Did you know you can download classic ebooks for FREE? No, this is no gimmick and nothing fishy. Books in the public domain are FREE to the public. Some of the book titles include Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and many more!
How does this work?
In the United States, copyrights are only for a set time frame. When the copyright expires, the books are then placed in the public domain. No one owns the rights to these books therefore they are free to the public. Now, some of the copyright laws vary from country to country so if you’re not in the United States, you may want to Google your country’s copyright laws. For more information about how the copyright laws work, visit Gutenburg FAQ.
Where to get the ebooks for FREE?
Project Gutenberg offers over 45,000 FREE ebooks! That’s a huge selection and a little something for everyone.
I haven’t found a good way to browse Amazon’s selection of public domain books but most of the books listed on the other two sites are available for free download through Amazon. I find it easier to find the books you want to download by going to Amazon and search for “book title by original author.” When you do this, it is also going to bring up titles by Disney and other companies so it is important to search by original author and pay attention to the price for the ebook. Public domain ebooks should display Kindle Edition $0.00.
How to download and read the ebooks?
You have a few options here. You can download them in PDF format, read them online in HTML format, or send them to to your OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Kindle, Kindle Reading App (I use the app on my iPad), or download them directly from Amazon.
On Amazon, the books usually look pretty simple. They are generally easy to spot out. They will have a cream white on the top and a solid red or green color on the bottom.
Where can I find public domain book lists?
You can browse the books on Project Gutenburg, Internet Archives, and Amazon but there are SOOO many, it could be hard to find books for age group. Ambleside Online has a large book list categorized by grade level. Some other sites that have book lists are; Goodreads, An Old Fashioned Education, FreeReaders, and Best Children’s Books.
How I use Public Domain Books
One of curriculums we use for Language Arts is Writing With Ease By Peace Hill Press. The curriculum incorporates many of the FREE public domain classic literature into the lessons. For example, this week we are reading Rumpelstiltskin from the Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. At the beginning of the book, it has a Reading List and which books to go along with each week. They are optional to read with the curriculum since the book includes passages. But we like to send them to the Kindle Reading App to read along side the lessons.
My preferred method to download the ebooks is to find them on Amazon. I have the Kindle Reading app downloaded on my iPhone and iPad mini. We can also read them on the Kindle Fire. I just search for the book by the original author. Click on the book that displays $0.00 for the Kindle edition. To the right of the screen, there is a button that says “Buy now with 1 click” and under it there is a drop down menu. I select the device I want it to deliver to. Then select Buy Now with one Click. And it sends the book to the device.
While Amazon is my preferred method and most of the time it has the books I’m looking for, there are a few that are not available. So I will find them on the other sites listed. I download the ebook to my PC. Then I e-mail it to my “Send-to-Kindle e-mail address.” Each of my devices have a different e-mail address to deliver directly to each device. If you want to access the book from all of your devices, you do not have to send to each device. Just send it to one of the devices.
Then go to the app on your preferred device. On the main screen of the Kindle Reading App, click on Cloud (bottom of screen on reading app, I think it’s at the top on the Kindle). You can browse all books including the ones that are not on that particular device. If it has a check by the book, it is already downloaded on your device. If it doesn’t, simply tap on the book and it will begin downloading.
Finding Send to Kindle e-mail address
For Devices with Kindle Reading App: To find your “Send-To-Kindle email address,” open up the Kindle Reading App. On the main screen of the app, click on settings. You will find your e-mail address here. This may be different depending on your device. If this method doesn’t work, check out Amazon’s Send to Kindle by e-mail address help page. Oh, and you can do this for regular PDF files, microsoft word files, jpegs and more. Just click on the above link to learn which files are supported.
For Kindle Fire HD: Go to Docs. Click on Cloud. It should show a picture with a little description and “e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.” The e-mail it supplies is your Send to Kindle e-mail address. Like I said above, each device has it’s own e-mail address. And if you can’t remember the e-mail address it sets up for you, you can change it by going to Amazon.
To look at all devices: You can also find the send to kindle email addresses for all of your devices by going directly to Amazon. Go to Send to Kindle help page. Click on Manage Devices. This will direct you to a login page. Login and then click on Your Devices tab. You can look at all devices linked to your account. Then you can click on the device and find the e-mail address. You can also edit the e-mail address on this page.
Hope all this helps! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!