free textbooks in the fields of IT, engineering, business and economics, written mainly by academic authors. You normally have to submit an email address and sign up for the BookBoon newsletter to access content.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
    A service which harvests details of academic and mainly peer-reviewed books published on open access.
  • Feedbooks
    Public domain and freely available original works are available on this site. Supports a wide variety of file types enabling them to be loaded onto most e-readers.
  • Gallica 
    Over a million books, journals, manuscripts and images, mostly in French, most published before 1900, all free, digitised by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
  • Google Books 
    Can, in some cases, be used to view online either the complete text or limited extracts from books. Select ‘Full View’ in the advanced search option if you are only interested in e-books you can view in their entirety.
  • HathiTrust Digital Library
    A growing database of digitised materials from major US libraries. Many of the older items are publicly-accessible. Search the Public Collections for freely available full text items.
  • Internet Archive Text Archive
    Home to more than a million free texts.
  • Internet Public Library online texts for literature
    Includes a list of some of the main collections of free e-books available.
  • JSTOR Open Access E-books
    A collection of monographs from a selection of university press publishers.
  • OAPEN
    OAPEN is an aggregator of peer-reviewed academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences from a number of different European publishers.
  • Open Book Publishers
    Freely available e-books, which are available to University members to download.
  • Project Gutenberg
    Access to over 53,000 free books to download to your PC, e-reader or mobile device.
  • University of California eScholarship Editions
    Includes around 500 readily available books from academic presses.
  • University of Pennsylvania Online 
    Indexes ca 30,000 freely available e-books.

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