How do you find public domain books?


Quick Answer

There are many resources for finding free public domain books online. Some websites are completely dedicated to providing free e-books, while other online retail stores may have a special section for public domain works. Specialized e-readers often provide links to free books.

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Full Answer

  1. Determine if a specific work is available

    If you are looking for a specific title, determine first whether it is eligible for public domain status. As of 2014, books copyrighted before 1923 are in the public domain, along with others that adhere to a number of other stipulations and exceptions. Rules vary outside the United States, as well.

  2. Find a source list

    There are a number of online venues that serve as directories for public domain websites. Some sites specialize in certain book types or genres, but many provide a wide variety of works.

  3. Check Project Gutenburg

    Project Gutenburg was founded by the inventor of e-books, Michael Hart, in 1971. The Gutenburg website offers over 46,000 free e-book downloads, as of 2014. If you can't find a book there, it may not be offered as a public domain book.

  4. Check your e-reader

    If you are using a special e-reader, such as a Kindle, some downloads of public domain books may be found in a store search. Amazon offers a variety of free Kindle books under public domain status.

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