My kids and I are definitely missing our public library! In past summers, we escaped to our local library weekly for new books, storytime, and free AC. Since this summer will be different, I’ve started a list of places for FREE online books for my kids and myself.
(Another great article to save for the inevitable “I’m bored” moments is the DC Area Mom Collective’s Mega List of Virtual Events that have tons more ideas.)
Free Kids Books Online:
- Project Gutenberg Children’s Bookshelf: This online library of thousands of free books that can be downloaded to an e-reader, Kindle App on an IPad or read through an internet browser! Below are some subcategories and my favorites for my kids this summer:
- Anthologies: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know published in 1905
- Biography: The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln
- Children’s Literature: Anne of Green Gables and also has an audio version!
- Children’s Picture Books: Mother Goose
- Check out the Kindle App: Even if you don’t have a kindle, the kindle app is free and you can download hundreds of books for free to read on any mobile device or even on your laptop.
- Tip: You can also search by price “low to high” and the free books will appear first.
- Library of Congress has a free Kids Classics website that has some great books (and I love how they are displayed by book cover so kids can choose what jumps out to them!)
- Your public school’s website. Our public school system in Fairfax gives our kid access to great websites like MyON and PebbleGo which have hundreds of read-alouds.
- PBS Read-Along Mondays on Youtube: At 19 books and counting with readers like Michelle and Barak Obama and Kristen Bell! These read-alongs can also be streamed on Facebook and Instagram.
- KidTimeStoryTime on Youtube: Dozens of read-alouds “read with love, personality, and puppets!” They have great playlists like STEM reads, Multicultural, and English/Spanish Bilingual!
- A Kids Book About…: Currently, 3 books in this series read aloud by the authors including About Racism, About Belonging and About Depression
Books for Adults Online:
- Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free ebooks. You can download them onto an e-reader or read them online on the website. Checkout their Bookshelf for 23 different categories including:
- Kindle App: As I said above, the kindle app is free and you can download many great reads for free to read on any mobile device or even on your laptop. Books that are in the Public Domain (Jane Austen! Shakespeare! The Great Gatsby!) are free on the Kindle App.
- Tip: You can also search by price by selecting “low to high” and the free ones will appear first.
Little Free Libraries
Finally, I can’t forget to mention a wonderful FREE but OFFLINE resource which are the thousands of Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods all over our area. There are currently 100,00 little box libraries worldwide and you can find the closest one to your house at their interactive map here. We love visiting our local little library and swapping out books each week. (And washing our hands afterward!)
That’s my list for now and I would love to hear in the comments if you have other go-to places for free/cheap books!