30 Popular Books to Read Online For Free

  • Post last modified:October 16, 2020
  • Post category:Books

Looking for books to read online for free? You are in the right place.

From one of the most popular fantasy novels Lord of Rings to children’s books such as Anne of Green Gables, this blog post contains the ultimate list of best books you can find to read online for free.

And if that is not enough, I have also curated the best websites where these books, among others, are available.

So take your time and go through this post, I am sure you would find a book you can sink your teeth into.

And if you do not find that perfect book, then check out the websites below too, and search for that book you have been longing to read.

Indeed, the internet is a goldmine full of great resources — that is if you know where to look.

Besides, you have come to the right place to find awesome books online.

So, let’s get right in, shall we?

Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery Books

1. The Lord of the Rings

2. She: A History of Adventure

3. The Hobbit

4. Dracula

5. The Master and Margarita

6. And Then There Were None

The Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings | books-to-read-online-for-free

A high-fantasy novel by J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, revolves around the One Ring — a magical ring that holds the fate of the fictional world called Middle Earth.

In this novel, the free peoples of Middle Earth must fight to defeat the dark powers of Sauron by destroying the Ring.

Read The Lord of the Rings — Google Books

She: A History of Adventure

She: A History of Adventure

Written by H. Rider Haggard, She is a first-person narrative that follows the journey of Horace Holly and Leo Vincey.

The two journey to a lost kingdom in Africa where they discover a primitive race of natives who are ruled by a mysterious and all-powerful “She” — the white queen named Ayesha.

Read She: A History of Adventure — Open Library

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

The Hobbit was written by the famous J.R.R Tolkien

It follows the life of Bilbo, a humble guy, who is thrown into an adventure that involves saving a tribe of dwarves and defeating a dragon.

Read The Hobbit — Google Books

Dracula

Dracula

Dracula is a horror fantasy novel written by Bram Stoker.

The novel follows the encounters of a group of English friends with a vampire named Count Dracula.

In a twist of events, one of them, Jonathan Harker, is imprisoned by the Count, who then travels to London in search of Harker’s fiance.

Read Dracula — ManyBooks

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

This novel by Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov is filled with dark comedy and satire.

It revolves around the devil’s visit to the atheistic Soviet Union disguised as a Professor.

With bold renditions of the stories of Jesus Christ, Faust, Pontius Pilate, and a thrilling love story, this novel is a great read for adults.

Read The Master and Margarita — Google Books

And Then There Were None

Described as the world’s bestselling mystery novel, And Then There Were None was written by legendary author Agartha Christie.

The storyline revolves around ten people who were lured into an Indian Island by a mysterious man named U. N. Owen; the entire story unravels when one of the men is poisoned.

Read And Then There Were None — Open Library

Historical, Coming-of-age, and Adult fiction Books

1. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

2. Lolita

3. The Ginger Man

4. Nineteen Eighty-Four

5. The Great Gatsby

6. The Kite Runner

7. Pride And Prejudice

8. Wuthering Heights

9. Don Quixote

10. The Three Musketeers

11. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

12. The Eagle Has Landed

13. The Catcher in the Rye

14. The Name of the Rose

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Written by Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur is a historical novel that follows the life of a Jewish prince from Jerusalem named Judah Ben-Hur.

Judah’s life story runs parallel with the emergence of Jesus Christ, as the novel depicts themes of betrayal, conviction, and redemption.

Read Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ — ManyBooks

Lolita

Lolita

Lolita, a classic novel which has been considered one of the greatest works of the 20th century, was written by novelist Vladimir Nabokov.

It follows a middle-aged professor’s obsession with a twelve-year-old girl, Dolores Haze.

The Professor, Humbert Humbert, eventually becomes sexually involved with Dolores — who he privately calls Lolita — after he becomes her stepfather.

Read Lolita — Open Library

The Ginger Man

The Ginger Man

Set in Dublin, The Ginger Man is a novel by J.P. Donleavy.

The story follows the life of a drunkard, Sebastian Dangerfield, who was once a promising law student with a bright future.

Sebastian is from a wealthy family and seemed to have had a real opportunity at a good life, but because of his love for women and alcohol, he messes everything up.

Now, Sebastian’s main goal becomes finding a way to not work a day in his life.

Read The Ginger Man — Open Library

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel by English novelist George Orwell.

It is set in a world where the government controls every aspect of people’s lives.

In the novel, the world is ruled by an organization called “the Party,” whose leader is a mysterious man called Big Brother.

