Technology, indeed, has evolved to bring people both their wants and needs in the palm of their hands. This includes being able to access literature for your relaxation or for academic purposes anytime, anywhere.
With the rise of e-book readers such as the Kindle or even e-reader applications available for download in various digital platforms; it’s no wonder a lot of bookworms, students, academes, and enthusiasts alike can easily access titles that they cannot even find in physical bookstores.
However, with the rise of these online books and their made-to-listen version, audiobooks, comes a multitude of websites offering downloadable titles. Which ones are the best? Which ones are legit? Look no further and consider these 8 websites for public e-books and audiobooks.
1. Project Gutenberg
If we are talking about the largest e-book or e-pub website that people will suggest, the most common mention will be “Project Gutenberg”. This is rightly so because Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg is also the man credited with the invention of e-books back in the year 1971. Thanks to Hart, e-books and even audiobooks in general wouldn’t expand with multiple possibilities as technology also continues to evolve.
Now, Project Gutenberg is famous for over 60,000 titles with books that are now considered rare. These e-books have been proofread to ensure the complete enjoyment of its readers, and contributors continue to add more titles every now and then. It’s definitely perfect not only for pleasure reading, but especially for those who are looking for resources, say, when writing for their school paper of research materials.
The books downloaded on this site are available in ePUB, MOBI, and even PDF formats.
2. Standard e-books
This site is fairly new, only coming around the year 2015, hence there are only about 680 (more or less) titles offered. However, what makes this a go-to for readers is the quality and other standards that make online book reading an entertaining and comfortable activity for users.
It’s a volunteer-driven community where content is carefully formatted and titles are free of cost compared to actually buying e-books online. Imagine how these books are easily available for download, properly reviewed, and transcribed in a way that you can enjoy reading no matter the kind of technology we have today.
Aside from the careful proofreading and editing of the transcribed titles, Standard Ebooks ensure that they present their readers with a new edition that is easy to comprehend. Standard Ebooks gives the option to download their titles in ePub, AZW3, KePub format among others. There is also the opportunity to preview the book before downloading to get a feel of what it would look like in this or that format.
For those interested in audiobooks, LibriVox is one of the common go-tos for your audiobook needs. The website stays true to their objective of making all books available for the public to use, and they ensure that these stories are narrated by real people, distributed for free for everyone’s benefit and pleasure.
Like most e-books and audiobooks distributors, LibriVox is made up of volunteers from across the globe so that their audiobooks are supported in multiple languages. Not only can one read—or listen, for that matter—in the said community; LibriVox also gives the opportunity for the public to volunteer their voice for a recording.
They do not require their volunteers to be expert voice actors, nor does one need to audition to do a recording, but they appreciate at least a one-minute test recording for them to do some initial check-ups. Since LibriVox has been around since 2005, they offer titles which are also rare to find.
4. Internet Archive
As the website name suggests, Internet Archive is literally an archive chock-full not only of books per se, but also a collection of videos, music, and software. Most are probably familiar with this website as it has been around ever since 1996, and users are using the archive to gain insights on the internet’s historic past.
For this matter, in order to simply focus on searching for books, users can proceed to the ‘books’ tab and selecting ‘Text’ option on the Media Type section located on your left-side of the screen. Their collection is massive, and here you can find copies of old books and manuscripts that have been gathered for years.
Most of the titles are available in PDF format. Remember that most books here have been archived for years so for those who are looking for better, more polished quality of e-books, Internet Archive focuses more on their quantity over quality.
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5. Global Grey
Global Grey is a website ran by one woman named Julie who has been overseeing the site for more than 10 years. The project sprung from her own love of reading and the commitment to make free e-books that has both a pleasant and comfortable feel to it.
At current, Global Grey offers over 2,000 e-books with a various categories ranging from classic literature to folklore and even occultism. Did I mention that you can also purchase a collection of e-books which includes Ancient Civilization collection, Children’s Literature collection, among others?
The money paid helps Julie to maintain the website as well as fund her works of creating wonderful book covers and comprehensible content. You will also receive these collections in all format available. Formats include PDF, ePub, mobi, and azw3.
Another fun website for your e-book and audiobook needs is Lit2Go. The site began in the year 2006, and since then it has been offering a free online collection of audiobooks in MP3 format as well as e-books available for download in PDF format.
Lit2Go is also the perfect go-to for your literature class needs as it is student-friendly, including an abstract, citations, playing time, and word count for passages. It’s great for those who are interested in plays and poetry or for when studies ask for you to go through familiar plays written, for example, by Shakespeare.
With clear-cut audiobooks and texts to follow, it’s no wonder Lit2Go works awesome for both enthusiasts and learners alike. Other than plays and poetry, you can browse through a wide-variety of genres and read short stories and even novels. You can also read the texts and listen to the audio without downloading the files.
While most e-books and audiobooks site commonly offer literature for adults and young adults, Storynory is a unique and cute website for kids to browse through short stories that are suitable for their age.
Kid—and even adults—can browse through a collection of original stories, fairytales, fables, educational books, and more as they choose from different kinds of short stories that kids and kids-at-heart could easily follow along either by reading the texts themselves or going through the content accompanied by the audio.
Just like Lit2Go, you don’t have to download both the audiobook and PDF file to start reading; the site offers both the story and the audio online, whichever prove convenient to the reader.
8. Loyal Books
For our last entry on this list, we have Loyal Books—a free public domain for e-books and audiobooks where they believe that books should be free. Loyal Books take pride in their massive collection of titles ranging from the classics to a variety of genres including children’s literature as well.
Their audiobooks are supported in multiple languages as well which allows easily access for readers around the world. What’s unique about Loyal Books is that readers have the opportunity to drop a review for the titles they have read or listened for others to be able to check them out as well as give recommendations.
Loyal Books is definitely a go-to for your e-books and audiobooks needs. Audiobooks are not only available for download as MP3, but as well as for iTunes podcast, M4b, and RSS feed, while their e-books can be downloaded via ePub, Read eBook, Kindle, and Text File format.
Did we miss anything? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know in the comments.