This guide is continually updated to reflect recent availability. Last updated June 22, 2015.
It’s often tough to fathom that Amazon’s Kindle, the predominant e-reader of the decade thus far, has been around for nearly eight years. It seems like just yesterday my mother was unboxing the slick, white device from underneath the Christmas tree, her smug smile and giddy excitement in tow. She had never been one to welcome consumer technology with open arms, but the device’s portability, along with the sheer number of books it could hold, made book-loving aficionados everywhere rejoice. Never before was it so simple to cram 2,000 books in your backpack, purse or travel luggage.
The eBook marketplace is overwhelming, with more than a million books and publications available at your fingertips within a mere 60 seconds, ranging in cost from 99 cents up into the thousands of dollars. However, there’s also a myriad of titles available through Amazon, Google Play, and other sources that are available entirely free of charge. The bulk of the titles include those that have fallen into public domain over the years, but there’s also a healthy dose of self-published and over-the-counter titles you’d likely pick up on your way through the checkout line at your local supermarket. Below are a few of our favorites, from Secret Adversary to Sloppy Seconds.
Note: Google Play does not offer books using Kindle’s proprietary format in the way Amazon and Project Gutenburg do. Instead of AZW and KF8 files, users are going to want to directly download Google Play books as PDF files, thus rendering the books compatible with Kindle. To do so, navigate to your Google Play Book library, click the three squares in the upper-right corner of any title and select “Download PDF” from the resulting drop-down list. Afterward, select your desired save location and drag and drop the resulting file from your computer to your device once finished downloading.