10 Free Kindle Downloads

Did you get a Kindle e-reader for Christmas? If so, here are 10+ books that you can download for free because they are old enough to be considered public domain. I pulled this list from:

Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life.

Wilkie Collins: Love Dragon Tattoo? This wildly popular Victorian-era novelist was a precursor to the modern detective novelist. His fascinating, densely plotted page-turners often focused on revenge and the plight of women. Download The Moonstone and The Woman in White.

Arthur Conan Doyle: Speaking of great mystery writers, the Sherlock Holmes creator’s works are available for free. Save yourself the price of admission to the Hollywood version and go straight to the source.

Phillip K. Dick: Last year, 11 of the prolific sci-fi master’s works were made part of public domain. Others like Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly aren’t free but will only cost you a dollar or two.

Jane Austen: You’ve probably read and re-read Pride and Prejudice, but check out Emma, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park as

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: This children’s classic never gets old. Also available for free: Little
by Louisa May Alcott.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: This captivating novel about New York society of the very early 20th century feels utterly fresh and surprising today.

Anton Chekhov: Pretty much any short story writer will point to Chekhov as a master of the form. It seems almost wrong that his stories (including the perfect “The Lady with the Dog”) and plays won’t cost you anything.

Dubliners by James Joyce: Okay, so I may not get to Ulysses any time soon, but I read the spectacular story/novella “The Dead” from this collection a couple times a year.

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain: His better-known books are available, too, but Twain’s account of his European “grand tour” is still gutbustingly funny.

Fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm: These weird, dark classics aren’t for kids — and in today’s pop culture, they’re more relevant than ever.

This list only scratches the surface. Do you have any free Kindle ebooks that you’d like to share?

Please note: This one isn’t free, but it’s mine, so I will also suggest: Seeking Sara Summers. Available on several e-readers, including: Kindle, nook, ipad, Sony, and Kobe books.

Happy New Year, everybody! And, Happy Reading!!


  1. There’s lots of great philosophy for free in Kindle, if you’re a philosophy buff (and I am). I downloaded tons of Schopenhauer, which saved me the considerable expense of buying Parerga and Paralipomena.

  2. For some reason I don’t think of downloading free nonfiction on my kindle, but I appreciate the reminder, John!

    Also, from one of our lovely email subscribers:

    “Hi Susan, Happy New Year!

    I received my Kindle last Christmas and I will definitely download a few of these free books. I love my Kindle but for books I want to keep on a shelf, I go to the bookstore. One of these books on the shelf is “Seeking Sara Summers”by you. I was just thinking the other day that I need to reread this wonderful book.

    Thanks for the update on the free books. Mary”

  3. Your list of Kindle downloads is great. I’ve downloaded some of these already…Mansfield Park, Woman in White and a few others I always wanted to read. I think I’ll pick out a few of your suggestions I missed, like House of Mirth and Dubliners. Thanks for these outstanding suggestions.
    I downloaded Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Shakespear’s King Richard III, Night and Day by Virginia Wolff, and Henry James’s The American and his other book..The Ambassadors. Don’t overlook D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers.
    Wonderful reads that most of us missed or read many years ago and are ready to take them up again.
    Thanks for the info and a Happy New Year to you.

  4. Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for additions to the list. These sound great! I hope you have a wonderful New Year with lots of writing!

  5. What’s surprising me–and slightly concerning as well–is how many books are now suddenly free to Amazon Prime members who also have a Kindle (of which I am one). I know that an author (or publisher) must opt into this program (I know a self-published author who has)–and Amazon compensates them (that part’s a little more complicated)–but it feels a little odd to me as a reader. I’ve only gotten one book this way, but I still feel like I’m cheating the author or something.

    Also, it should be noted that the books you’ve cited in your post, being public domain books, are available to anyone with any e-reader. Those free titles are certainly not limited to Kindle.

  6. “Those free titles are certainly not limited to Kindle.”

    Thanks, Sonje. I wondered about that. Also, I know what you mean about the Kindle program that just started for prime members. (I’m one, too, but I haven’t even explored it yet.) I do worry about authors getting compensated, too. It reminds me of bargain basement deals. Let me know, if you figure anything out.

    Meanwhile, I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2012!

  7. A friend on facebook posted this one: Catherine wrote: “When Women Were Warriors Book I is now free on Amazon:”

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