E-books in English

In addition to Helmet’s own eLibrary, there are thousands of free e-books and audiobooks available on the Internet. This article offers some tips on where to start looking for e-books in English.

Helmet e-library

Helmet library card gives you access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks in the OverDrive service. There you will find both fiction and non-fiction for adults and for children, everything from classics to current bestsellers. Most of the material in OverDrive is in English. Some of the more popular titles have a waiting list, but most of the e-books are available for loan without delay. The books can be read (and audiobooks listened to) in the web browser or with a free app. You can log in to OverDrive with your library card number and PIN code.

With your library card, you can also access a variety of magazines and newspapers in English from Flipster and PressReader.


Instructions for e-book and e-audiobook services

Instructions for remote access of e-magazines

Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a digital library with millions of e-books and other materials freely available for all, in English as well as many other languages. Classics and other works that are in the public domain can be freely read and downloaded, whereas newer books may be borrowed for 14 days after signing up for an account. Some of the more popular titles have waitlists. As Internet Archive is a non-profit service provided by libraries, organizations and volunteers, there are no fees and no advertising.

As Internet Archive contains an enormous amount of various materials, exploring the collections may seem a bit difficult at first. If you are interested in e-books, the best way to start is by opening the Books collection, after which you may type a search term in the search box on the left (“Search this collection”), and use the refinements (language, creator, topic etc.) to narrow down the results. If you are looking for children’s books, start with the Children’s Library collection. Audiobooks are found in the Audio Books & Poetry collection.

The e-books in Internet Archive are in PDF format, and they have been digitized from various public and private collections. They retain the original appearance of the books, including possible illustrations (as well as stains). Although it is possible to download the e-books in EPUB format as well, the EPUB files are based on uncorrected automatic character recognition and may contain errors.

Internet Archive

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg, which is updated by volunteers, provides free access to tens of thousands of e-books, mostly classics and other older works not subject to copyright. There are books in several languages, but the largest collection of titles is in English.

You can explore Project Gutenberg either by typing a search query or by browsing the Bookshelves section, where you can find books organized by genre and topic. All the texts in Project Gutenberg can be read online in the browser or downloaded as EPUB or Kindle e-books.

Project Gutenberg

Other websites

Manybooks is a user-friendly collection of classics and self-published literature. The e-books in Manybooks are free of charge and available in several formats, but downloading them requires logging in. Manybooks

A large collection of free audiobooks, mostly classics read by volunteers, can be found in LibriVox.

For free online courses, as well as some e-books and audiobooks, check out Open Culture.


Photo: piqsels.com