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Where to Find Free Classic Books Online

By The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 19, 2009

The Children’s Book Review presents a “guest post” from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online school for OnlineSchool.net.

Reading classic books is a great way for children to expand their horizons and improve their reading skills. You can find classic books at almost any public library. The most popular titles can also be found and read online. Here are 10 sites that provide free classic books to young readers and classic enthusiasts.

Project Gutenberg – Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free ebooks, provides a fantastic collection of free classic books online. Over 100,000 free books are available through Project Gutenberg and the site’s partners.

Online Books Page – The Online Books Page is another great place to find free classic books on the web. The site offers more than 35,000 free books, definitive collections, and serials.

Google Books – Google offers a very large collection of digitized classic books. Other free offerings include classic magazines, such as LIFE magazine, and highly cited journals.

ManyBooks.net – Nearly 30,000 free classic books are available at ManyBooks.net and new books are constantly being added. Users who aren’t sure what to read can get recommendations from the site or browse through popular downloads.

Read Print – More than 8,000 online books and poems from over 3,500 different authors can be found online at Read Print. The books are easy to read online, particularly when you launch Read Print’s “reading mode.”

Bibliomania – Bibliomania offers more than 2,000 classic texts (fiction, drama, poetry, and short stories) as well as literature study guides for the most read books. Other free offerings on Bibliomania include reference books, quotations, contemporary articles, and interviews.

Bartleby – Bartleby provides thousands of free classic books, reference books, and poems. Texts can be read online or downloaded free from the Amazon.com enabled bookstore.

Page By Page Books – This site offers hundreds of free classic books in an easy-to-read format. All of the books can be enjoyed online and pages can be bookmarked so that you don’t have to read an entire book in one sitting.

LibriVox – LibriVox is an excellent place to find free classic audio books. The site’s volunteers are currently working to record chapters of every book in the public domain.

Free Classic Audio Books – This free online library does not offer an enormous collection of free audio books, but it does provide a nice selection of popular titles that are ready to be transferred to an mp3 player or iPod.

Leave a comment: What are your favorite “classic” books?

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by one of TCBR's regular contributors.

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