If you want to read a classic novel, you need look no further than your tablet or computer screen. Practically any public domain work you can think of is available for free on dozens of sites across the Internet. It truly has never been easier to read old books online.
But let’s say the classics aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something a little more … current. While it’s not as simple as tracking down Pride and Prejudice or a Shakespearean tragedy, you can find plenty of contemporary books online to read now. Even better, many of these books are available on the cheap, or even for free. Here are 10 websites where you can read novels that were published in this century.
As an avid reader, you have probably bought books on Amazon before. But they were most likely of the hardcover or paperback variety, or ones you could read on your Kindle. You may not realize that it’s also possible to read contemporary ebooks right in your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader. When you purchase an ebook, just make sure to select “[Your Name]’s Kindle Cloud Reader” in the “Deliver To:” drop-down menu under the Buy button. You can also get ebooks for free by searching for “free books” in the Kindle Store.
Wattpad is a popular fiction platform for authors to post their work online. Many of the authors who publish on the site go on to get publishing and movie/TV deals, so you’ll have the chance to read great new authors’ books before they potentially make it big. Reading books on the site is as simple as creating an account and browsing your favorite genres for a book to read. Some of the stories are paid, but you will find plenty to read for free. You are also able to comment throughout the story, which builds a sense of community with other readers.
As the new kid on the fiction platforms block, Fictionate.Me gives you the opportunity to discover lesser-known indie authors before anyone else. Though there are many genres available on the site, many of the titles are within speculative genres like science fiction and fantasy. You don’t need an account to read, though if you create one, the site will keep track of which books you’re currently reading and save your place in each one. Fictionate.Me has an aesthetically pleasing online reader which is sure to enhance your reading experience.
Reedsy Discovery is another way to get to read the hottest new indie titles for free before anyone else. When you sign up to become a Reedsy Discovery reviewer, authors will provide you with free ebooks in exchange for honest reviews. This way you can read new, exciting books while helping out authors and potential readers at the same time. If you’re a writer yourself, writing these reviews will also give you some good practice.
Manybooks is an e-library with more than 50,000 free ebooks. While many of the books are public domain classics, the site also has several contemporary reads available. You are most likely to find contemporary books in the romance genre. All you need to do is click “Romance” under “Browse Genres” on the main page and start browsing. Manybooks unfortunately doesn’t have an option to specifically search contemporary titles, but you can usually pick them out of the crowd by their modern-looking covers.
This is another great one for romance lovers. Harlequin is known as a publisher of romance novels, but also offers a large collection of serialized stories online by some of its greatest authors. Another bonus is that these stories are 100% free to read. All you need to do is create an account on the site and start reading. One handy feature is that you can search stories based on how much time you have to read—the options are 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or “Plenty of Time”.
Tor is another big publisher that offers stories on its website. You don’t even need an account—you can just dive right in. It’s like reading a great sci-fi/fantasy short story collection, only it’s right there in your browser and completely free. Tor also hosts an Ebook of the Month Club. If you join, they’ll send you an email once a month with a link where you can download a free ebook in either a mobi or epub format. You have to act quickly when the emails come in since the titles are only available for a few days, but you’ll have the chance to read fantastic free books by some of the best sci-fi/fantasy authors in the business
If you like comics and manga, you will love Comixology Unlimited. The site’s unlimited service gives you access to its collection of over 25,000 digital comics, manga, and graphic novels from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, and more. You can try the service for free for 30 days, and after that, it’s still only $5.99 a month. With your membership, you also get a 10-15% discount off all books from Marvel Comics, Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Dynamite, and more—even brand new releases.
Scribd is another subscription-based service, but its e-library is full of more traditional novels of several different genres. Here you can specifically search for contemporary fiction—some of which were published as recently as last month. To find these particularly recent titles, just scroll down to the “New & Noteworthy” section. You are able to narrow your search by categories like “Contemporary Women’s” and “Marriage & Divorce”. You can try the service for free for 30 days, but then it’s $9.99 a month after that. For a voracious reader, this is definitely a cheaper way to go than buying stacks and stacks of books.
10) Paperback Swap
If you’re not really an ebook person and prefer to read print books, there are still lots of ways to get books online for cheap, or even free. One of those is Paperback Swap, which is exactly what it sounds like. You list any old books you don’t want anymore on the site, and when someone requests one, you mail it to them. After that, you’ll receive a credit and can choose one of over a million books others have listed on the website, request one, and wait for it to arrive in the mail. It’s kind of like swapping books with a pal—only there are thousands of different pals with their own unique libraries.
Author’s Bio:- Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jill has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
She has done freelance writing as well for sites like Cracked.com and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and funnyordie.com. Jill has also self-published two novels on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Karger/e/B07B894DNW).
Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at: https://www.fictionate.me.