Free Books Online: 7 Places to Find Books Without Leaving Your Home

We originally created this list to help parents find books for Summer Reading during the summer of 2020. Even though libraries and book stores have re-opened, this list is still a great for instant gratification. When you want to read now, check out these 8 ideas for free books online.

1. Your Own Library offers Free Books Online

All of the metro-area libraries are offer online catalogs. Check in with your own library to see what they offer. Even with an increase in traffic, I have not had problems finding something on my list available to immediate gratification.  Not only can you find books, but you can find streaming videos, online classes and music to add to your personal player. You can even learn to make that thing you were contemplating ordering from Etsy. My library is my cure for online shopping.

2. Sync Audiobook Program for Teens

This free summer audiobook program for teens begins each April and gives away two complete audiobook to add to your device each week.

3. Audible Stories

Amazon began offering Audible Stories in 2020 and promised free Audible Stories as long as schools are closed. These free books for kids to stream are still available during the spring of 2021.

4. Free Kindle Books

The Website Ben & Me has a list of 175 Free Kids books for Kindle. Not all of these are still available, but a great deal of them are and these are quality books – not the poorly written self-published freebies.

5. Free Public Domain Classic Books Online

The best public domain classics come from Project Gutenberg. If it was published before 1924, it is likely on this extensive site. You can add to your Kindle or your computer and sometimes there are audios available. Similar options include Standard Ebooks and Librivox for audio books..

6. Picture Books Read Aloud

When I want to preview a picture book before deciding whether to buy, I go to YouTube. Someone has probably read it aloud – sometimes even the author.

7. A Mix Bag of Audio Books – Worth Checking Out

If you have a Spotify account, I have had good luck finding audios of books here. Some of the narrators are better than others and you need to remember to turn off “Shuffle Play” or it will bounce around chapters out of order. You may also find podcasts reading or sharing insights into the books you are looking for. I recommend previewing these on your own though because some are not family friendly even when they are sharing kids books. This is also my favorite place to find poetry read aloud, often by the poet.

Want a physical book now?  Check your own bookshelves. I don’t know about you, but my book-buying habit exceeds my reading. I have more books in my to-read pile than I’d like to admit. I’m trying to match these up with my audio copies so I can go back and forth between reading and listening depending on the situation.

Bookshelf with kids books and toys/
Don't forget to shop your own bookshelves

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