The protagonist, a low ranking member of the Party, becomes disillusioned by the complete control of people’s lives and plans to rebel against the Party.

Read Nineteen Eighty-Four — Open Library

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Book Cover

The Great Gatsby is a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It follows the sad story of Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, and his pursuit of the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, a married woman who is out of his reach.

The plot takes off when Jay decides to risk it all in an attempt to win back Daisy.

Read The Great Gatsby — Open Library

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner Book Cover

The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini, depicts the lives of two boys growing up in Afghanistan.

As a young boy, Amir witnesses the rape of his servant and illegitimate brother, Hassan. This experience marks them both, and the novel shows how their friendship and bond shapes the rest of their lives.

Read The Kite Runner — Open Library

Pride And Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice book cover

Pride And Prejudice is a romantic novel by Jane Austen.

The story follows the life of the Bennet sisters, who are told they are not going to inherit a penny of their father’s huge estate because it can only be passed on to a male heir.

The sisters are now forced to think about money, wealth, and prestige in their search for a suitable husband.

This novel questions the importance of marrying for love or marrying for money and social prestige.

Read Pride And Prejudice — ManyBooks

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, is a sad story of love and revenge.

The story follows the life of Hearthcliff, the owner of an isolated farmhouse, who has a painful past that keeps haunting him.

A young man, Mr. Lockdown, visits the farmhouse, and a housemaid narrates the entire history to him.

Read Wuthering Heights — Open Library

Don Quixote

Don Quixote, originally written in Spanish, is a novel by Miguel de Cervantes.

Under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha, a young man who has read way too many romance novels decides to become a knight errant in a bid to revive chivalry and serve his nation.

Read Don Quixote — ManyBooks

The Three Musketeers

The three musketeers book cover

Written by French author Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers narrates the adventures of a young man named d’Artagnan.

d’Artagnan hopes to join the elite musketeers’ academy but realizes he cannot do so immediately.

Further, he has a rough encounter with three musketeers but eventually befriends them, and that is how an exciting adventure commences for the four men.

Read The Three Musketeers — ManyBooks

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes book cover

Initially published as stand-alone short stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 12 short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle.

All the stories are detective-style stories in which the protagonist fights and solves cases of social injustice.

Wildly entertaining and simple to read, the book was well received and is still a favorite in this current age.

Read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes — ManyBooks

The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed book cover

Written by Jack Higgins, The Eagle Has Landed is set in World War II when a unit of German paratroopers and Irish revolutionaries infiltrate England and try to kidnap Churchill.

These people will go to any extent to complete their mission, even as their cover story is blown up and the mission looks almost impossible.

Read The Eagle Has Landed — Open Library

The Catcher in the Rye

the catcher in the rye book cover

Written by J.D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye is a coming-of-age novel that follows the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, who gets expelled from school.

Emotionally unstable, Holden embarks on a journey to find his truth as he rallies against “phoniness” and “superficiality.”

Read The Catcher in the Rye — Open Library

The Name of the Rose

The name of the rose book cover

Although appraised as a mystery novel, this book by Umberto Eco is more of a historical novel than a mystery.

The plot is set when a series of deaths occur at an Italian abbey. William of Baskerville is called to solve the mystery, as every new death reveals an age-old conspiracy.

Having sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, the novel is considered one of the best books of all time.

Read The Name of the Rose — Google Books

Children Books to Read Online For Free

1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

2. The Little Prince

3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

4. The Adventures of Pinocchio

5. Heidi

6. Anne of Green Gables

7. Charlotte’s Web

8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

9. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

10. The Little Gingerbread Man

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's adventures in wonderland book cover

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a beloved children’s book by Lewis Caroll.

The story follows the life of a little girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a fantasy land full of magical creatures.

Read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Gutenberg

 The Little Prince

The Little Prince book cover

The Little Prince is a children’s novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

It follows the story of a pilot who is stranded in a desert, where he meets a strange-looking man who claims he is a prince from another planet.

This little prince recounts several odd stories about adventures on strange planets while reminding the pilot of the importance of his childhood.

Read The Little Prince — Open Library 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe book cover

Set in World War II, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a children’s book by C.S. Lewis.

When four siblings are sent to a safe house in the countryside, one of the siblings, Lucy, finds a mysterious wardrobe which transports her to a magical land called Narnia.

Lucy returns to bring her other siblings along on the next trip to Narnia.

There, they encounter a powerful Lion, Aslan, who enlists their help to defeat the evil White Witch, Jadis.

