“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life” as said by Henry Ward Beecher, an American Congregationalist. If a library facility is free and accessible everywhere then it is surely a luxury. Since childhood, we have been taught about the benefits of reading. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher terms ‘reading’ as an ornament of a man while Nabokov, a Russian novelist calls it a pleasure to have a book to read before going to bed. For a bibliophile, there is perhaps nothing more life-changing than reading a good book. There are more than 129,864,880 books in the world. Isn’t that a huge number? In this blog, we are going to discuss various free online libraries available for readers across the world.
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From Shelves to Folders
When we think of a library, an image of dusty books on the wooden shelves of a large room with an old librarian in a tweed coat immediately comes to our mind. Hold on! We are in the age of the Internet, where technology is ahead of us. There are thousands of books that we can carry in our mobile phones. Reading and accessing information has never been this easy. Whether at home or anywhere in the world, you can enjoy the luxury of reading as soon as you have access to the Internet.
Also Read: Importance of Books in Our Life
Let’s have a look at the list of free online libraries that together comprise of millions of books available for everyone across the world.
- Open Library: Created in 2008, Open Library holds more than 20 million records. It is a project funded by the California State Library and the Kahle-Austin Foundation. Giving open and free access to the books available on the website, Open Library is the destination for book lovers who are looking for free online libraries.
- Project Gutenberg: Its web portal has more than 60,000 free ebooks to read making it one of the most visited sites for free online books. Project Gutenberg has the greatest literature available online. As the website runs on donations, content is freely available for the public. A reader can download books on mobile phones, laptops and Kindle e-readers.
- The Online Books Page: An online library managed by the University of Pennsylvania is a great destination for book-lovers wanting to read for free. There are more than 30,000 titles available to read for free on smart devices.
- Read Print: Another from the list of free online libraries is the Read Print, which is known to be one of Time Magazine’s 50 best websites. It is an online portal offering thousands of books for free and also gives recommendations for new books to read. Moreover, there are a lot of book clubs and discussions forums for reader to join.
- Questia: Questia gives the reader access to around 5,000 books available for the public domain. Besides books, it also has journals and magazines on its website. However, to use the premium research tools on the website membership is required.
- California Digital Library: Those who love to enjoy the feel of paper while reading, this is exactly the place for them. California Digital Library uses high resolution scanned pages of hardcovers and uses an interface to allow users to flip the pages which give the reader the feel of reading a hardcover.
- Internet Archive: Students looking for a library which has it all – books, software, music, movies, websites and more for free, Internet Archive is the place. Housing millions of books and content for free makes it an ideal choice for knowledge seekers. Its online portal claims to have 330 billion webpages and 20 million books by now.
- World Digital Library: Some of us who are fond of historic and intercultural texts can check out World Digital Library, a project by U.S Library of Congress. It has texts from over 193 countries between 800 BCE and 2000.
- LUMS Library: Lahore University of Management Sciences is a one-stop destination for students seeking free online libraries with access to more than 35,000 books.
- Public Literature: It is yet another portal for the readers who are looking for a selective volume of books can find it as a place of their choice.
- Universal Digital Library: The Universal Digital Library has a vast collection of free books.
Acquiring information is a part of our daily routine. Reading has become more prominent with tons of free information available online. Whether you’re passionate about reading or preparing for higher studies, free online libraries are the ultimate reading destinations for you. If you’re interested to pursue a course in Library Sciences, you can reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu to know more about the course.