If you intend to use your newly acquired device for listening to audiobooks and reading eBooks, you are most likely to go for the free reading apps and audio book players from Apple Books.
However, this native iOS app is no longer pre-loaded on iPhones and iPads. Meaning you have to download it from the Apple Store.
While Apple Books also features an excellent selection of eBooks and audiobooks to excite you, more might be needed to help you find freebies. The best news is that you can find dozens of resources on the web with free eBooks to download.
This guide will review some top-rated sites to find iPhone and iPad-compatible free eBooks. I’ll also give a brief guide on downloading your best reads onto your devices so that you start reading straight away.
Best Sites to Download Free Books for iPad and iPhone
1. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. It is an excellent source of the world’s great literature, and the platform focuses on older works whose US copyright has expired.
This free site is powered by volunteers, who diligently digitized and proofread the eBooks you’ll enjoy.
You don’t need registration or unique reading apps to enjoy Project Gutenberg eBooks. Use your regular eBook reader or web browser available on your device. The platform offers a one-click download for cloud services, mainly Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft One Drive.
There is also an option to read the book as an HTML file if you don’t want to download it. Other eBook formats include Mobi, epub, and text.
Search for free eBooks by author, subject, title, language, or popularity. Visit the bookshelf to find a curated collection of books with similar topics.
Other categories include the top 100 frequently downloaded books, offline catalogs, handy eBook listings, metadata to refer to offline, and the latest news and recently updated collection. Project Gutenberg is donation-based, so if you find it helpful, you can make a donation.
Project Gutenberg was founded in 1971 to digitize and archive cultural works to encourage the virtual creation and distribution of eBooks. The tool has become a leading source of free content, which you can download and read in seconds.
2. Internet Archive
Internet Archive is a library of free eBooks, websites, movies, music, and more. The donation-based platform has virtual bookshelves with over 20 million downloadable eBooks and texts. It has many foreign language books and you can read books right from your browser.
This platform was created in 1996. It started by archiving the internet just when it started gaining momentum. Today, Internet Archive is home to over 2.3 million titles that you can borrow with your free account and a wide selection of audiobooks in MP3 and M3U file formats.
Internet Archive organizes its books by collections and other criteria. Narrow your search by specifying the language, year, or other criteria. And you can search books based on their titles, publisher, author, or topic. The books are available in PDF, Kindle, epub, or text formats.
Internet Archive’s primary goal is to provide universal access to knowledge to all. It is an activist organization that advocates for a free and open internet. If you need inspiration on what to read next, visit the “most viewed book” section on Internet Archive’s main page.
3. Libby by Overdrive
Libby is a relatively new library and reading app that is loved by millions of readers worldwide. From Libby, you can borrow eBooks, magazines, and audiobooks. The site is warm, easy to use, and perfect for readers of all ages.
You can explore a collection of thousands of Libby’s eBooks and audiobooks through catalog guides, curated lists, and featured titles. Libby is well known for its free book loans, but it is always a delight to discover new books through the platform.
Libby by Overdrive promises you a state-of-art reading experience. You can customize how you read by adjusting your eBook’s font size, lighting, and book layout. You can add bookmarks and highlights, define words, and create notes as you read.
Overall, Libby is a life hacker. It’s one of the best resources for all books on your wishlist. You can reserve up to 10 books at a time, so you’ll always have something to read.
Libby also allows you to change the playback speed, put on a sleep timer, and add bookmarks. On the downside, if you love new releases, Libby might not work for you, as the wait for new releases can take a few weeks.
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4. Open Library
Open Library is a division of Internet Archive that focuses on audiobooks and eBooks.
Apart from classic books that you can read or download as PDF or epub files, Open Library is also an excellent source of modern books. You can borrow these modern books for 14 days and enjoy reading them online.
Browse eBooks on Open Library by subject, genre, or other criteria. Search by the author, title, and more.
It also has an advanced search option to help you search by publisher or ISBN. Once you find an eBook, you can read it, borrow it, or download it to your iPad or iPhone.
Open Library’s mission is to create a webpage for all published books and make all literature free and available. It also links with local libraries to make reading more relatable worldwide.
Therefore, as long as your local library is registered with this platform, you can borrow digital books anytime.
The books listed on Open Library also have a read-aloud option. Just click on the phone icon next to the title of your choice and enjoy listening rather than reading. Open Library is unique because it allows users to edit the catalog or contribute information like Wikipedia.
You can also join the league of volunteers who maintain the site’s free resources by helping to revise the current catalog and improve the records. If your favorite book is not listed on the platform, you can upload your version to allow other readers worldwide to enjoy it.
Smashwords is one of the most popular eBook resources offering a vast number of books from independent authors worldwide. It is the world’s largest Indie book distributor and offers both fictional and non-fictional eBooks.
Smashword’s eBook categories include adventure, anthologies, alternative history, and business. As a parent, you can confidently allow your children to access Smashwords on your iPhone to find books to read, thanks to Smashword’s adult content filter.
With Smashwords, you’ll find books in various languages, and out of 500,000 eBooks, 80,000 are free to download. You may need some time to learn to navigate the site. But to access a catalog of free books, click on the “+” button in the top right corner with featured new releases.
Besides Smashwords being an excellent place for readers to find undiscovered authors, it is also a great resource for upcoming authors looking to publish their work. You can also adjust your search based on the book’s length, say 50k words or over 100k words.
As the name suggests, ManyBooks features an excellent selection of modern and classic books, all free and available for readers on their iPhones and iPads. Over 150,000 readers prefer this site thanks to its clean and friendly interface.
