Free ebooks for the Kindle Paperwhite with Project Gutenberg

If you want a truck load of free classic books for your kindle or other e-reader you can download them for free from the fantastic Project Gutenberg which collects lots public domain works as ebooks. If a book is not available in the desired format, it can be easily converted to any e-reader.

I purchased a kindle and it's been a surprisingly good experience. I've resisted buying another device to read, but e-ink displays are actually nicer on the eyes and also nicer to read in dark environments like the bedroom without illuminating the entire room with an LED display.

On top of that e-ink displays also perform much better in bright environments like... a beach. Who are we kidding, I'm not going to be at a beach, but occasionally in a not well sun-shielded train compartment.

Download Free Ebooks for your Kindle 💾

I can only recommend browsing around Project Gutenberg bit, because there's lots of absolute gold and things that are probably either on everybodies reading list or something you can very easily fall asleep to (no offense Nietzsche).

For this example I have downloaded is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow ebook

Huge respect to the project, which has amassed over 70000 public domain books in a convenient online library.

Convert epub to a kindle compatible format (azw3) 🖋️

If the Kindle download option doesn't work or if your e-reader does not support the epub format, you can convert the downloaded .epub with a fun and open source library software called Calibre. You can use your favourite package manager on Linux or brew install calibre on MacOS.

When you import a book your Calibre screen should look a little like this:

calibre overview list

After importing a book you can right click and convert into dozens of formats, my kindle paperwhite (5) prefers the AZW3 format.

calibre export format kindle azw3

Download Free Ebooks onto the Kindle Paperwhite 📚

To my surprise the kindle works just like a USB stick, as a generic USB mass storage volume and you can move the downloaded and converted ebook into a directory called Downloads where the files from the amazon store are also saved.

This is very convenient for me, since I usually have some computer with a USB connection nearby before I decide reading a book.

move ebook to kindle via usb

After unplugging the e-reader and accessing the library you should see the newly acquired book in the list of books. If it doesn't show up, you need to have a look at which formats your e-reader supports.

Now you should be able to enjoy the books on your kindle without any issue. For me all features worked as well, taking notes, chapter progress, page numbers and re-flowing pages with changing font sizes.

photo of a kindle with the downloaded book

I still need to test which e-readers actually just straight up support .epub, I assume some of the more indie ones just do. If you know any fun trivia or great ebook tricks, get in touch and spill the beans! I'm new to this 😉.

The Onyx Boox Poke 3 has been tested and supports epub out of the box.

Tagged with: #books #kindle #gutenberg #paperwhite

Thank you for reading! If you have any comments, additions or questions, please tweet or toot them at me!