How do I read online books

Read Books Online: Free Internet Literature

Free literature on the internet


Anyone who wants to read books online will find a wide range on the Internet. The Gutenberg project alone currently offers 10,000 works for viewing online. As a rule, books in the public domain are available on the Internet; there is also a growing range of free novels by young authors on the Internet. In this post we introduce you to the largest and most important sites for reading books online.


Anyone who wants to read books online today will find a wide range of literature on the Internet. You can choose from free books, stories and poems by well-known authors and young authors. The novels of famous writers on the net are literature for which the copyrights to the text have already expired. One speaks of so-called public domain texts. Once an author 70 years dead, the rights to the text have expired. An example of this is the writer Heinrich Mann, who died in 1950. His works have been freely accessible since December 31, 2020. In the case of foreign-language literature, the date of death of the author is not decisive, but rather when the translator died. Georg Orwell died in 1950. His original works are in the public domain; the translator is decisive for the German-language transmission. Often one can not only read such free books online, but also download them for free as eBooks.

Copyright is different in each country and different deadlines apply to works in the public domain. In the USA, the copyright for works from 1925 will expire in 2021. The date of death of the author does not matter here. In the United States, for example, the novels "The Trial" (Kafka) and "The Great Gatsy" (Fitzgerald) have just come into the public domain. The different copyrights often lead to problems. For example, books can be read online on the American Gutenberg website that are not yet in the public domain in Germany. German publishers don't like this. in the Year 2018 the site of the US project Gutenberg was blocked for users with a German IP.

1. Gutenberg projects:

Those who want to read books online will find the largest selection in the Gutenberg projects. The German project currently offers about 10,000 works by over 2000 authors. The books can only be read on the screen, the works cannot be downloaded. Just search alphabetically for your preferred author and with a few clicks you can read the novel or poem you are looking for. If you prefer to read the books on a reader instead of online, you can purchase the entire collection of the German Gutenberg Project on one data carrier. The current Edition 15 costs 43.90 euros. The texts are available as HTML and must be converted into an eBook for reading on an eReader with a (free) program (e.g. Caliber).

At the American Project Gutenberg, books can be read and downloaded online. On the sides you can find over 60,000 free books in different languages, including a large selection of German-language books. However, users with a German IP cannot access the offer because the site has not been accessible from Germany since March 2018. The S. Fischer Verlag had sued against the possibility of downloading certain books. In April 2019, the judgment was upheld by the Higher Regional Court. Strictly speaking, it is about a manageable number of 18 works by Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann and Alexander Döblin. Heinrich Mann's books have been in the public domain since December 31, 2020. Thomas Mann died in 1955 and Döblin's year of death is 1957. These two authors are in the public domain under US copyright law, but under German law it will take a few more years. German users should not be able to quickly access the website of the American Gutenberg Project to read books online there.

Read books at Gutenberg's screen

2. Small projects with novels:

In addition to the large Gutenberg projects, there are a number of smaller sites on the net where you can read books online. This includes the Sternchenland page. Stand over here 5500 works to choose from. In addition to novels by Karl May, Franz Kafka or Mark Twain, the site offers legends, fairy tales and encyclopedias. The works can be read on the screen or downloaded as an eBook. Another site with public domain texts is Zeno. There are books by German and international authors to choose from. On the sides you can find currently 2432 titles as full texts. At Zeno, you can only read the works on the screen; they cannot be downloaded. In the case of the smaller literary projects, the number of works in the public domain is significantly lower than in the German Gutenberg project.

In recent years, many smaller projects have stopped offering them. On the one hand, it is difficult to finance a small and voluntary project over a longer period of time, at least to cover costs. Furthermore, new regulations such as the DSVGO from 2018 make life difficult for network site operators. The legal uncertainty is great for many operators and there is a risk of warnings. Private individuals in particular do not have the time to familiarize themselves with the ever new regulations. With this in mind, you should appreciate every offer on the Internet where you can read free books.

3. Literature by young authors:

In addition to the classics of literature, there is a wide range of books by young authors. The selection has grown steadily over the past few years and there are some big pages. Wattpad is one of them without a doubt. The literature page is according to the operator of 90 million people used. The books can be read online without registering. Many books are in no way inferior to the works of well-known authors. In most cases the books have a nice cover and many of the works enjoy a large readership. There are numerous works with views of over 100,000k. If you register with Wattpad, you have even more options. Registering with the site is particularly worthwhile for authors. Sweek is a similar offer for reading books by young authors online. The range of English-language literature dominates here.

