free & cheap ebooks
October 4, 2012 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Books on the Knob, Pixel of Ink, and iReader Review are three blogs that feature free & bargain ebooks daily. If you want to start simple there's OpenCulture's 375 Free eBooks list but if you don't mind doing some footwork then there's this very comprehensive 614 Places for Free eBooks Online post (with divisions of content by genre) on Gizmo's Freeware.

more sites featuring free & cheap ebooks:
*Feedbooks (free public domain & original books)
*Daily Cheap Reads (UK edition)
*AddAll ebooks
*Bargain eBook Hunter
*Free Kindle Books and Tips
*Kindle Nation Daily
*Bargain eBooks
*Book Depository
*for romance readers, both Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books feature regular deal posts
*and of course there's always the Baen Free Library

previously: ManyBooks and Baen Free Library
also Inkmesh, an ebook search engine
posted by flex (12 comments total) 152 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks flex!
posted by wilful at 3:16 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow, great list and lots to bookmark! Thanks!
posted by mochapickle at 3:24 PM on October 4, 2012

Not to mention the granddaddy of them all, easy to ignore because it's been around so long: Gutenberg, who do have books in various popular e-reader formats as well as proper text files.

Once on a very boring job well over a decade ago, having the ability to read Gutenberg texts on the sly, in Word, was a sanity preserver.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:09 PM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

There's a reason why a lot of these are free.
Phantom Pleasures
by Julie Leto

When hotshot hotel developer Alexa Chandler finally finds the perfect property for her next luxury resort, she has no idea of the black magic she’s about to unleash. Thanks to vivid tales from the locals, no one has breached the shores of the mysterious island or entered the abandoned castle that is its centerpiece in recent memory. But once inside, Alexa discovers another mystery – the portrait of a dark and brooding nobleman.

With a single touch, Alexa unleashes a phantom who has been trapped within the canvas for over two hundred years.

Contained by a gypsy curse, Damon Forsyth has had centuries to think of nothing but revenge and retribution until intense desire draws the beautiful Alexa to his lair. Though free of the painting, he is still bound to the castle. Only by using the dark magic that enslaves him can he initiate a game of seduction that will end with his freedom – and her undoing.

Unable to resist, Alexa surrenders to Damon’s ghostly touch. But will she thwart the magic that holds Damon in thrall…or sacrifice her own mortality in the name of love?
posted by mudpuppie at 4:15 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow, what a treasure trove—thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 4:49 PM on October 4, 2012

Thanks for this post. I'm a daily checker of Barnes and Noble's daily deal, but some of these are even better.
posted by drezdn at 5:14 PM on October 4, 2012

I find the University of Adelaide has a good selection of e-books that are not available elsewhere. The key difference is that they have some books that are out of copyright in Australia but not in he US, such as all of George Orwell's books.

In Australia copyright lasts for Death of Author + 70 years, however for those that died before 1955 it is Death + 50 years. You will have to check here to see what your own country's copyright lengths are.
posted by CaveFrog at 5:21 PM on October 4, 2012 [8 favorites]

posted by cashman at 6:05 PM on October 4, 2012

Given how much time I'm going to be spending on the road with an iPad in the near future, this is a lifesaver for me. Thanks!
posted by immlass at 6:17 PM on October 4, 2012

mudpuppie: "There's a reason why a lot of these are free."

I read a free e-book blog (Free Kindle Books and Tips, for anyone who cares) and lots of the books offered are AWFUL but the style of the blurbs is addictive. It's turned into a game in our house where we turn the regular events of people's lives into bad free e-book blurbs. Like our friends came over to celebrate his master's degree:

"When he started his masters degree, he was only interested in the sublime beauty of math. But then he rescued a doctor in peril -- a sublime beauty of a different sort -- and discovered a conspiracy that could take down the financial sector. Can he crack the algorithm used by a secret society with roots in the middle ages in time to save the U.S.? Or will they succeed in turning the U.S. into an oligarchy? He can only succeed if he is a ... MASTER OF MATH."

Another friend got left with a breakup dog:

"A name. A face. A phone number. She could have left him with anything, but all she left him was a stray puppy. He devotes his every spare moment to searching for her, but it isn't until he's grooming the dog and discovers a lump under the dog's skin -- a hidden microchip -- that he realizes that she wasn't fleeing his inferior sexual skills, she was fleeing a secret international cabal bent on the destruction of the world's oceans. Now they're coming after him -- and Rover -- and he has to keep them both alive long enough to get the information off the chip and on the internet. He's running for his life, and all he can do is ... WALK THE DOG."

The rule is, you have to finish the blurb with the awful title of the book in all caps. The more of these free book blurbs you read, the more addictive this gets. It's super-fun. Give it a try!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:41 PM on October 4, 2012 [11 favorites]

For those with iDevices, there's always the Free Books app, which is an interface that downloads Gutenberg Project books as well as other formats. It's one of the better things to get for your iDevice, IMO.
posted by hippybear at 1:57 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

so I've been using some of these sites

and I find myself "buying" free ebooks largely based on the reaction, "wow, that sounds like a ludicrous premise for a novel -- I have to read it." I have a fairly high tolerance for cheesy pulp fiction, but I'm starting to wonder what I've gotten myself into...
posted by jb at 2:38 PM on October 25, 2012

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