Recently saw a reblog of a Tumblr post about free online book resources (mostly classics, public domain). I thought I would pass it along since the blogger indicated her comments sprang from a recent conversation with a younger person who wasn’t even aware of Project Gutenberg, and likely not the other resources mentioned. You can find Jane Austen books, Dracula, and many more.
Okay lessee, we got the aforementioned www.gutenberg.org, where you can access public domain print works in lots of different formats–you can even read books in your browser if you don’t wanna take up space on your device! Worth noting that a lot (maybe all?) of it is machine-rendered text from scans, which is then corrected by volunteers, which means that there are sometimes errors, especially in less popular works. This can especially be an issue if you’re reading something in another language (I had to hunt down a pdf scan of Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingt Jours bc it was too difficult for me to parse mistakes in xxxxing 19th-century French lmao), but for the most part it’s at most a slight inconvenience.
For other kinds of media, including music and movies, we got www.archive.org, which is by the same folks behind the Wayback Machine!
For more books including some that are still in the public domain (they even have Jeff Smith’s “Bone” series!) we got www.openlibrary.org. The files from this will auto-delete from your device unfortunately, but that’s exactly what happens with library ebooks so I can’t complain (I do know of at least one way to get around that, but I wanna stick to strictly legal and above-board things for this post lmao). You do need to make an account, but it’s free and super easy!
Speaking of libraries, go check out your local library’s website, you’ll probably find a page listing their electronic materials! For example, my library has hoopla, libby, kanopy, and creativebug, and that’s just a few of the things they have! Libraries are maybe the best thing still existing in these xxxxed-up times, but you have to keep using them because your local government will take the first excuse they get to shut them down! (btw get active in local govt!)
Lastly, one that is maybe not so well known but that I’ve had endless nerdy fun with is cpdl.org/wiki/, the Choral Public Domain Library, where you can find tons of choral scores in different languages! I adore learning obscure folk songs so this is my absolute SHIT.
Anyway, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head at the moment, but feel free to send me links or add them in the comments! However, please be mindful that, while I certainly don’t turn my nose up at a little yo ho ho-ing myself, this is strictly for LEGAL sites. This is important for, say, teachers who want to share media with their classes, or singers who want to find scores they can legally perform publicly, just to give a couple of examples!
[edited to remove a word I despise and won’t use/reblog]