In the era of digitalization, you can find anything and everything online, and books aren’t an exception. Nowadays, physical libraries and schools are not the only places to pick up a book, read, and gain knowledge.
With technology revolutionizing everything, it has also revolutionized our physical libraries and made them digital. And you can access paid and free online libraries anywhere, anytime. All you need is a smartphone and internet.
Just imagine you have a library with thousands of books in your palm. Pretty crazy, right? But as impressive as it sounds, it can be intimidating as well.
How do you access the library?
Which library to use?
How to know which library has the book I need?
We are here to answer your questions.
In this guide, we have listed the best free online library resources to get you access to the book you want to read. Not just literature but science books, journals, articles, and magazines are also available. So, without further ado, let us see the top 12 free online library resources that you can access anywhere, anytime. We have also mentioned which site is best for what type of books for your convenience.
Project Gutenberg is our top pick when it comes to easy-to-use and free online libraries. It is massive and contains about 60,000 free eBooks. It is the best place to look at if you are a literature enthusiast. Here, you will find the finest and most popular classical literature pieces. Project Gutenberg aims for digital preservation of cultural works; thus, classical masterpieces are accessible to all. And, of course, the best part is that these are all free.
Access Library at https://www.gutenberg.org/
Also see: 20 Best Websites to Download Free eBooks
Like Project Gutenberg, Open Library is also a great place to search for books without spending a dime. Open Library boasts a vast collection of over 2 million books, from the most famous classical items to contemporary gems. Imagine having your virtual library on your mobile! The main motto behind the initiative is to gather every book ever published under a single web page. And without a doubt, the website lives up to its name. The site is easy to access and use, even for a novice. So, whether you are a bookworm or just looking for that one particular book, Open Library has it all.
Access Library at https://openlibrary.org/
Google Books is a treasure trove for literary books. With just a few clicks, you can find and get the literary piece you want to read. Another fantastic thing is that it provides a sneak peek into the book that you chose so that you can easily decide beforehand if you’re going to continue with your selection or not. But the best feature of Google Books would be its advanced search bar. Just type in the book name or author name; voila, you have the best possible matches.
Powered by Google’s search engine, you can imagine how efficient it is. However, although most books on the platform are free to read, some need to be purchased or rented. Google Books also serves as a platform for authors to showcase and sell their work.
Access Library at https://books.google.com/
Perseus Digital Library
Perseus Digital Library has books on various topics regarding the Greco-Roman world. From history to literature and culture of the mentioned, you can find it all. But, what pulls the website apart from others is its interactive features. Dive into maps, timelines, and various linguistic tools to completely understand that time and era. It also provides a suggestion of famous and most searched text and is quite helpful if you do not know where to start. Overall, it’s a portal to the past.
Access Library at https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/
Internet Archive is a gem in the world of free online library resources. It has everything from classical texts, literature, history, philosophy, and more. The user interface is straightforward as well and comes with an added search bar. The search bar makes it very easy to look for books and authors. And just like every other website on the list, it is free to use. You can also find software, music, and movies here. Pretty cool, right?
Access Library at https://archive.org/
LibriVox is more of a community of volunteers from all over the globe. The website offers a huge selection of books and audiobooks. But what’s magical about LibriVox is its community-driven spirit.
LibriVox offers not only eBooks but also audiobooks, and it is these volunteers who make this happen. Volunteers convert timeless tales into audiobooks, making literature accessible to all. Hence, the main motto of LibriVox is to make public domain books available as audiobooks.
Access Library at https://librivox.org/
Bibliomania is another amazing website for getting literature eBooks. It isn’t just your regular online library; it’s a book lover’s haven. Bibliomania has not just classical literature but also a vast selection of poems, short stories, plays, and even articles. From Shakespeare to modern marvels, it’s got everything in literature that you can think of! The user interface is very easy to use, too. Bibliomania even provides recommendations of what’s trending and popular, and its optimized search engine allows you to get the book you want with just a click.
Access Library at http://www.bibliomania.com/ (Warning: Red Colors)
Smashwords is a gem in our list of free online library resources. The website has a collection of over 845,000 ebooks from around the world. The majority of Smashwords books are free of cost; however, some are for sale. The website holds a huge collection of indie books expanding across various genres. The platform is also known for its support of independent authors. Writers can easily publish and display their works here, giving them exposure and a place to grow and get recognition. So, if you are looking for hidden gems, it is the place to find them.
Access Library at https://www.smashwords.com/
ManyBooks is known for its massive collection of free online ebooks under various genres. It boasts a collection of a whopping 50,000+ eBooks across genres like romance, mystery, action, and thriller. But what sets ManyBooks apart from other platforms is its easy-to-navigate user interface. You can quickly discover and read your favorite books here. Not just that, you can even download books to read later. With a massive collection of eBooks consisting of various genres, from classical literature to contemporary and even modern literature, ManyBooks caters to every literary taste.
Access Library at https://manybooks.net/
The Online Books Page
The online Books Page is yet another initiative to put as many books as possible all under one webpage like Project Gutenberg. The platform contains over 2 million free books, from classics to modern works. It has a variety of books in store, which ensures that there is something for everyone. And just like every other website on the list, it is free, and there is no need for subscriptions. You can access any book as long as it’s for personal use.
Access Library at https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/
Started in 2003, Wikibooks is one of the most loved free online library resources. It has everything, literally everything you can think of. History, literature, science, music, and even cooking, you name it. What’s unique about Wikibooks is that it’s a free platform and a collaborative one. It is open source and thus thrives on what is put in there by readers and authors alike. You can not only read but also contribute to the collection. The best part is that its vast collection spans multiple languages, not just English. Hindi, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, you name it, it has got books in a lot of languages. However, the number of books varies from language to language.
Access Library at https://www.wikibooks.org
|No. of eBooks
|Massive collection of cultural works for digital preservation; all free
|Wide range of books
|Aims to gather every book ever published; easy access
|Advanced search; sneak peeks of books; some books are paid
|Perseus Digital Library
|Interactive features like maps and timelines
|Diverse (texts, music, movies, etc.)
|Straightforward UI; vast collection of classical texts, literature, history, philosophy, and more
|Public domain audiobooks
|Community-driven; converts public domain books into audiobooks
|Includes poems, short stories, plays, and articles; easy navigation
|Diverse, includes indie books
|Supports independent authors; offers a mixture of free and for sale books
|Easy-to-navigate UI; books can be downloaded; covers classical to modern literature
|The Online Books Page
|Wide range of books
|Free access to a vast variety of books; no subscription needed
|Varied, multilingual content
|Collaborative and open-source; extensive collection spanning multiple languages
This concludes our list of the best Free Online Library Resources. In the realm of the internet, finding good websites that work well can be cumbersome, so we have done the work for you. The options are endless, from Project Gutenberg’s pieces of classical literature to the collaborative platform of Wikibooks. Each platform has its own charms and unique flavor.
Now, all you have to do is select the platform that aligns with your needs and start reading. Whether you are a bookworm or just a student looking for some material online, these websites will surely help you.
All in all, the main motto behind all these free websites is the same – increasing accessibility of books and knowledge. So hurry up and pick up a book that you desire to read.