Book Blitz: Best Sources for Online Books

January is National Book Blitz Month. With wintry weather embracing much of the country, there's no better time to get cozy with a great read. And there's good news for those rocking ereaders. Many websites offer ebooks in lit genres of all kinds. Here are some five great places to find classic and contemporary ebooks online - for free!

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Project Gutenberg

The original digital library, Project Gutenberg remains one of the best. The site offers free download of more than 33,000 ebooks. Downloads are available in multiple formats so that titles can be read on a computer, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPad, mobile phone or other portable device. While the site largely specializes in providing public domain titles - those no longer under copyright - Project Gutenberg does feature some more contemporary works with permission of their respective authors.

ManyBooks

Appropriately named, ManyBooks features more than 29,000 titles. You can browse ebooks by popularity, author, genre and language. Or consult the website's online reading community for recommendations and reviews of hot reads. Like Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks features mostly public domain titles. The site, though, also features many new ebooks that are licensed for free download through Creative Commons.

Librivox

Many literacy advocates believe that listening to books constitutes 'reading,' too. If you're constantly on the go, you can enjoy audio ebooks courtesy of LibriVox. The site specializes in providing audio versions of books that are in the public domain. Stumped as to what to listen to? Check out the site's blog for recommendations and themed lit lists. If you've always thought highly of your reading voice, you can even volunteer to create audio recordings for the library.

Wattpad

A long-running complaint of the book industry is that editors serve as gatekeepers who - through publishing decisions - keep many innovative authors from making it to print. Today, ebooks have revolutionized the literary landscape, allowing writers to inexpensively publish and distribute their work. Wattpad specializes in offering literature from undiscovered talent and published authors alike. Visit the website for thousands of ebooks that can be read on mobile devices of all kinds.

The Online Books Page

Do you read a lot? Like a lot lot? Then this is a website you should definitely check out. The Online Books Page, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, provides a listing of more than a million free ebooks online. If you have a book in mind and want to see if it's available, simply type in the title or author. Or if you're looking for a recommendation, you can check out themed features, including lists of banned books, literary prize winners and prominent women writers.

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