While music theft has become quite a thing in recent years, it doesn’t seem that book theft went the same way. With the rise of portable reading devices like the Kindle and others, it’s just always been easier to buy and read books than it has been to torrent free books online.
Perhaps this is because the physical form of the book doesn’t easily lend itself to portable devices and computer screens. Reading a PDF is only really comfortable on a computer screen unless you’re tech savvy, and the Kindle and the Nook, with their specialised software and dedicated technology, just make it so much more convenient.
However, there’s a wealth of literature out there that’s now freely available to anyone who wants it. Can you imagine having access to this much learning and all these ideas and great works of fiction back in the day when books were items enjoyed mainly by the wealthy upper classes? The internet is just great.
Note: it’s now 9 places because one link is already down.
- Bored.Com – American Literature, Cookery books, Children’s books, Victoriana, Poetry…lots of things.
- The Perseus Project – literature from the Greco-Roman world
- Questia – over 5,000 of public domain, classic and rare books for free
- The Online Literature Network – lots of textbooks and course books for students and educators
- Poem Hunter – the clue to what this site does is in it’s name
- Banned Books Online – a special exhibit of books that have been the objects of censorship or censorship attempts. The books featured here range from Ulysses to Little Red Riding Hood
- Daily Lit – DailyLit lets you read literary classics and great new fiction in short installments that you can pick up and put down anytime. A personal favourite of mine
- Prize Winning Books Online – the complete text of books that have won major literary prizes, like the Newbery Award, the Nobel Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize
- Project Gutenberg – another personal favourite of mine, like Daily Lit. An old friend of a website.