Downloading books from the Internet is a seemingly tricky subject, because the word ‘piracy’ always appears looming over the horizon. So the best way to avoid any doubt or reservation about the material that we download is to know the pages that collect books in the public domain, with copyleft licenses or posted by the authors themselves for free distribution.
Here we offer you a selection with thirteen of the most outstanding:
Lektu is a Spanish platform that is distinguished by the weight of certain genres (such as science fiction, fantasy, or horror) in its catalog, as well as for rejecting the use of anti-copy DRM systems in its books. Also for offer publishers two rare payment options:
- “Social payment” (We pay by publishing a link to the purchased item on our social profiles).
- “Pay if you like it” (You have the option to pay voluntarily after downloading the work).
In addition to ebooks (in PDF, EPUB or MOBI format, depending on the case), Lektu houses audiobooks, digital comics, paper books, podcasts and even multimedia content packs.
Bubok is a self-publishing platform that allows you to buy both physical books (printed on demand) and ebooks from its website, but in many cases we will find works whose digital version (PDF) is free.
By their nature, most of the authors on this list will be little known, even amateur writers. But we can meet more of a surprise: for example, a bestselling writer like Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa offers from this platform his novel ‘Saud the Leopard’.
Libroteca & Elejandría
We group both websites because stand out in the same field: that of the classics in the public domain in Spanish. The first houses up to 55,384 books in multiple download formats, and the second, more recent, already exceeds 700, all in PDF.
Libroteca allows you to search for books by format and by original language of the work, while Elejandría stands out for its classification by categories. Neither requires registration.
Freeditorial is an American publisher combines on its website downloads of works by current authors (self-published and, therefore, more or less unknown) with those of classical authors of all times and genres. Its website has versions in English and Spanish: depending on which one we choose, not only will the interface language change, but also that of the recommended works.
Not only does it offer EPUB and PDF downloads, but it also gives us the option to send the chosen work to our Kindle or to read it directly on the website itself.
Feedbooks is an ebook store that houses some of the latest news from commercial authors. Obviously, these works are not free, but it also has a varied section of works in the public domain in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, which we can download on EPUB without prior registration.
Goose and Octopus
Ganso y Pulpo is an independent publishing project focused on republish Spanish literary works in the public domain in EPUB format.
Unlike other projects, they do not focus on disseminating the great classics that we study in Spanish Literature class, but in recovering and layout of the folkloric literature (published by chapters in the press of the time), the best sellers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
ManyBooks & eBook Junkie
If you are looking for free books in English, ManyBooks & eBook Junkie are two American sites that can be very useful to you: for the most part, they host classics in the public domain. They require prior registration.
OpenLibra is a non-profit project launched by the Spanish programmer Carlos Benítez as repository of ebooks with free licenses on programming and related topics.
But, over time, its fame and catalog have grown significantly: fields such as programming, electronics, networks, multimedia or marketing continue to predominate (es remarkable its collection of technology magazines), but now we can even find manuals on music, geography, philosophy … and also some novels.
In any case, all modern works subject to copyleft licenses and in PDF format, no classics in the public domain. They have recently started posting works in English as well, but the majority of their catalog is still Spanish-speaking.
IntechOpen is a platform for open access academic books peer reviewed. So forget about finding any fiction or light reading here; nor does it work in a language other than English.
In return, its catalog of approximately 4,500 works includes several written by Nobel Prize winners, and are divided into categories such as ‘Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology’, ‘Life Sciences’, ‘Health Sciences’ and ‘Social Sciences and Humanities’.
As a negative point, it should be noted that IntechOpen does not allow downloading complete books, only independent chapters in PDF. And every time we want to download one, we will have to fill out a form to provide our data (name, e-mail, country and field of specialization in the case of being researchers).
ManualsBrain & ManualsLib
When we think of downloading free books we tend to think of novels and essays, but not those technical manuals that accompany technological devices when we buy them and that, frequently, we lose right at the moment when we are finally forced to consult them.
But don’t worry: On the Internet we can find two websites, ManualsBrain and ManualsLib, which compile this kind of publications, and They are offered to us categorized by brand and type of device, and ready to download in PDF. Most will be in English, but many of them can also be found in Spanish.
Image | Maximilian Schönherr