18 classic (and completely free) ebooks

completely free ebooks.jpg

I did a little digging and it turns out there are ton of great classics and other great ebooks that you really can download for free. And this isn’t just a free chapter, these are completely free ebooks available for the taking.

So for those of you still using Windows 3.1 and trying to figure out how to use a mouse, an eBook is typically a PDF file that can be downloaded to your computer. Once downloaded, you can either read it on the screen or print it off for your own reading pleasure. Or you can use Amazon’s Kindle to take it with you if you are into that kind of thing.

Oh and just FYI, I haven’t read all these books and don’t have any recommendations. I just know that many of these are highly-regarded classics.

  • The Bible, Old and New Testaments, King James Version
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition
  • Roget’s Thesaurus – Peter Mark Roget
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austin
  • Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • How to Speak and Write Correctly – Joseph Devlin
  • The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci – Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Marvelous Land Of Oz – L. Frank Baum
  • War and Peace – graf Leo Tolstoy
  • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas père
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • Walden – Henry David Thoreau
  • Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare

These were some of the stand-outs that I saw. But there are hundreds or thousands more where these came from. Gutenberg.org really is a fantastic place to find free ebooks. I believe everything listed there is public domain, so if you are looking for something written last year, you will probably have to look elsewhere. I did spend a good chunk of time trying to find other good sites that allowed you to download ebooks for free, but that didn’t work out too well. There are tons of “free ebook” sites, but I found most of them to be very annoying – difficult to navigate and confusing (or impossible) to actually download the ebooks! So if you know of any good ones please share in the comments…

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  1. Beth

    I have had good experiences with librivox.org as well as my local library’s free ebook downloads.

  2. CoolHappyGuy

    Alas! Even though I’m geekier than most, I still like dead trees. It’s hard to curl up in bed with my laptop before nodding off to sleep. You don’t have to plug books in.

    I have read Les Miserables. Excellent book! Great movie (starring Liam Neeson).
    I have also read and recommend Huck Finn, Sherlock Holmes, Tale of Two Cities.

    I used to use Roget’s but tend to use online versions nowadays.

    Of course, The Bible surpasses them all. On my blog’s home page, I have a list of my favorite online bibles (“Bible Resources” halfway down righthand column). It was just a few years ago that you had to pay good money to get the study tools that are now available online for free!

  3. woodpest

    I am a 70 yr old retiree and have used the Gutenberg site for many years. I have a 10yr old PDA that I load up with 4-5 books at a time and read whenever I want. I have read all the old classics like Treasure Island, Huck Finn and even some old Tarzan adventures. Needless to say, I love to read and get all I want and need. My wife occasionally buys me a Jason Bourne novel occasionally when I need hardcopy reading (which is seldom) but I highly recommend the Gutenberg site. I get some for the PDA and some are not formatted except for computer downloading. I think most are available to PDF format used by Adobe Reader. Thanks for your work on this site.


    The site is extremely useful. I have downloaded so many books including classics by Homer, Shakespeare etc,.. Some books from Sanskrit classics should also be posted.

    Port Blair, A & N Islands, India

  5. TC

    Thank you. Keep on doing great things like this…:)

  6. lama

    thank you
    these books are very useful for me as English teacher and second language learner.

  7. Jonathan K

    This is a fantastic list! Thanks for compiling this information!

  8. Kajo

    Thank you,
    I did not know that the books on gutenberg could go on kindle

  9. Sue

    I love this website and how you encourage thriftiness in an enjoyable way.