The book-reading experience on an iPad (or Kindle Fire and even Nook for that matter) is nothing short of amazing. Obviously, it's not the same as holding a paperback but the convenience of the iPad when reading a book is inexplicably great. You can tap, swipe, highlight, copy, change font/template/color etc. and do much more.
What's even more amazing is that there are tons of free books that you can download to your iPad. You don't even have to go looking for them: Apple's iBook Store features hundreds of free ebooks that you can download right away. To add to this list, there are other great sources (of epub files) like Project Gutenberg (which lists public domain books), Internet Archive and Smashwords.
Here's how to find free ebooks for your iPad/iPhone:
Finding free ebooks on the iPad:
- Open the iBooks app on the iPad
- Tap on the Featured menu (bottom)
- Scroll down in the Featured section and you'll get to quick links. Tap on Free Books
- That's about it. The iBooks Store will show all free books across various categories. Tap on a book to read the details.
- Tap on Free and then on Get Book to download the free ebook directly to your library.
- The downloaded book will show up on your iBooks library.
Finding free ebooks on the iPhone:
- Open the iBooks app on your iPhone
- Tap on Top Charts (bottom menu)
- You should see a list of Free Books. Tap on See All on the right of the Free Books section. This will open a top chart for all the free books in the iBooks store.
- Tap and download any free book from the list.
You'll notice that unlike the iPad, there is no separate free books section for the iPhone. Also, you'll need to have your App Store Country/Region set to US or to a country where iBooks shows free books.
On iTunes app for Mac/Windows:
On iTunes, you can actually search for a keyphrase and filter the search results to show only free ebooks.
On sites that let you download EPUB / PDF files, you can directly open the EPUB / PDF file in Safari and then have it “open in” iBooks. The way you do this is simple.
- Find the free ebook you want to download on Project Gutenberg, Smashwords or Internet Archive.
- Select the EPUB or PDF version of the file
- Tap the share icon from the bottom and then tap on Open In
- Tap on iBooks and the book gets saved to your library.
Sources to download free ebooks: