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Good Online Sources for Free Books?

Cliff posted about 9 years ago | from the literature-liberte dept.

Books 64

hydopower asks: "I recently stumbled upon a collection of online libraries. This was fascinating to me, but too many of them cost money or offer Google Print-like limited functionality. I decided to put together a list of sites that offer free books in a format that would allow a person to actually read through them. As Slashdot readers are known for being well read and for enjoying free things, I figured I'd tap into the knowledge pool here. Any suggestions?"

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64 comments

Obvious: Project Gutenberg (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178069)

Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.net]
Lots of literature. And most are just straight text so you can read them with anything.

Baen Books (4, Informative)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 9 years ago | (#12178109)

Try the Baen Free Library [baen.com]. You are out of luck here if you don't like "sci fi", and the selection is rather small, but the files are nice and unemcumbered and they do have some great ones like Fallen Angels [baen.com].

Re:Baen Books (3, Informative)

eht (8912) | about 9 years ago | (#12178307)

In addition to the Baen free library, Baen has also put 7 freely distributable cds containg many books into some of their hardcover books, with the text "This disk and its contents may be copied and shared but NOT sold."

This site [dnsalias.org] and this site [ghostwheel.com] both host the first 6 cds as web browsable books.

This site [zlynx.org] contains torrents for all 7 cds.

Re:Baen Books (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178749)

Additionally there webscriptions service is very nice. It is not $free$ like you requested but it is pretty cheap ($4-6 per book or $15 for a about 6 books published in 1 month). Also the book that are offered there are available in a number of convienent formats and are not encumbered by DRM. As a bonus you can purchase books and start reading them 3 months before the publication date.

I think it is the next best thing to free as in beer and free as in speech, while still compensating the publisher and the authors.

As with the free library you are limited to what Baen books publishes (typically military Sci-fi) but you get what you pay for. Also excerpts are available for all the book so you can get a feel for the writers style and if you will like the book before you pay.

Free programming and computer science books (2, Informative)

wrenhunt (704610) | about 9 years ago | (#12178151)

Tech books for free: ahref=http://www.techbooksforfree.com/ [slashdot.org]http://www.t echbooksforfree.com/>

Linux Device Drivers: ahref=http://www.xml.com/ldd/chapter/book/index.ht ml/ [slashdot.org]http://www.xml.com/ldd/chapter/book/index.html/ >

Also some for Samba, Subversion, CVS, etc.

Free e-books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178195)

alt.binaries.e-books

Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178222)

alt.binaries.e-book* (You did say free, not Free)

Perseus Project (3, Interesting)

CyberVenom (697959) | about 9 years ago | (#12178237)

The Perseus project at Tufts is an excellent source of ancient literature, as well as some translations.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/ [tufts.edu]

If true classics are your thing. ;)

Re:Perseus Project (1)

LeninZhiv (464864) | about 9 years ago | (#12180803)

I second the plug for the Perseus Project, which is also for language learners the best means of bridging the gap from beginner/intermediate to advanced in Latin or Ancient Greek.

For those who've already got their Latin down and want a quicker-loading experience, however, I recommend The Latin Library [thelatinlibrary.com].

IRC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178251)

This one is JUST HUGE.

irc.nullus.net #bw, #bookwarez, #sci-fi,#techbooks etc etc.

Blackmask (1)

redtape (37014) | about 9 years ago | (#12178296)

www.blackmask.com has a large number of books (many that are also in gutenberg) in several formats:
HTML, PDF, Mobipocket, MS Reader, rocket eBook, iSilo, and EasyRead

While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178310)

anybody know any good online sources for free porn?

Re:While you're at it (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | about 9 years ago | (#12180552)

Everyone knows this one but you... Google Image Search DUH!!

Re:While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12186179)

web search gets you more sites then image search

Porn links (not work safe) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12186162)

ALS Scan [alsscan.com] and its sister sites, ALS Angels [alsangels.com] and Heartbreaker [heartbreaker.com]. They are commercial sites, but have tons of free samples (pictures only, unless you subscribe), plus 3-10 new samples each day. The samples are very high-quality, with very nice-looking models, but there's no hetero. It's mostly solo, objects, and girl-on-girl. Over the past several years, I have accumulated nearly a Gigabyte from ALS Scan (nearly 4000 files), and about 500MB (~2000 files) from the other two sites. I am not a subscriber, and never was. The Heartbreaker site has click-through ads. About 1/4 to 1/3 of them take you to other decent sites (Although not as good as ALS Scan itself).

For other stuff, use Google to search for "Jenna Jameson anal", etc. Most sites have links to other sites. Anywhere between 0% and 90% of these links will actually be useful.

Finally, if you have access to USENET, there's lots of free porn (but also lots of SPAM) of varying quality in the alt.binaries.erotica groups for pictures (look for posts by "Matilda"; they're generally pretty good), and alt.binaries.multimedia.erotica groups for videos.

Re:Porn links (not work safe) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12186174)

"alt.binaries.pictures.erotica" instead of "alt.binaries.erotica". but "abe" does have some groups, not as many as abpe.

