The best free books on Kindle and Apple Books right now

Free books are good. Very good.

David Carnoy / CNET

How good is the free stuff? Thanks to the magic of the public domain, there are many books that you can read for exactly $ 0 on both Amazon Kindle Store and Apple Books. These include readings from Plato to Peter Pan.

Everyone knows Kindle, but Apple Books is a real star here. It contains a comprehensive list of “books you are supposed to read”, which is stacked with books that you can download for free. Many of these are also free on Amazon, but some will set you back a few dollars (or maybe a few pennies). If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you will have many more books to read “for free”.

There is a big and big world of cheap and free books on these platforms. Here are 17 classics to get you started.

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

Little Women was a hit upon its publication in 1859, and got its last moment in the sun thanks to the 2019 film adaptation starring Emma Watson. It’s a coming-of-age novel that follows four sisters into adulthood, and it has enjoyed consistent success over the past 150 years. Little Women was an acclaimed novel and has been adapted into plays, films, operas, and television shows. You can see what it is for $ 0.

Download Little Women for free on Apple Books Where Amazon Kindle for $ 1.63.

Peter Pan (JM Barrie)

Here’s one for parents looking for something to read their kids or for Disney enthusiasts wanting to read the play that inspired the novel that inspired the 1953 classic. Peter Pan, also released as Peter and Wendy, is the story of Neverland, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the infamous Captain Hook. A worthy warning though: it contains a depiction of Native Americans that is very … 1904.

Download Peter Pan free on Apple Books or for $ 2.23 on Kindle.

Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)

Like most classics, it is possible that you suffered from Frankenstein during English class in high school. We’ve all been there. You just have to take any book apart in school to shut down anyone, but Frankenstein has always been an exception to me. Frankenstein is not only considered the first science fiction novel, but it is also a timeless parable, one of the finest examples of Gothic literature and a true product of the Romantic movement.

If that sort of thing doesn’t sell you, you can always laugh at whining Victor Frankenstein as he reaps what he sows.

Download Frankenstein free on Amazon Kindle Where free on Apple Books.

Dracula

penguin

Dracula (Bram Stoker)

Another one for the Goths! If you’re a fan of our undead friends, it’s worth checking out one of the books that started it all. The story is great for those looking for good suspenseful gothic horror. It’s easy to think that Dracula has to be another hard-to-read classic, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The writing holds up really well (after 100+ years that’s quite an achievement) and it’s really scary in places.

Download Dracula free on Apple Books Where free on Amazon Kindle.

The Republic (Plato)

Greek philosophers are still remembered all these centuries later, which means they are unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon. Plato is arguably the most famous Greek philosopher – after Socrates and Aristotle – and The Republic is his most famous work. What is most striking about much (but fortunately perhaps not all) of ancient Greek writing is how relevant it is today.

Reading ancient Greek literature can also help you appear more pretentious at parties, which is good.

Download for free on Amazon Kindle Where free on Apple Books.

Dream psychology (Sigmund Freud)

Sigmund Freud is one of those rare specialized academics who is breaking through the air. Odipus complex, Freudian slip, that, me and superego, and even the expression “defense mechanism” are all linked to Freud’s work. Unfortunately, much of this work is intensely academic and dense. At only 216 pages, Dream Psychology is one of Freud’s most remarkable works, and it is also one of the easiest to read.

Download Dream Psychology for free on Apple Books Where $ 2.91 on Amazon Kindle.

The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka)

There are a lot of long reads on this list, so here’s a short one. The metamorphosis follows the sudden and inexplicable transformation of a man into a huge insect, and although it spans less than 100 pages, it has been the subject of rigorous psychological examination and interpretation over the course of 116 years since its first publication.

Download for free on Apple Books Where 77 cents on the Amazon Kindle.

Hamlet / Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)

If you really want to challenge yourself, Shakespeare is the way to go. The language and format may take some getting used to, but it’s very rewarding once you do. There is a room for everyone, for those who love romance, tragedy, comedy or even absolutely wacky fantasy. Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet are some of the most famous, so they would be good places to start. Almost everyone knows the stories at least a little bit – and trust us, familiarity with the plot helps a lot if you’re new to Shakespeare.

Download Romeo and Juliet for free on Apple Books Where for 80 cents on Amazon Kindle.

Download Hamlet for free on Amazon Kindle Where free on Apple Books.

Sherlock holmes

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes.

Warner Bros.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

Sherlock Holmes was cool long before Robert Downey Jr. played him on the big screen. This collection of stories was published over 120 years ago, but the mysteries have a timeless quality: the plot does not die with age. Sherlock Holmes might not be the most important book on this list, but it might be the most fun.

Download The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for free on Apple Books Where on Amazon Kindle for $ 2.01.

Pride and Prejudice / Emma (Jane Austen)

We know what you are thinking: wouldn’t Jane Austen just be more wordy and boring Bridgerton? What are they saying? What’s even going on? And yes, Jane Austen’s books can look very intimidating and almost bland when you look at them through a modern lens. Reading Austen’s books, however, is like a cheeky window into the past: they parody Regency society and poke fun at the ridiculousness of certain social mores at the time. If you want to start on Austen, we recommend that you start with Pride and Prejudice or Emma.

Download Emma for free on Apple Books Where for 87 cents on Amazon Kindle.

Download Pride and Prejudice for free at Apple Books Where $ 1 on Amazon Kindle.

The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx)

Let’s say right away that including this is not an endorsement of communism. That aside, The Communist Manifesto is among the most influential writings of recent centuries. Written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it inspired a movement and a philosophy that would eventually occupy half of Europe within a century of its publication date in 1848. It is also much easier to read than the work much more in depth from Marx, The Capital, but it’s also available for free if you’re willing to read thousands of pages of 19th century economics.

Download The Communist Manifesto for free on Apple Books Where 78 cents on the Amazon Kindle.

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Amazon

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)

There are several books known as “The Great American Novel” – Catcher in the Rye, Moby Dick and To Kill a Mockingbird among them. But perhaps the most title-claiming novel is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain is considered America’s greatest comedian and is one of his most famous writers of all time. Huckleberry Finn is the book he’s best known for and it’s a must read for anyone looking to learn about American literature.

Download The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for free on Apple Books Where $ 4 on Amazon Kindle.

Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

Granted, Huck Finn isn’t the only great American novel that you can read for free. Moby Dick gave the world the term “white whale,” as well as one of the most famous opening phrases. The book is 170 years old, but it’s still a staple of “books you should read” lists everywhere.

Download Moby Dick free on Apple Books Where $ 1 on Amazon Kindle.

The Federalist Papers (Alexander Hamilton)

You may have experienced these texts at first as extremely boring history lesson texts, but the worldwide phenomenon that is the musical Hamilton breathed new life into them. The Federalist Papers are a collection of essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (but mostly Hamilton) in which the authors encourage ratification of the US Constitution and also advocate for a more centralized state. These will be dry backgrounds for many, but useful for die-hard fans of the Hamilton musical.

Download the federalist papers free on Apple Books Where for 79 cents on Amazon Kindle.

War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

We saved the biggest for last. War and Peace is such a monster that its name has become a signal used to describe works of intimidating size. And make no mistake, War and Peace is a lot to do. But it will be to get you acquainted with “the lion of Russian literature” as the book was called. If you’re up for the challenge, it’s free on Apple Books.

Download War and Peace for free on Apple Books or for 80 cents on the Amazon Kindle.

About Joey J. Hott

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