Read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — Open Library

The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Adventures of Pinocchio is a children’s book by Carlo Collodi.

It follows the lives of a living wooden puppet, Pinocchio, and his master, Geppetto.

Pinocchio is a mischievous puppet who causes his master great trouble and sorrow.

One day, he encounters a fairy who puts a little spell on him; every time he tells a lie or does something bad, his wooden nose would grow an inch.

This book is an excellent read for kids because it teaches the lessons of being good and listening to your parents.

Read The Adventures of Pinocchio — ManyBooks

Heidi

Heidi book cover

Heidi, written by Johanna Spyri, is a book “for children and those who love children.”

The story is centered on the life of an orphaned girl who is sent to live with her grandpa in the Swiss Alps.

Her grandpa turns out to be a kind man whom she grows to love and adore.

Read Heidi — ManyBooks

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of green gables book cover

Anne of Green Gables is a children’s book by L.M. Montgomery.

Anne, an orphan girl, is mistakenly sent to an older couple who initially wanted to adopt a boy to help them on their farm.

However, after meeting Anne, they are charmed and decide to keep her.

The rest of the adventure follows Anne as she struggles to adapt to her new environment. This book is suitable for children ages eight years and up.

Read Anne of Green Gables — ManyBooks

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's Web book cover

Charlotte’s Web, deemed as one of the bestselling Children literature of all time, was written by American author E.B. White.

It narrates the story of a pig, Wilbur, and his friendship with a spider called Charlotte.

The plot takes off when Wilbur falls into grave danger as he is deemed weak and not fit to live.

Charlotte, not wanting to see her friend slaughtered, comes to his rescue and starts to write praises about Wilbur in her web.

Read Charlotte’s Web — Open Library

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by American author L. Frank Baum, is one of the most translated and popular children’s books of all time.

After Dorothy and her pet dog, Toto, are swept away from their home in Kansas, they end up in the magical land of Oz.

This puts them on a magical adventure as they try to find their way back home.

Read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — ManyBooks

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The adventures of tom sawyer book cover

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a children’s novel written by Mark Twain.

Tom Sawyer is a troublesome young boy living with his Aunt Polly. One day, he misses school and ends up in a fight.

Duly punished, he is tasked with the job of whitewashing a fence, which causes him to feel humiliated and runoff. He then begins to dream of a plan to run away permanently.

And thus begins the Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer — ManyBooks

The Little Gingerbread Man

the gingerbread man book cover

The Little Gingerbread Man, a classic children’s literature for kids of all ages, is a folktale that follows an animated gingerbread man.

A woman creates a little man from gingerbread, who then runs away, as he fears he is going to be eaten.

On his journey, the gingerbread man meets a cow, a horse, and several others, who all try to eat him up.

Will he escape his fate or end up eaten after all?

Read The Little Gingerbread Man — ManyBooks

Websites to Read Books Online For Free

These are websites where you can either read books online for free or download them to your device at your convenience. Excited? Let’s get right into it.

1. Open Library
2. Google Books
3. Many Books
4. Project Gutenberg
5. Internet Archive
6. Authorama
7. Overdrive
8. BookRix
9. Bookboon
10. Wattpad
11. International Children Digital Library
12. Great Books and Classics
13. DailyLit
14. Library of Congress
15. HathiTrust Library
16. Smashwords
17. Scribd
18. Audible
19. Amazon Kindle Unlimited / Amazon Free Kindle Books
20. Bookbub
21. 24Symbols

Open library dashboard

This is my favorite website when it comes to reading books online.

Open Library has got a huge collection of books that you can read, borrow, or download.

With more than 3 million titles available, Open Library is my go-to source for discovering awesome books on the internet.

Google Books dashboard

Google books is golden; It has so many books available to read online that I can virtually find any book I want on there.

It is a service provided by Google Inc., and as such, it has one of the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books.

However, some books are not available for free on Google Books — especially recently published ones.

ManyBooks dashboard

I love this website’s design and layout; it is simple and easy to use — very user friendly.

I usually browse Many Books to find and read all-time best books that are now in the public domain.

You can also find high-quality children’s books there.

Further, they pride themselves on having a great selection of modern and classic books.

Project Gutenberg dashboard

Founded in 1971 by writer Michael S. Hart, Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library.

Its library is mainly filled with public domain books — old books whose copyrights have expired.

With over 60,000 ebooks, Project Gutenberg has a great collection of old classic books and novels.