ManyBooks sources most of its books from Project Gutenberg and other sites with a creative commons license. You will find over 50,000 books ready for download, all with their proper covers and available in several file formats, including Mobi and epub.
ManyBooks operates differently from most free eBook sites. The site displays ads and requires you to sign up to download files. The site has an online reader, but you may have to wait longer as it loads its contents.
It has the most streamlined interface. Its large selection of books is from public domain works whose contemporary titles are self-published or from independent authors.
ManyBooks requires you to sign up for a free account to access books. Once you create an account, you’ll be prompted to choose your preferred formats and genre, which ManyBooks will use to find future titles.
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DigiLibraries is an excellent source of free eBooks that fit any taste, with various titles and digital formats. Its collection of books is constantly growing, and to download these books to your iPhone, you only need to browse the different categories on the left or use the search box.
Its main objective is to offer a quality, fast, and reliable reading experience. The site displays eBooks by their categories, so you always know how many titles are in a book you are interested in.
DigiLibraries feature books in categories like romance, fiction, education, and business and economics.
The site is open to cooperating with other sites, publishers, stores, authors, and readers. The platform recently started displaying ads, which may be a bit uncomfortable, but DigiLibraries is a reliable site that allows you to download up to 50 eBooks daily.
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8. Europeana Collections
If you are interested in learning more about European cultural heritage, then Europeana Collections is the best site. Europeana is one of the most popular platforms for digitized books, artworks, and films in European museums and cultural institutions.
Unlike other sites, Europeana consolidates rare editions of eBooks and other collections you could find in established libraries. Most Europeana books are pdf; hence it’s an excellent resource for your iPad and reading apps that support this format.
To get started, write the name of the book you are looking for in the search box. Using the search filter on the left side, limit the number of results by media. You can also select “yes” for full text, choose PDF in the format field, and the name of the providing country.
Over 2,000 institutions have contributed to Europeana Collections. These institutions include Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Louvre, regional archives, British museums, and local museums.
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Another excellent site to read and download free books for your iPhone is BookRix. Free self-publishing is also an excellent resource for independent writers as it offers eBook distribution services.
With BookRix, you can connect with other readers, share your writing, and discover authors and books.
You’ll love BookRix’s catalog of free downloadable eBooks. The catalog is easy to find and navigate, and at the top of the list, you’ll find popular categories such as fantasy, romance, literary fiction, thrillers, and young adult fiction.
BookRix also sorts its books by their popularity. Most of its titles are found in the fiction category. If you are an author you’ll enjoy feedback in the creation stages of your book, and the site also allows you to network with other writers.
While BookRix is an excellent tool for reading eBooks, some self-published books are not downloadable. The site boasts over 500,000 registered users worldwide and over 140,000 eBooks are published on the platform.
While it was established and headquartered in Munich, Germany, the website has grown its US reader base worldwide. BookRix is safe and legit for consumers to access, and it aims at creating the largest book communities.
One of the features that stands out with BookRix are the various groups you can join. The groups cut across many genres and interests, and they work similarly to online book clubs. Once you join a group, you can discuss your current read with other readers worldwide.
On the downside, BookRix only supports files in epub format, which can be limiting. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you use the Kindle app. But you need to convert the files into Mobi format first.
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10. Free eBooks
Another excellent site to download free eBooks for your iOS device is Free eBooks. As the name suggests, this site is a great source of free titles, including romance, mystery, and education.
While selecting a book, start by going through reviews and ratings for each book to ensure that you make an informed decision.
This site is also a great source of various books in a variety of categories including the famous BlockChain Secrets, The Real Law of Attraction Code, and Poetry in Spoken Word.
Free eBooks features over 1,000 works by new authors in the fiction and non-fiction categories every month. You can also join over 25 million readers to be part of the Free eBook community to access over 40,000 titles and downloads.
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LibriVox is a free domain for audiobooks. Its main objective is to make audiobooks available for all readers to listen to on their iPads, iPods, computers, and mobile devices, or burn them onto a CD. It makes audio files available in a variety of formats through its catalog or podcast.
This platform is an idea created by volunteers worldwide, who read and record texts and audiobooks in the public domain.
It was created by Hugh McGuire in August 2005, by gathering a few friends and random strangers to help recreate the audio version of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent.
The platform then started growing exponentially and now over 7,000 people have helped LibriVox become a bigger family.
LibriVox is also moderated by a team of admins or MCs, who look after cataloging and community forums. The moderators are also tasked with responding to questions that you may be having and can also fix catalog errors and edit posts.
LibriVox gets more interesting, thanks to a variety of voices, dialects, and accents you are likely to hear when listening to your book of choice. It features complete works in more than 20 languages, including French, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian.
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12. Amazon Kindle Bookstore
Besides having millions of eBook titles with a price tag, the Amazon Kindle Bookstore also features a vast collection of free eBooks and audiobooks.
You can check out the free titles in its classics and public domain, visit the 100 free best sellers division, or use the search button to search for free titles.
Narrow your searches to select criteria such as customer reviews, genre, and author. Once you get a title that may interest you, select it to view its description and other details.
Click on the buy now button, and the book will be directly saved to your eBook reader or your iPhone, and you can read it with the Kindle app.
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I hope you are now set for a reading adventure!
All these great sites will give you access to most of the titles you may be interested in. The best thing is that they have friendly interfaces, meaning you’ll be good to go in minutes.
But suppose you are looking for a site with a good balance of child-friendly rhyming patterns and black humor. In this case, I recommend Project Gutenberg.
Project Gutenberg is zealously non-commercial, digitizes books in the public domain, and publishes accurate renditions of electronic text.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.