If you’ve already jumped on the e-reader bandwagon, then chances are you’ve already scouted out some sources for free ebooks. There are of course many great websites on which you can purchase ebooks at a decent price, but let’s be honest—we Malaysians are pretty kiamsap sometimes.
So without further ado, here’s a list of some of the best free ebook sources, which you can access in Malaysia.
Project Gutenberg is the great-grandparent of all free ebook websites out there. It was begun in the 1970s, and these days it plays host to an incredibly large number of public domain documents and books. If you’re into classics, then head over to Project Gutenberg.
ManyBooks is a ramped-up version of Project Gutenberg. While it has a similar collection to Gutenberg, ManyBooks offers ebooks in a huge number of different formats, which means that you’ll find formats that should work on just about every device that you own. The website also features a more contemporary layout and design, plus details and summaries of each book.
If you’ve only got 15 minutes a day to read, then try DailyLit. This website brings back the old-school publishing style where magazines and newspapers would print books in a number of instalments. DailyLit will email you a small chunk of your ebook every day, and if you’d like to read more, just request another instalment. They might not have a huge selection of ebooks, but they are free, and cover a variety of topics.
FeedBooks functions as an ebook store, but they’ve also got a public domain section, and their own original books section. Together these sections offer you thousands of fiction and poetry titles. All their ebooks come in ePub format.
WOWIO is a great website for comic book enthusiasts. They offer a wide selection of free comic books, plus some literature and non-fiction. It takes a little bit of an effort to sign up for the service, but once that’s done, you can easily add items to your cart and then download them. There is a limit of five books per day. If you’re only interested in their featured selections, however, you won’t need an account to download those. Most of their offerings are in PDF format (which of course works well for comic books), but if you need to convert anything, try using Calibre.
If you’re more of the sci-fi and fantasy type, there’s something for you too. Baen, the science fiction and fantasy publishing house, has a free library section where they offer some of their titles in digital format. There is no copy protection on them. The interesting thing Baen has found out, is that offering a title for free in fact increases sales of that title and other titles by the same author. Baen’s free ebooks are available in a variety of e-reader-friendly formats.
This huge project offers audio, video, software, archived webpages, and yes, ebooks—to the general public. There are over 5 million books and items just waiting to be discovered by you. The Internet Archive hosts material curated from over 1500 collections, covering 184 different languages. You’ll be able to find lots of literature, historical texts, research material, and even special collections like cookbooks and children’s classics.
A project of the Internet Archive, the Open Library offers over one million free ebooks. The project was begun by Aaron Swartz and was originally developed to support the print disabled community. This collection offers more contemporary materials than the Internet Archive.
Scribd is sort of a YouTube for documents. People can upload and share anything they want, and as a result, there are many, many free ebooks available on Scribd. All you need to do is search a little.
Last but not least, for the techies and engineers out there, FreeTechBooks is for you. They’ve got a huge collection featuring books on engineering, programming, computer science, mathematics, and other technical subjects. There are books, textbooks, and even lecture notes available! You should also check out a very similar resource, FreeComputerBooks.
It also goes without saying that there are torrents, although unfortunately that falls on the “illegal” side of things. Amazon also offers a whole bunch of ebooks for free, though Malaysians have to engage in a workaround to get a hold of them. You’ll also find slightly smaller collections at the Nook ebook store and the Sony Reader ebook store.
As previously mentioned, Calibre is a great piece of software to use for both conversion and organization of your ebook collection.
Got any comments or other resources to share? We’d be happy to hear from you.
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