Any great book from your childhood come to mind? They’ve probably got it.

Internet Archive dashboard

Internet Archive has a stated mission: “Universal access to all knowledge,” and as such, it provides free access to a collection of books, websites, movies, software applications, and all sorts of digital assets.

In short, Internet Archive is not only great for finding free books but also for finding all sorts of free resources on the internet.

Authorama dashboard

Authorama is another site where public domain books are available; however, its collection is limited, and you can only choose from what is available.

There are some great books on there, which are presented in a very clean format for reading online or offline.

The best thing about Authorama is the clean layout of all its ebooks; it makes for very enjoyable reading.

Overdrive dashboard

Overdrive is a website where you can borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and videos for free.

The way it works is that it connects you to thousands of libraries worldwide, where you can access digital material easily and freely, without having to ever visit these libraries in person.

BookRix Dashboard

BookRix mainly contains self-published titles. The company also helps individual writers to publish and market their books.

So, if you are a fan of reading self-published books or love to find hidden gems, then BookRix is the best place for you.

Bookboon is mainly focused on students and workers. It contains several free textbooks for university students.

Whether you are looking for books on economics and finance, business, or engineering, Bookboon has got you covered.

Wattpad dashboard

Wattpad prides itself on connecting a global audience of readers and writers through the power of story.

Whether you are a reader who loves discovering different kinds of stories or a burgeoning writer who loves to share his own unique story, Wattpad is the best place for you.

ICDL provides a huge collection of children’s literature from across the world.

Their collection contains digitized books in 59 languages from various countries.

All the books on the website are free and aimed at helping children across the world become “effective members of the global community.”

This website is exactly what its name connotes; it contains several great books and classics of all time.

DailyLit dashboard

DailyLit helps you read fiction in short installments. You select a book, and they send short installments of it into your inbox every morning.

They aim to make reading as seamless as just checking your email.

They also publish great short stories and serials that are meant to be read in short installments.

So if you struggle with getting a little bit of reading into your day, then DailyLit is the right choice for you.

Library of Congress serves as the main research arm of the US Congress.

Thus, it has millions of books, photographs, newspapers, manuscripts, and maps in its library collection.

It is free and open to the public, and users can access a wide range of books and resources that are, sometimes, rather difficult to find elsewhere.

HathiTrust library dashboard

HathiTrust Library is a digital library that is in partnership with academic and research institutions.

Boasting a collection of millions of books that are digitized by various libraries around the world, HathiTrust Library is one of the largest digital libraries you can find.

Smashwords dashboard

Smashwords is a platform that is mainly focused on self-published books.

They pride themselves in having a collection of millions of self-published titles.

If you are into finding the hidden gems in those millions of books published every year, then Smashwords is the best place for you.

17. Scribd

Scribd dashboard

Scribd is not entirely free; it is a subscription service that provides you with unlimited access to millions of books, audiobooks, and documents within their library.

It offers a free 30-day trial, though, and within that time-frame, you can access all the books you want without restriction.

After the 30-day trial, you can decide whether you want to pay to renew or cancel your subscription.

Audible dashboard

Audible is a company owned by Amazon; it provides audiobooks and spoken audio of radio and tv programs.

If you love to listen to audiobooks — perhaps while driving or cooking — then audible is the best platform for you.

The platform has on audio almost all the popular books and programs.

As a bonus, you can try audible completely free for 30 days.

Kindle Unlimited dashboard

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is a program that allows users to read an unlimited number of books for a fixed price per month.

However, it is available for a free 30-day trial, so you can use that as an opportunity to try out the program and see if it is a fit for you.

BookBub is a free service that provides you with unbeatable deals from all the major booksellers, such as Amazon and Nook.

The site also helps you pick books by providing you with handpicked recommendations from the best authors.

All in all, BookBub is a great place to discover awesome books at unbeatable prices.

24Symbols dashboard

24Symbols is a reading service that promises to help you “read (or listen to) whatever book you want, wherever you want, and however you want.”

Based on a subscription model, you are allowed to read unlimited titles, with no restrictions whatsoever.

With over one million titles in their library collection, you are sure to find something to read.

Conclusion

We live in a digital age, and almost everything can now be accessed on the internet — whether it be books, movies, or anything else.

With the large number of books and websites I have provided above, I hope you can start from somewhere and start reading books online for free — or even for a small fee.

As the saying goes, “Whatever you need is out there, you just need to find it.”

Thank you for reading this blog post. Share it with friends and family if you found the information useful.

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