If you only want to read works by German authors, we recommend the reading magnifier. The site is one of the best-known German literary communities and offers up-to-date 80,000 free stories and poems. Almost 10,000 members have registered on the literature page. In addition to short stories, the reading magnifier also offers longer texts. The works on the reading magnifier can be read on the screen. Anyone who registers at the free site can access numerous functions. If you observe individual contributions, you will be informed about new versions of a text or you can set a bookmark.

4. Download books as e-books:

There are a wide variety of sites on the Internet for reading books online. More and more sites offer the download of eBooks. You can often download books in the public domain in different formats (EPUB, MOBI) without registering and then read them on your eReader. There are numerous sites on the Internet that offer current novels as eBooks by well-known authors. It should come as no surprise that these offers are illegal. If you download it, you will most likely catch yourself Viruses, Trojans, or other malware a. Some of the illegal sites require registration. Do not give personal information such as your email address or your real name into the wrong hands. We clearly advise against such illegal offers.

It is also not necessary to use such illegal offers. Anyone who wants to read books online will find a wide range on the Internet. The range of free, public domain eBooks for easy download is just as large. At Amazon, for example, there are numerous works as free Kindle editions. In a few seconds you will have the works you want on your eReader. If you have a tolino instead of a Kindle, you will find a sufficient selection of works in the public domain on other sites.

5. eReader instead of computer or tablet:

Today it is no longer necessary to read books online on the computer. eBook readers are now the better alternative. There is a large selection of suitable devices. An eReader like the Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon is already available for less than 100 euros. The Paperwhite offers a high-quality display without mirror effects and a text in a good print quality. If you want, you can also get higher quality devices. If you are not a friend of Amazon, you can use the tolino. With the German alternative, the eBook reader, you have access to numerous shops and can easily get any eBook you want. tolino cooperates today with over 2000 bookstores. The tolino page 2 eReader is available for less than 100 euros.

If you love downloading public domain eBooks instead of reading books online, you should pay close attention to the file format. Amazon relies on the AZW3 format. You can find these formats on a few pages of free eBooks. Instead, use the MOBI format, which can be read on all Kindle devices. The tolino and many other reading devices, in turn, support the widespread EPUB format. As a rule, the pages for downloading books in the public domain always offer the two formats MOBI and EPUB at.

6. Conclusion:

If you want to read books online, you will find a wide range on the Internet. As a rule, these are so-called books in the public domain. A text becomes in the public domain when the author or translator has been dead for more than 70 years. Every country has a different copyright law, and problems are inevitable in the freely accessible Internet. For example, the American Project Gutenberg has not been available in Germany since 2018, as there are works there that are not yet in the public domain under German copyright law.

  • Gutenberg projects: If you want to read books online, you will find the largest selection at Gutenberg Projekt DE. On the site you will find over 10,000 works by over 2000 authors. The novels and poems can only be read on the screen, the works cannot be downloaded as e-books. However, the entire offer from the Gutenberg project can be purchased on one data carrier. A much larger selection of works in the public domain can be found at the American Project Gutenberg, but this page cannot be accessed in Germany.
  • Small projects: There are also many small projects on the Internet where you can read books online. Two examples are Sternchenland and Zeno. But even here the selection is still considerable, there are several thousand texts to choose from. In the past few years, several small operators have discontinued their project. It's difficult to get free sites to break even. In addition, new regulations such as the DSVGO make life difficult for the site operators.
  • Literature by young authors: In addition to works in the public domain, you will find numerous books by young authors to read online on the Internet. The offer has grown steadily in recent years. Sites such as Wattpad, Sweek and the Reading Magnifier offer a large selection of novels and stories. There are also many smaller projects online where debut authors present their works. Young authors present themselves more and more professionally on the internet. Many novels have a nice cover and are worth reading.
  • Download eBooks: There is an alternative to reading books online. There are many sites where you can download eBooks for free. As a rule, books in the public domain are available for download. If current works by well-known authors are offered free of charge on the website, this is an illegal site. Anyone who carelessly downloads eBooks here is sure to catch viruses, Trojans or other malware. It is not necessary to resort to such illegal offers, the range of free books on the net is large.
  • Read books on the eReader instead of on the screen: You don't have to read books on the screen. It is far more convenient to read novels on an e-reader. On many websites you can not only read the books online, but also download them as eBooks. In addition, Amazon, Thalia and other online shops offer a huge range of eBooks. Today, eReaders are no longer expensive and cost less than 100 euros. One example is the Kindle Paperwhite and the tolino page 2.
If you want to read books online, you don't have to search long and you will find a wide range on various websites. The free novels on the Internet are works in the public domain or books by young authors. Instead of reading the works online, you can download many books as e-books and read them on an e-reader.