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Free Digital Books Online
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Thousands of free online digital books are at your fingertips, giving you unlimited access to knowledge, experience and entertainment. You can find ancient, out-of-print texts, or works by contemporary writers on a wide array of topics. These books are available to read directly or to download on your reading device, such as a computer, phone, Ipad, Kindle, or Nook.

A valuable resource, and a good place to begin looking for available e-books, is the Digital Book Index (DBI.) Here you will find a union catalog of electronic books, texts and documents from major publishing organizations and indexed archives. This site acts as an index for most major e-book sites, along with many smaller specialized sites. The DBI provides direct links to more than 165,000 full-text digital books from more than 1800 commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities and private sites.

The DBI also provides links to foreign-language e-book sites, for Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian and Polish publications. You can also link to free audio books and books for the visually impaired.

Digital books create new markets for writers too. Globusz Publishing offers a collection of free e-books to download or to read online. Their goal is “to help authors build an essential profile, and to give their work global exposure.” This site offers work by new writers on a wide variety of topics, both fiction and non-fiction. Readers are allowed to post comments and rate books. Volunteers staff this website.

Project Gutenberg offers over 33,000 titles to download free to your reading device. This impressive collection was digitized by volunteers. The site quietly asks you for a small donation of time or money if you find the website useful. The home page also points the way to over 100,000 free e-books through its “Partners, Affiliates and Resources.”

The Online Book Page (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/,) a site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Library, lists over one million books free books on the Web. Here you can search for digital books by author, title, or subject. You can look for works in specialized categories, such as books by women writers, banned books, or prizewinning books.

Free online digital books are a special boon for retirees who have more time for reading, yet may have less space for accumulating books. Seniors often have budget restrictions as well, making free reading a welcome pastime. Many seniors also have plans to record memoirs or other writings, and enjoy the prospect of online publishing. Some retirees are also willing to contribute volunteer hours to cooperative reading and writing sites. For more links to reliable online sources for free online reading and publishing, visit http://senior-central.com and click on “Blog.”

It is now possible to read and complete research without visiting a library. If you have limited space and a limited budget, you can still enjoy reading. Free digital books are accessible through multiple online sources. A rapid expansion of interest in digitized media is stimulating both readers and writers. Volunteers often complete much of the work of digitizing printed media and maintaining websites. This fast-growing new resource educates, entertains and empowers readers worldwide.


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