If you're not feeling particularly righteous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178328)

my personal favorites are alt.binaries.ebooks [alt.binaries.ebooks] and #bookz

library and irc (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | about 9 years ago | (#12178394)

There is, of course, a very active ebook scene on the p2p networks and irc. Some people collect them just like the warez kiddies. Personally, I don't have the patience or energy to mess with those folks, but if you're not concerned with (il)legality, irc is, by far, the most comprehensive resource for ebooks.

My local library has been expanding its ebook offerings, and I've read several on my pda. They use drm'ed mobipocket and pdf formats which allow you to check out books for three weeks, after which they expire.

I would suggest pestering your local library district to ramp up its collection. It's the cheapest and most ethical way to read copyrighted works.

Random suggestions (4, Informative)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | about 9 years ago | (#12178432)

Cory Doctorow:

Eastern Standard Tribe [craphound.com] (CC)
A Place So Foreign (and eight more) [craphound.com] (CC)
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom [craphound.com] (CC)

Lawrence Lessig:

Free Culture [free-culture.org]

Tech and science books:

Version Control with Subversion [red-bean.com] (CC)
An open source math book [caltech.edu]
Light and Matter [lightandmatter.com], a series of physics texts by Ben Crowell [slashdot.org]

Lists:
The Assayer [theassayer.org] is a place to find and review open books.

Money well spent on books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178545)

I love how geeks at this site are almost proud of the amount of money they waste on PDAs, cell phones, the newest videocard, high-end speakers, and other geek toys (not to mention donating to put Enterprise on for another season) but when it comes to spending money on something serious that facilitates learning, such as books, all of the sudden they feel the need to do whatever they can to get things for free. Here's a radical suggestion: cut down on buying electronic beeping gadgets (and using them when you drive!) and you'll be amazed at how much money you'll have to spend on books. I think you'll find that it's money well spent in the long run.

Re:Money well spent on books (2, Insightful)

redtape (37014) | about 9 years ago | (#12178622)

I can't speak for others, but I buy books, hard cover, paperback and electronic. I have no problem paying for the books I read, but I also appreciate the ability to download the older, public domain, books. I bought my PDA mainly for the purpose of reading books.
Its amazing how some people, who won't even post in the open, are willing to flame people that they don't even know who are attempting to learn.

Re:Money well spent on books (1)

dead nancy (239321) | about 9 years ago | (#12180616)

Agreed. It's not always about money anyway.

Sometimes books aren't practical. Reading a hardcover on the subway, with sharp corners on the book and sharp turns in the track, is an exercise in arousing hatred. My Clie lets me keep one hand on the pole at all times. No falling down while flipping pages! It also takes up much less space during rush hour.

DN

Re:Money well spent on books (1)

bbc (126005) | about 9 years ago | (#12242918)

"I love how geeks at this site are almost proud of the amount of money they waste on PDAs, cell phones, the newest videocard, high-end speakers, and other geek toys (not to mention donating to put Enterprise on for another season) but when it comes to spending money on something serious that facilitates learning, such as books, all of the sudden they feel the need to do whatever they can to get things for free. Here's a radical suggestion: cut down on buying electronic beeping gadgets (and using them when you drive!) and you'll be amazed at how much money you'll have to spend on books. I think you'll find that it's money well spent in the long run."

Hi there mister Dinosaur. I quoted you in full, because yours is one of the best examples of old-world, conservative, anal-retentive, vested-interests thinking I have seen in a long time.

OK, so you want to do the math? Lets do the math.

Geeks will buy gadgets. It's part of what defines them.

Now, geeks have gadgets and the internet has free books. Why not connect the two? You cannot give me a single reason for that, I am sure.

Oh, and as long as you spend your days looking back, please consider that those hallowed books you so revere were once considered a heresy. "Why buy books?" your ilk would cry in righteous indignation. "Wake up and smell the coffee! Live in the real world! Story tellers are not just much cheaper, they also enhance their stories by their telling. When you buy a book, you rob story tellers from their income. Why do you hate Greece?" ("Why do you hate America?" wasn't as popular in those days.)

Well, we know what happened to those people. They refused to read the pamflet that told them that the maximum speed for chariots had been raised from 15 to 30 kph, and got killed trying to cross the road.

wikibooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12178683)

There's some fairly neat things over at Wikibooks [wikibooks.org] and you can of course feel free to contribute!

Free books? (3, Funny)

Carik (205890) | about 9 years ago | (#12178793)

There's a great place a few buildings over from here. The registration process is a pain (you have to give them various bits of personal information), but the books you can get are almost unlimited -- they've had almost everything I've looked for, including some fairly obscure SF -- and it's free.

The real advantage is the books you get can be read with no special equipment. (Some people use special glasses, but I've never needed them)

It's called a library.

Or did you mean books you can keep, and only in electronic format?

Bruce Peren's Open Source Series (1)

geoff313 (718010) | about 9 years ago | (#12178940)


Another nice spot to bookmark (which is updated as new books in the series are released) is Bruce Peren's Open Source Series:
[informit.com]
http://www.informit.com/promotions/promotion.asp?p romo=1041&rl=1 [informit.com]

The books are published in print by Prentice Hall PTR, but are also released after a few months freely under the Open Publiction License (more about the license in the link below).

http://www.informit.com/content/downloads/perens/o pencontent_org.html [informit.com]


-geoff313

My university uses this (1)

karn096 (807073) | about 9 years ago | (#12178969)

If I need to research a topic, i'll sometimes use this www.netlibrary.com Its a great resource, has over 41 thousand books, and a lot of the books are new, and recently published on a myriad of subjects. The only downfall is that you have to be a college student. otherwise you can only acccess the books that have been released into public domain. Which isnt bad either. If your interested and in school, try logging in from your school library, and you can create a username and password, then once you get that, you can log in from anywhere. I've been giving friends and family the login, and they love it. Oh yea, and theres no Ad's

The Assayer (4, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | about 9 years ago | (#12179002)

Try The Assayer [slashdot.org]. It's a catalog of free books, specializing in modern books that have been set free by their authors (not old public domain books, which you can get on Project Gutenberg). Users can also submit reviews. There are some links here [theassayer.org] that might also be of interest.

A few options (2, Interesting)

Xeo 024 (755161) | about 9 years ago | (#12179609)

Check out your local library and see if they're registered with NetLibrary [netlibrary.com], it's free if your library is registered with them. They have a decent collection of books.

Adobe offers a few free ebooks, both fiction [adobe.com] and non-fiction [adobe.com]. However, let me warn you, they are DRM'd.

Then there is also the Gutenberg Project [gutenberg.org] as many others have already mentioned.

If you are using MS Reader, then Microsoft offers some free books [mslit.com] as well.

Wikibooks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12179690)

From the same people who brought you Wikipedia, it's Wikibooks [wikibooks.org]

6 sources of some free ebooks and audiobooks (2, Informative)

waynegoode (758645) | about 9 years ago | (#12179741)

Fictionwise

Fictionwise [fictionwise.com] sells ebooks, but they also have free novels, short stories and audio books from time to time. Currently they have 26 items available for free, including a lot of sci-fi.

Audible

Audible sells audio books, but they have some free items also. There is a new free item every week or so for subscribers.

ereader

ereader [ereader.com] has a few free ebooks [ereader.com]. During December last year, they had a different free ebook each day for a few weeks.

Audio Books for Free

AudioBooksForFree has free audio books, but in a very compressed format. You have to pay to get better quality, but for $100 you can buy everything.

Baen Books

Baen Books has a free library [baen.com] with sci-fi books.

Project Gutenberg

This one has been pointed out a few times, but it is the biggest. It is here [gutenberg.org] and here [promo.net]. I think the first one is the official site.

manybooks.net (1)

DaoudaW (533025) | about 9 years ago | (#12180337)

Manybooks [slashdot.org] is a great website for downloading Project Gutenberg books. It provides a cleaner interface and dynamically generates 10 different formats to match your pda/application. It also recently got its RSS feed working so make a Live Bookmark in Firefox to see their recent additions.

The Internet Archive has free books (1)

TTK Ciar (698795) | about 9 years ago | (#12183438)

The Internet Archive's Texts [archive.org] collection has about 25,000 books online, and is working with many partners to get more.

I have a list of about 1300 interesting texts hosted by The Archive, here [archive.org], which has links to The Archive's details pages for those books.

Enjoy!

-- TTK

Images (2, Interesting)

Ankh (19084) | about 9 years ago | (#12184875)

I've been working on scanning images from antiquarian books for a few years, and recently started opening the process up so others can help out. The current state is at Pictures from old books [holoweb.net]; the new collaborative site will be fromoldbooks.org [fromoldbooks.org] (since there are textual transcriptions as well as images), probably in a month or so.

some tech/science books (1)

rakerman (409507) | about 9 years ago | (#12186376)

archive.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12186764)

archive.org has lots of ebooks, including ones from gutenberg, the million book project.

Some links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12188829)

Some of these sources may be useful, However, some of them are directories of other providers:
http://www.classicbookshelf.com/
www. online-literature.com
http://www.htmlbible.com
w ww.readprint.com/
www.bibliomania.com/
www.e-boo k.com.au/freebooks.htm
http://onlinebooks.library .upenn.edu/nonus.html
http://c-library.um.ac.ir/O nlinebooks.asp
http://www.netlibrary.net/
http:/ /drscavanaugh.org/ebooks/ebook_libraries.htm
http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/

Memoware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12202458)

Over 3,000 good ebooks are avaliable from memoware.com

Palm Pilot ebooks (1)

bbc (126005) | about 9 years ago | (#12242954)

When I bought my Palm Zire, I had the same question, but had trouble finding gratis ebooks. Most Google searches seemed to lead to commercial publishers who offered one free ebook as a teaser, often a public domain work they had probably plucked off of Project Gutenberg.

So I created a webpage, Free Palm ebooks [xs4all.nl], that tells owners of Palm Pilots where to find the free ebooks in native Palm formats, the reader software, and more.
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