Lovers of literature will all tell you, for nothing in the world would they give up the paper book in favour of the electronic book. While the desire to own the physical object and to be able to touch its pages is understandable, opting for the e-book can be very practical in certain situations, especially when packing your suitcases.
In addition to allowing you to travel light, and ensure comfortable reading in the dark, adopting e-books will put an end to the dilemma of choosing which book to take with you.
In addition to the official platforms to which some e-readers and e-book reading applications are attached, there are many solutions for downloading e-books for free. The editors have made a short overview of the best sites and applications for downloading free books.
If you’re an Amazon customer, you won’t have to go far to download ebooks. The platform offers more than 3 million ebooks in its catalogue, including more than 175,000 titles in French.
Among all these works, in both French and English, a large number of literary classics, which have now fallen into the public domain, are available for free download from Amazon’s Kindle store. Other, more recent works are also available free of charge. One click from the site will be enough to validate the free download in Kindle format of the selected book.
The eBook Shop is not only for owners of the Amazon Digital Reader. All Kindle format ebooks offered on the platform can also be viewed from the Kindle mobile application available on Android and iOS. If you decide to download a book from a computer and transfer it to a reader later, the resulting file will be in AZW format. You can either read it from the cloud, via your browser, or transfer it to a Kindle, the only device officially compatible with this format.
Finally, if you are a Prime subscriber, you can take advantage of the Prime Reading offer included and enjoy hundreds of novels, thrillers, children’s books, etc. free of charge.
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Download free ebooks on Amazon (Free)
Download Kindle for Windows (Free)
Download Kindle for macOS (Free)
Download Kindle for Android (Free)
Download Kindle for iPhone / iPad (Free)
Apple’s ebooks application, available only on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, also acts as a shopping and download store.
In addition to the paid books found at all online retailers, Apple’s digital bookstore also offers hundreds of free books in English and French. Among these works are a large number of literary classics, most of which have fallen into the public domain, but also modern novels, comic strips, manga, and much more.
To access it, you must first download the Apple Books application on your iPhone or iPad, then go to Librairie. As you browse through the sections, accessible from the hamburger menu, you can explore the Apple Books library by choosing the Special and Free Offers. You will then be able to find a selection of the best free books, the most downloaded, etc.
Because Apple Books is only available on Apple devices, most of the books available for download are DRM-protected and can only be read on a Mac, iPhone or iPad.
Download iBooks for iPhone / iPad (Free)
Like Amazon and Apple, Google has its online library of e-books. Google Play Books presents itself as a classic shopping store, but offers free ebooks for download, like its competitors.
To find them, go to the top of the free ebooks, or use the search engine before filtering the results by displaying only free books. Google Play Books allows you to read the works from the web interface, but also from the Google Play Books application on Android and iOS.
However, if you wish to download a book to read it from a digital reader, simply click on the options associated with a book to retrieve the file in EPUB or PDF format.
Download books from Google Play Books (Free)
Download Google Play Books for Android (Free)
Project Gutenberg is a free library of digitized books and physical documents in the public domain, which contains nearly 60,000 items. Project Gutenberg offers books in French, but also in about 40 other languages.
The works on offer are listed by author in alphabetical order and the documents available for downloading are available in several formats and versions. You will find books with or without images in EPUB, HTML, plain text and Kindle formats. All files are downloadable directly from the Project Gutenberg site, without the need to register.
Download books on Project Gutenberg (Free)
Through Gallica, the National Library of France offers free access to more than 4 million documents. Books, newspapers, magazines, sound recordings, manuscripts and even videos can be viewed for free from the website. In total, nearly 700,000 books are available on Gallica.
The home page of the site can be disconcerting for the first time visitor. It includes news from the Digital Library as well as a selection of documents highlighted for visitors. To fully explore the library, it will be necessary to launch a query directly in the search engine, or by performing an advanced search.
The books can be read from your computer’s web browser, but can also be downloaded to your hard drive. This will allow you to save a copy of the documents in PDF or text format. Please note that the entire content is accessible without logging in or registering.
Download books on Gallica (Free)
Download Gallica for Android (Free)
Download Gallica for iPhone / iPad (Free)
In addition to the platforms offered by the giants of the web, other independent players offer catalogues of free and legal ebooks. ebooksgratuits.com is managed by volunteers who are in charge of running the site and adding new books.
The platform offers eBooks in multiple formats (Mobipocket, eReader, BBeB Book Sony Reader, ePub, PDF, HTML, DOC-ODT), whose catalogue is shared with partners who also offer eBooks, such as Project Gutenberg.
In total, ebooksgratuits.com makes some 2,800 works available to the reader. However, the site is hosted in Canada and respects Canadian copyright laws. As a result, some works that are freely downloadable in Canada, where a work becomes free 50 years after the death of its author, cannot be legally downloaded in France, where the duration is 70 years. For all the books concerned, an information note is displayed next to the download link.
Finally, it is appreciated that the downloads are accessible to all, without the need to register.
Download books for free on ebooks gratis (Free)
Among the few independent platforms for legal e-book downloads, Bibebook is a good example. The site gathers 1700 free ebooks, free of rights, published under Creative Commons license. The ebooks are downloadable without any limitation: no blocking is applied and no DRM is used.
Bibebook offers mainly works by classical authors, but also some works by contemporary authors. The ebooks are offered in EPUB format and can be downloaded in one click on the site which does not require any registration or registration.
Note that it is possible to download complete packs containing all the books offered on the site, in the three formats offered on the platform: EPUB, PDF and Mobipocket.
Download books on Bibebook (Free)
With more than 6000 books in French, Livrespourtous is the best provided independent download platform for free ebooks. All the works on offer are in French, and the available download formats allow you to enjoy the books regardless of the platform used for reading.
Booksforall offers books in Mobipocket, EPUB, Sony Reader, eReader and Word formats. No registration is required to download books from the library. The platform proposes to explore its catalogue by browsing by authors classified in alphabetical order, but also by searching directly by category. There are comic strips, stories, poetry, documents, and much more.
Download Books on Booksforall (Free)