Here are our favourite sites where you can freely access reading material online.
Project Gutenberg, the oldest online provider of texts, has over 53,000 free books to read. The number of books can be daunting, but you can search for a specific author or title, by ‘bookshelf’ (category) or you can browse the top 100 downloads. There are also audio books (some are human-read while others are computer-generated). It’s a very good source of classic literature, including plays and poetry.
Bibliomania has more than 2,000 classic texts with the addition of study guides, biographies of authors, articles and interviews. You can also post your questions or opinions on the message board (there’s one for each text). You can search by author, title, type of literature or theme, or browse the latest recommendations by the site.
Read Short Fiction
If reading a complete novel online isn’t for you, why not try reading short stories instead? This website has over 2,500 short stories which have been submitted to the site by their authors. Genres include action/adventure, humor, literary, mainstream, romance, speculative and western. You can leave comments on individual stories.
Run by the charity Booktrust and supported by the BBC, this site promotes the short story. While the number of stories you can download are fairly limited, they are all by published authors. There are also articles on writing short stories, reviews and a list of recommended classic short stories.
Read Comic Online
If you prefer comics to classic fiction or short stories, this site is for you. You can search by genres, most popular or simply scroll through their very long list of titles. There’s also a discussion forum.
Amazon Prime Reading
Amazon now offers its Prime members free books and magazines as part of their subscription fee. Prime Reading has more than 1,000 digital books, magazines and comics including top-rated titles. You need to have the Kindle app on your phone, tablet or computer, but can then download as much of the library as you want.