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Best Apps to Read Books for Free: Feed Your Inner Bookworm for No Cost!

Discover the best free reading apps and enjoy thousands of e-books & audiobooks! Explore libraries, classics, and hidden gems - and all at $0!
by Chris Allmer | Apr 29 2024
What Are the Best Free Reading Apps?

Do you ever find yourself wanting to curl up with a good book, but the price tag at the bookstore gives you pause? You’re not alone. 

Book prices have been steadily rising in recent years with an average price of 17.99$, making it a challenge for eager readers to keep up with their ever-growing to-be-read lists.

Fortunately, there’s a solution! Free reading apps have revolutionized the way we access books. These handy apps offer a great selection of books, all at absolutely no cost. 

Whether you’re a die-hard fiction fan, a history buff, or a self-improvement seeker, let’s check out the best apps to read books for free, and learn how to get them.

So, ditch the hefty price tags and dive into the world of free books with the best app for you!

Why Are Some Reading Apps Free?

Free reading apps might seem too good to be true, but they work through various methods to offer a rich collection of e-books or audiobooks for free. And here’s a breakdown:

  • Partnerships with Libraries: Many apps collaborate with local libraries, allowing you to borrow e-books and audiobooks directly through the app using your library card. 

This is a fantastic option to access popular titles and new releases without any additional cost.

These apps provide a platform to access these free titles and expand your reading horizons.

It’s important to note: Some apps to read books for free offer premium features for a fee. These might include:

  • Ad-free reading experience
  • Exclusive content like book collections or author interviews
  • More storage for downloaded e-books


The Best Apps to Read Books For Free

Now, let’s dive into some of the most popular free reading apps available, each catering to different user preferences:

1. Amazon Kindle App

A household name in e-books, the Kindle app allows you to browse and download millions of titles from the Amazon Kindle store, even if you don’t own a Kindle device.

  • Kindle offers a wide range of features like customizable fonts, text-to-speech functionality, and a built-in dictionary.
  • Best for: Avid readers who enjoy a good selection and are familiar with the Kindle ecosystem.


2. Google Play Books

Pre-installed on most Android devices, Google Play Books provides access to a massive library of e-books and audiobooks.

  • Allows uploading your own EPUB and PDF files to read on the app.
  • Integrates seamlessly with other Google services like Gmail and Drive.
  • Ideal for: Android users who want a convenient and integrated reading experience.


3. Libby

A library lover’s dream, Libby connects you to your local library’s digital collection of e-books and audiobooks and is therefore one of the best apps to read books for free.

  • Requires a valid library card for borrowing titles.
  • Offers features like waiting lists, holds, and due date notifications.
  • Best for: Library patrons who want to borrow e-books and audiobooks directly through the app.


4. Apple Books

Built-in on all Apple devices, Apple Books offers a curated selection of e-books and audiobooks.

  • Integrates smoothly with other Apple services like iCloud and iBooks Author.
  • Allows for seamless reading progress synchronization across Apple devices.
  • Tailored for: Apple users who want a user-friendly and integrated reading experience.


5. Wattpad

A haven for readers who enjoy discovering new and upcoming authors.

  • Wattpad features a social media aspect, allowing users to connect with writers, share stories, and provide feedback.
  • Offers a mix of free and paid stories, primarily focusing on fiction genres like romance, fantasy, and young adult.
  • Perfect for: Readers who enjoy exploring contemporary fiction and supporting aspiring authors, and maybe even want to write themselves.


6. Kobo by Rakuten

Kobo provides access to a large collection of e-books, including both free and paid titles.

  • Offers integration with Rakuten points for rewards and potential discounts on e-books.
  • Allows borrowing e-books from libraries that use the Kobo platform.
  • Geared towards: Readers who enjoy a diverse library with the option to earn rewards and borrow e-books from compatible libraries.


How Blinkist Supports the Best Free Reading Apps

There you have it, the best apps to read books for free, but let me ask you something. We know free books are fantastic, but what if you just don’t have the time to read them all?  

Let’s face it, our to-read lists can become towering mountains, and precious minutes get swept away by daily life.

That’s why it’s time to check out Blinkist, your shortcut to the knowledge you crave.

Blinkist doesn’t replace free reading apps – it complements them brilliantly! Think of it like this:

Free apps offer the full feast – the entire book. Great for diving deep when you have the time.

And Blinkist provides the delicious appetizer – the key ideas, in just 15 minutes. Perfect for busy schedules and sparking your interest.

Here’s why Blinkist should always be your first stop:

  1. You get the key ideas of any nonfiction book in a flash.
  2. You get a taste of a book before committing to dive into the whole thing, to just find out midway that the message is more like … meh
  3. You can also just listen to your favorite book summaries. 

And here’s the deal. You already get one free Blinkist read per day. And if you sign up for Premium, you get instant access to a massive library of 7,500+ titles

But let’s start with baby steps, and get your access to a FREE 7-day Blinkist trial! 

To begin your journey, click here!

Frequently Asked Questions about Free Reading Apps (FAQs)

Q: Where can I read books online for free without downloading them?

A: While some apps offer limited online reading options, borrowing e-books and audiobooks from your local library through Libby is a fantastic way to access free digital books without downloading them permanently.

Q: What are the top free reading apps for adults?

A: Most free reading apps cater to adults, offering a wide range of genres beyond young adult fiction. Explore apps like Kindle, Libby, and Kobo for a diverse selection of adult-oriented titles.

Q: Can I download books for free to read offline?

A: Yes! Many free reading apps allow you to download e-books and audiobooks for offline reading. This is a great option for commuting, traveling, or reading in areas with limited internet access.

Q: What are the most read free books?

A: While free reading apps offer a massive selection, sometimes you just want to dive into the most popular titles. Blinkist can help and has curated a list of World’s Best Nonfiction Books. This collection features some of the most read and most popular nonfiction works.

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