This post will act as a link repository, connecting you the reader to sites which may have a free version of the book or literature you are looking for. I have also added a small description of each site where it is warranted. Most sites are legal and in good standing with the current justice system and copyright stances.
For free books & literature:
- Amazon – The monster book warehouse itself. Mostly pay to obtain ebooks, etc. However they do have freebies posted quite frequently.
- Army Libraries – This is hosted by OneClickdigital and is for US Army service men and women. Others may be able to use it, I have not tried.
- Authorama – A collection of public domain books. This site features completely free books from a variety of different authors, collected for you to read online or offline.
- BookRix – Thousands of online books and also ebooks available for download offline.
- Bookzz – When in doubt, look here. This site almost never fails me.
- Bibliomania – Free online literature with 2000+ classic texts, literature book notes, author biographies, summaries, and references. Lots of classic fiction, poetry, and drama here.
- Dover Books – I’ve found books to be much cheaper through Dover then Amazon on multiple occasions.
- Encyclopedia of Life – A membership based site, ick. The idea is cool though.
- FreeComputerBooks – site with free access to computer, mathematics, technical books, and lecture notes, etc.
- Internet Archive – The Internet Archive offers 8,000,000+ fully accessible books and texts. Additionally they sport a hefty collection of 300,000+ modern eBooks. A very large and useful archive, I’ve personally had little trouble with it.
- International Children’s Library – A library chock full of free children’s books for your child’s reading pleasure. This site provides access to the best of children’s literature from around the world. Partnered with the University of Maryland’s Human Computer Interactions Lab (HCIL).
- Internet Sacred Text Archive – Archived collection of religious, mythology, folklore, and esoteric texts. Claimed to be the largest such collection ever assembled by the site admin.
- Library of Congress – Master archive for the USA, probably need a library card for this one guys.
- LibriVox – Free public domain audiobooks. These are read by volunteers and are generally quite good. Sometimes there will be an accent issue which causes a reading to be unpleasant, but other times the accent really adds something beautiful (example).
- ManyBooks – Handpicked free and discounted ebooks
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Bookshelf – Free books
- Online Books Page – hosted by the UPenn, you need to know what you are looking for as this site acts more as a search engine. Free to read.
- Open Library – Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published. You can borrow books just like a regular library. Otherwise you have to pay.
- OpenStax College – A site with free textbooks at high school level, started by Bill Gates Foundations to help spread knowledge.
- Physics Database – Like the name implies, it is a database of free science books. Especially in the realm of physics.This site is great for a young or old scientist. There is a lot of useful information here. Additionally, for aspiring theoretical physicists take a look at Gerard Hooft’s (Nobel Prize winner) website.
- Project Gutenburg – A well known source of free ebooks and literature. This source quite collection. [update! This is verbatim from the Project Gutenberg site,
“Project Gutenberg is concerned about a new international treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The treaty text is online at https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/tpp-full-text . It includes a section on “Intellectual Property” which would force copyright term extensions and other restrictions on the public domain. Visit https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp for some analysis of the TPP’s negative impacts. The TPP has been signed, but not ratified within signatory countries. There is time to make your views known to your lawmakers.”
Project Gutenberg is a legal entity. As we can see here, changes in the TPP could effect not only Project Gutenberg but bloggers and other media entities as well. Keep this is mind going forward.]
- Questia – This library has 5,000+ public domain, classic and rare books that you can read online free.
- Read Any Book – A non-commercial project which makes any book available for you for online reading.
- Red Novels – ugly UI but the content is there. Free to read online ebooks available. A nice collection of genres overall.
- Science Books Online – Free science books on multiple subjects.
- Scribd – Free for 14 day trial, but you have to pay after that.
- Strategian – There are a variety of free articles and textbooks on this site
- The eBook Directory – no e-mail address required, free ebook downloads.
- The Physics Hypertextbook – Free online physics textbook.
- Wikibooks – wiki for public domain access books. See Wikisource as well.
- World Public Library – eLibrary card costs $8.95 a year.
For free science articles and novels:
If the above sites fail you (especially for scientific articles and references) and you don’t care about copyright, then you can find most anything you want through the TOR network or sites hosted off US soil, specifically at:
- Libgen – Based in Russia, this is the largest and longest running currently openly available collection. Headed by a team led by bookwarrior and Bill_G (of fiction torrent fame), they have several initiatives:
- i. over 1.5 million files of mainly non-fiction ebooks
- ii. an equivalent number of mainly fiction ebooks
- iii. +20 million papers from journals of science, history, art etc.
- iv. comics, magazines and paintings
- All in all the total amounts to at least 100 TB which makes libgen easily the Library of Congress of the digital world.
- sci-hub – Another russian based site built by a neurologist which makes available any scientific articles URL’s which you type into it’s search bar. It utilizes libgen and other underground databases as well as donated journal keys by professionals worldwide.
- Pirate Bay – A internationally known torrent hub. Based out of Sweden originally, however may have moved abroad elsewhere.
- WikiLeaks – For funsies, because why not. This site is based out of Sweden as well, and as Sweden does not allow censorship, it is still standing strong.
NOTE: These sites are embroiled in legal fights so if a link does not work the particular mirror could be down. Keep looking and you should be able to get the site up and running. IF the site has not been closed down. I will try to update this post as often as possible to ensure links are live.
Also, There is The Literature Network, which is a collection of searchable literature and summaries with 3500 full books, 4400 short stories and poems, with over 260 authors. Can’t really buy or download anything, but the search option is useful. Other SE you can use for looking are of course Google Scholar, and your university library database system. Use what you’ve got!
For all other avenues in regards to saving money and hoarding your hard earned cash, I recommend this guy’s stuff. I’ve only read a little of his advice but what I’ve read is good.
Hope the above was useful, and if you run across any other archives or notice any dead links let me know and I will add/ update accordingly!