Kindle 2019 (10th-gen)
Ebooks are typically cheaper than paper books, but if you get through a lot of ebooks on your Kindle or other devices, you'll still want to get the best prices and save money altogether by downloading free ebooks.
There are many online stores to choose from for purchasing and downloading your favourite reads. We've rounded up five of the most popular stores so you can see which one may suit your reading needs the best.
Plus many of these stores feature a range of free-to-download ebooks and content, so we'll show you how you can browse tons of titles without spending a penny.
Your choice of ebook store will depend on how you read your books. If you're only starting to think of branching out from paper to digital books, it's worth bearing this in mind when choosing the device you want to read on.
|Ebook reader||How to download and read ebooks|
|Amazon Kindle||You'll be limited to ebooks bought on the Amazon store. You may also be able to download PDFs, but this won't typically provide a great experience. See our for more information.|
|Kobo ebook reader||Kobo is the Kindle's main rival. If you have a Kobo, you have a few more options because you can import licensed ebooks from third-party retailers, as well as buying ebooks directly from Kobo and borrowing ebooks from your local library. See our for more information.|
Alternatively, you can read books on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Your options are fairly wide and there are multiple ebook stores that will let you read on various devices.
However, these devices aren't optimised for reading in the same way that ebook readers are. In our lab tests, for example, we check which ebook readers let you comfortably read in bright light and also in near darkness. This means our Best Buys are comfortable to read and can keep you immersed in your book, whether you're on the beach or tucked up in bed.
There are five main places to buy ebooks in the UK, but how you can read their content varies significantly. We've summarised this below and you can use the links to visit the stores.
If you're a prolific reader who wants to save money, there are a number of ways to get hold of free ebooks, particularly if you're a lover of the classics.
The Kindle Store has around 40 classic published books available for free, including 'The Railway Children', 'The Great Gatsby', 'David Copperfield' and 'Twelfth Night'. Beyond that, you may also find some self-published works available on the Kindle Store for free, although the quality of these will vary.
In the UK, your local library may use a digital book borrowing service through companies such as BorrowBox or OverDrive.
Whether you can access BorrowBox or OverDrive depends on what system your local library uses. You will need a valid library card in order to access the digital book loans on either system, so you’ll likely need to provide proof of address when you register with them. Check your local library branch to find out what’s available.
You can also transfer books to your Kindle in Word Document, PDF and Mobi formats, so if you have a friend who’s writing a first novel or have been given a freebie at an event, you can probably load the content on to your Kindle. Information on how to do this can be found at . All the above formats as well as the open standard ePub format also work on on Kobo ebook readers.
This option isn’t strictly free, but it does allow you to access more than one million ebooks, thousands of audiobooks and selected magazines for a flat monthly fee of £7.99 (at the time of writing).
We cross-checked the most popular titles from (2021/2022), and found little to no price difference between them on various ebook stores – £1 or so at most. These include authors such as Richard Osman, Colleen Hoover, Dr Julie Smith and Nancy Revell, among many others.
So wherever you buy from, you're likely to be getting a good price.
We've found that many stores, including Amazon Kindle, Google Play Books, Kobo and Apple Books, also allow you to filter for free downloadable ebooks. If you search around your chosen site, you're likely to find deals and special offers to give you a good read for less. For example, at the time we checked:
Whether you're taking the family on holiday or need to keep the kids entertained during wet weather at home, downloading some kid-friendly ebooks will keep them happy.
After a quick sign-up, you'll have access to hundreds of primary school books suitable for ages 3-11. The ebooks available here are largely suited to developing reading skills and understanding phonics.