How to get free Kindle books

A Kindle is a wonderful thing. It is the iPod of books, a means to transport the British Library around in your pocket. It can also be an expensive hobby.

Just like iTunes or any other content platform, getting conventional Kindle books is going to cost you, most of the time. But there's another way: here's our guide to getting free Kindle books and enjoying some of the best literature around on your Kindle without spending any cash. 

Project Gutenberg

If there is one place where you are sure to find a plentiful supply of free Kindle books, then it’s Project Gutenberg. This is the ultimate resource for just about anything you can think of book related that is out of copyright.

At the time of writing, there are more than 40,000 free eBooks on there to choose from, including plenty of classics. Just take the most downloaded books page, for example - there are titles such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Pride and Prejudice, all for free.

Once you have content picked, click the relevant link and then download the Kindle format of the book. This will save a file to your PC which you can then copy across to your Kindle via USB. Just make sure to save it in your Kindle’s documents folder and it should appear on the home page once you next boot it up.

Openlibrary

This is a bit like the Linux of books. Openlibrary is all about user-contributed content and right now has more than 1 million texts available to download for free. Like Internet Archive, there is some seriously unusual stuff.

The home page alone is full of all sorts of fun - take, for example, The Complete Guide to the Miniature Schnauzer, which will provide excitement to many, we’re sure. You do need to create an account to get hold of it and a lot of the books are only available on loan.

Once you get hold of them, however, a lot can be sent directly to your Kindle - which is incredibly awesome. Simply click the relevant link, login to Amazon and get it delivered to your Kindle to read. We’ve already had The General Railroad Laws of Pennsylvania sent to ours, riveting stuff we assure you.

Google Play

If you can’t find it on Gutenberg, then Google Play should be your next stop. Amazingly, despite such a significant paid-for content push, Google still has a big library of free books to download.

Frankenstein, Treasure Island, all the usual out of copyright greats are there. Here is the problem though, you need to get them on to your Kindle. Google says they aren’t compatible yet, but we know a clever little workaround.

Download an application called Calibre, then find the book you want and click the "how to read" tab at the top of Google Play Books. From there, download the ePub form of the book. You then want to open up Calibre and click add books, add the ePub and convert the file to Mobi. You can then drag and drop the book onto your Kindle just as you did with Gutenberg books.

Internet Archive

If you are still struggling to get hold of the book you are after, then Internet Archive should be your last port of call. It is home to the rarities of the free eBook world and, like Gutenberg, stocks a lot of them in Kindle format.

Make sure to click the texts tab at the top of the website and there you have it, a rather random selection of books, the majority of which we have never heard of. Still though, the whole lot is there, for free, for you to download.

Any other resources you know of? Let us know in the comments below ...