Few things compare to sitting down with a good book and immersing yourself in its world for a few hours. It’s therapeutic on numerous levels, a source of immense joy and pleasure and provides an escape from stress and boredom – especially in the current climate.
These days, e-books have become almost as popular as their printed counterparts, and while flipping through the pages of a hardback or softcover will always hold a special place, the ease of access to electronic libraries alone is worth making e-books a part of your life.
There are vast online libraries where you can get almost any title you can think of for free. From fresh reads to literary classics, you can download almost anything your heart desires. Check out these resources.
Google Play Books
Google launched its cloud-based library a decade ago and meanwhile, it has amassed somewhere in the region of five million titles. It was one of the first legit digital solutions for publishers and is still one of the best and largest out there. The free section is packed with titles from across the board including bestsellers, classics and everything in between.
The common bookshelf that each user has allows them to access their books from any number of devices, without needing to remember where the original download is stored. Whether it’s a dedicated e-reader or the native android/IOS application on a phone or tablet, you’re sorted.
Google Play Books also has a wealth of audiobooks available which can be listened to via the app.
This non-profit website is part of the Internet Archive and is funded by various grants from some of America’s biggest libraries. It has an extensive section on out-of-print and rare books – some of which may only be available in physical format (with links to where books can be purchased or borrowed) – but many also available in e-book format.
Of the 1.4 million books the library offers for digital lending, some are scanned copies with questionable quality – but the vast majority of titles are fine.
Have a browse through the Open Library here and enjoy your read!
Although this library is smaller compared to the previous two, Project Gutenberg is home to a wealth of older literary works, many published at the turn of the 19th century or thereabouts. You’ll find some 60,000 titles here, which you can download or read online.
The mobile site has a wonderful interface, so and so that you might prefer using this a desktop – and just making your window smaller!
Some of the notable titles you’ll find here include philosophical works like Plato’s The Republic, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Thomas More’s Utopia, among masterworks like Silas Marner, The War of the Worlds, and Heart of Darkness.
The world’s biggest online marketplace is flush with cheap and even free e-books right here. There are thousands of books, from epic adventure tales to self-help and beyond, all rated and reviewed by other readers.
If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you’ll also have access to thousands of other free titles – available on the Kindle e-reader or the Kindle app on IOS or Android.
If you’re looking for something more academic, then head straight for BookBoon which is rich repository for all manner of textbooks and business e-books. The former are written exclusively for BookBoon by university professors all over the world, and are all completely free for students.
Meanwhile, industry experts have provided high quality compendiums on a wide range of subjects – however these are available for a small subscription fee.
There’s plenty of online courses available here as well so if you want to upgrade your skillset, this is the site for you.
Get Your Books Delivered!
Although the convenience of e-books is undeniable, many still love the feel of a physical book in their hands and the satisfaction of having a tangible object to add to their collection. If you’re one that falls under that category, there are numerous local stores and chains (international and based in KL) where you can buy online and have it delivered to your doorstep.
BookXcess – Packed with super affordable titles (from 50%-80% off standard retail prices of new books), this brand has become one of Malaysia’s biggest and most widely spread.
The annual Big Bad Wolf book sale organised by BookXcess
MPH – With 29 outlets across the nation, MPH is one of the go-to stores for books, magazines, stationary, greetings cards and more. It’s online marketplace is a reader’s dream.
Borders – While this brand’s brick and mortar outlets may have dwindled in the last few years, it still maintains a solid presence online.
Kinokuniya – This Japanese book chain has sat the top of Suria KLCC since the mall opened and draws book lovers from around the country. Check out its massive online library.
OpenTrolley – This Malaysia-based online bookstore claims to have some 15 million titles across 4,000 categories on offer. Deliveries are quick and fast, with books carefully wrapped and packed so they stay in pristine condition.