8 of the Best Sites Where You Can Read Classic Books Online

Out of everything that you can read on the Internet, public domain books are the easiest to find. There are tons of sites out there where you can read old books online. As someone who loves reading classic books, I’ve made a list of the cream of the crop when it comes to reading the classics for free in your browser. Here are eight of the best sites where you can read classic books online.



1) Project Gutenberg


Project Gutenberg is the oldest and arguably best-known library of ebooks on the Internet. It boasts a collection of over 60,000 books, most of which are in the public domain. With each book, you have the option to read it in your browser or download epub or Kindle files. If you’re not sure which classic book you’d like to read, you can click “Menu” at the top of the main page and select “Search and Browse” from the dropdown menu. From there, you can click “Popular” to view a list of books sorted by popularity.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on Project Gutenberg:






2) Internet Archive


Internet Archive is a non-profit library that provides access to millions of free books, movies, software, and more. One fun perk of using Internet Archive is that the books look like digital versions of their physical selves. So you can enjoy flipping through the pages and admiring original illustrations.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on Google Books:






3) The Library of Congress


The Library of Congress is the official research library that serves the United States Congress. It is also the national library of the United States. The Library of Congress’s website features several classic titles that you can read for free. Like with Internet Archive, the books you read on The Library of Congress’s website are digital versions of the physical books that you are able to flip through.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on the Library of Congress’s website:






4) American Literature


American Literature is a free library of classic books and novels. On each book’s page, you will find an informative synopsis of the work as well as links to each chapter. You can read right in your browser and some titles for younger readers include illustrations. If you click “Novels” at the top navigation bar, you will see several helpful categories like “Pulitzer Prize” novels and “Civil War” novels.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on American Literature:






5) Google Books


Google Books is known for its limited previews of contemporary books. Perhaps you’ve used it to see part of a textbook for a research paper. But if you select “Full view” at the top of the search results, you’ll see a list of full versions of a book that you can read online if available. Once you select your book, you should be sure to click “Clear search” so every instance of the book’s title won’t be highlighted.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on Google Books:






6) Page By Page Books


Page By Page Books is another e-library of classic books. The books can be sorted by author or title, or search the site for a particular book. Each book is available to read right in your browser. You are able to copy and paste lines or search each chapter by a certain word, which can be very handy for writing school papers.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on Page By Page Books:






7) ManyBooks


ManyBooks proclaims itself to be your “friendly neighborhood library” with a collection of over 50,000 free ebooks. The site has a beautiful and easy-to-use interface. If you’re not sure what you’d like to read, you can click on genres like Romance, Mystery & Thriller, and Fantasy. These will lead you to lists of books organized by popularity. You can download each title or read it on the site’s aesthetically pleasing online reader.


Here are some of the classic books you can read for free on ManyBooks:






8) Shakespeare.MIT.edu


This site houses a complete collection of the works of William Shakespeare. It has offered Shakespeare’s plays and poetry for free to users since 1993. Here you can find William Shakespeare’s works categorized by Comedy, Tragedy, History, and Poetry. You are able to click on a specific scene and copy and paste lines of text if you wish.


Here are some of Shakespeare’s classic works you can read on Shakespeare.MIT.edu:






Author’s Bio: Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jillian has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.


She has done freelance writing as well for sites like Cracked.com and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and funnyordie.com. Jillian has also self-published two novels on Amazon.


Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at: https://www.fictionate.me.


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