Where to Find Free Literature and Literature Summaries

Written by on April 14, 2009 in Learning Resources - 3 Comments

book-and-handYour local public library isn’t the only place to find free literature. There are a number of different websites that provide free books, short stories, poems, and other literature. Here are 25 places you can find free literature and literature summaries online:

Free Literature

Project Gutenberg offers more than 30,000 free books in its online books catalog. An additional 100,000 books can be found through the site’s partners and affiliates.

The Online Books Page lists more than 35,000 books that are freely available online. Users can search by author, title, subject, and serial name.

The Literature Network provides searchable online literature, literature forums, a quotation database, and an impressive author list.

Public Literature offers a user-friendly interface for people who want to read books, poetry, and audio in the public domain. The site also features a modern literature blog.

Great Literature Online archives British and American literature in the public domain.

Literature Project is dedicated to providing electronic versions of classic books, poems, and plays.

Perseus Digital Library hosts a growing and constantly evolving collection of ancient texts.

Classic Reader has thousands of classic literary works available for download. Offerings include fiction, nonfiction, short stories, poetry, and books for young readers.

Classic Bookshelf offers free literature and special software that makes reading electronic books more enjoyable.

Classic Book Library is a good place to find historical literature, children’s literature, and romance. The free online library also offers mystery and other genres.

Bibliomania combines classic literature with book notes, author biographies, and study guides. More than 2,000 works are available.

Page by Page provides hundreds of classic books that can be read online in the site’s e-library.

Gilead.org has republished the entire works of Hans Christian Andersen in English with original illustrations.

DailyLit sends free books to your email address. Each book is broken down into small, easy to manage increments that take less than five minutes to read.

PodioBooks delivers serialized audio books as podcasts. Users subscribe to the books they are interested in and establish a delivery schedule.

Librivox provides free literature from the public domain. Books can be read online or downloaded as an mp3 file.

Lit2Go is an online service that offers classic stories and poems that can be downloaded online or through iTunes.

Literal Systems was founded by a group of local actors and technicians who work to create free audio books that can be downloaded as an mp3 files.

The Spoken Alexandria Project is in the process of creating a free audio book library with downloads in multiple formats. New books are added on a regular basis.

Classic Audio Books features a modest collection of free audio books. Some books are human narrated; others were created using advanced text to speech.

Free Literature Summaries

CliffNotes free literature guides include chapter summaries, character analysis, essays, study help, and information about authors.

SparkNotes offers detailed chapter summaries and analysis for hundreds of books.

Book Wolf provides a modest collection of literature summaries and interpretations that have been sorted by title and author.

LitSum is a good place to find full chapter summaries and topics for discussion. Other free materials include character analysis, quotes, and theme guides.download movie T2 Trainspotting 2017 now

Pink Monkey is a “G-rated study resource” with nearly 500 downloadable and printable literature summaries and study guides.

Guest post from Karen Schweitzer who writes about college resources for OnlineColleges.net.

3 Comments on "Where to Find Free Literature and Literature Summaries"

  1. Kristin April 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm · Reply

    Thanks Karen (and Jamie) for all these wonderful resources. We love Gutenberg and particularly Librivox! Can’t wait to explore all the others!!

  2. Marc D'Hooghe May 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm · Reply


    Exists since april 15, 2010.

    Two goals: supporting Project Gutenberg (by producing e-text) and free e-literature on the web in general … and more (by linking to more than 450 sites that matter, all over the world in many different languages).

    Check out a book you like to work on for a first or second round proofreading. Beginners are fully supported, people wanting to do more will be guided through the whole process – from scanning to pleasantly readable e-book.

    (Links will be more ordered thematically and by language in the near future…)

    As this might be of interest to people visiting your site, would you consider placing a link there?

    Best Regards,

    Marc D’Hooghe

  3. Aura Cornelio December 3, 2010 at 3:50 am · Reply

    Very useful post. I have bookmarked it. Looking forward for more posts in the future.

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