I love physical books (one look at our living room will reveal that), but we also use e-readers when we can’t get our hands on a physical copy of a book. One of the great things about Kindle e-readers is that there are many places where free e-books are available. It’s likely your public library allows you to borrow books using the Overdrive or Libby app. If not, or if you can’t find the book you are looking for, there are other options. Here is a list of free e-book and audiobook sites.
Hoopla is a digital media service offered by your local public library that allows you to borrow audiobooks and eBooks. The neat thing about Hoopla is that there are no wait lists.
Check with your library if they offer this service, or you can go through the registration process on Hoopla to see if your library card is accepted.
Amazon Kindle Unlimited has over one million free books available. Some of these come with Audible narration. They usually offer a one-month free trial. You might enjoy this list of books to read with Kindle Unlimited.
Project Gutenberg has a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. They specialize in high quality classic literature that is in the public domain.
If Project Gutenberg seems daunting you might want to check out Ambleside Online. This is a popular homeschool site. They have a list of classics arranged by grade level with links to the free eBook on Project Gutenberg (if a free version exists.) Here’s their Grade 5 book list to give you an idea of the books they include.
Loyal Books has a nice selection of audio and eBooks available. They advertise themselves as being the best collection of completely free public domain audiobooks and ebooks.
LibriVox offers books in the public domain. These books have been recorded by volunteers. Some narrators are better than others, so don’t get discouraged if the first one you listen to isn’t to your liking.
Of course, Amazon is an obvious place to look with their massive selection of over 6 million free titles. The volume of books available can be a bit overwhelming, but their filter feature lets you narrow the options down. For example here is a search result for the top 100 free books in Best Sellers in Childhood Education & Reference.
Learning Ally used to be a free audiobook website for those who have reading disabilities. They now require a yearly fee, but the website is still a fantastic resource if your child has a documented reading disability.
Other Free eBook or Audiobook Sites
Open Library (I use this site a lot for older children’s books when I can’t find them at the library.)
Storynory (audiobooks for kids)
I hope you find this list of free e-book and audiobook sites useful. If you have an option that I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments.
You may also enjoy reading Kindle E-book Deals.
If you’re considering buying an e-reader or tablet, check out our family’s business (started by our sons as a homeschool project).