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  • Writer's pictureAdam Lee

6 Ways to Read Books for Free

We've rounded up our favorite ways to enjoy a good book on your phone or e-reader without spending a penny.


As one of the most popular sites for free fiction, Wattpad is somewhat of an obvious pick. Their easy-to-use app and huge range of content make it a solid choice for avid readers.

Popular Reads: Anna Todd's hit fanfiction After, high fantasy novel White Stag, teen fantasy Cupid's Match

What We Like: Lots of content, great selection of romance in all sub-genres, multimedia available in stories

What We Don't: Many half-finished or abandoned stories, poor grammar and spelling, difficult to sift through masses of low-quality content to find gems

Best For: Fanfiction and romance readers


Wattpad competitor Inkitt aims to be the platform for serious writers.

Popular Reads: Lauren Chow's fantasy series Chosen, teen fiction novel The Black Notebook, adult romance Selena Lane

What We Like: Readers can post story reviews, talent pool is better due to active recruiting by Inkitt staff

What We Don't: The app and website feel a bit bare bones, covers and art are lower quality, fewer active readers than Wattpad

Best For: Writers looking for feedback

Digital Library Services

Most local libraries offer all kinds of digital rentals and can be a great source for audiobooks to e-books.

What You Can Read: Anything and everything! We found Anna Todd's After series in English and Spanish, Wattpad and Hachette's entire audio book collection, and even graphic novels.

What We Like: Huge selection of excellent-quality published books, both audio and e-book options, most content in nonfiction and genres outside romance

What We Don't: You won't find any unpublished up-and-coming authors or fanfiction here

Best For: Readers who prefer edited works, nonfiction, and/or non-romance books


If you have a Kindle (or even just an Amazon account) there are tons of free books available to you.

What You Can Read: Contemporary self-published titles from newer authors, public domain classics like Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

What We Like: Good range of up-and-coming authors, books are all Kindle-compatible

What We Don't: Popular new books are not available for free, incompatible with other e-readers

Best For: Kindle owners and romance fans


Tapas started out as a comics platform and recently expanded into offering written novels.

Popular Reads: Sarah Andersen's graphic vampire romance Fangs, gay coming-of-age novel Faceted

What We Like: Popular writers are paid, great for quick bites and graphic novels, authors can schedule posts in advance, tons of LGBTQ+ content

What We Don't: Focus is on graphic works over traditional fiction, few comic styles outside manga, all covers are manga style, chapters are limited to a relatively short length

Best For: Comic or graphic novel readers, anyone short on reading time

This internet mainstay has been a fan fiction playground since its founding in 1998 and has featured successful fan works like E.L. James's 50 Shades of Grey.

Popular Reads: Subspace Emissary World's Conquest aka the world's longest work of fiction

What We Like: Simple website with few limitations, largest selection of fan fiction, readers can write reviews

What We Don't: Outdated website, difficult to browse, limited to mostly fan fiction content

Best For: Fan fiction readers, especially those looking for a particular fandom or specific scenario

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Where do you find your favorite reads? Tell us in the comments...


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