Tired of all your usual e-book sources?  Don’t overlook the Internet Archive!  From the title we see to the left of this post to the over 3 million available other texts for your use, the Internet Archive offers a multitude of free reading!  From history and literature to goverment records and genealogy, this a great resource that you consider next time you are looking for something new to read.  Let’s talk more about what you can expect to find there.

While the main site is easily available at www.archive.org, you will probably want to go directly to the reading resources found here:  www.archive.org/details/texts,  Once there, you have a multiplicity of options to consider, from searching to browsing or even an RSS feed of the latest digital creations.

Rather than just piles and piles of e-books to wade through in the hopes of finding a few good titles to read, the Internet Archive offers various sub-collections, from American libraries to community texts and more.  Selecting these individual options will help to quickly narrow down your search and perhaps give you resources you had never considered!

Looking for something very specific?  The Internet Archive offers both basic and advanced search capabilities, including the ability to perform the librarian favorite:  Boolean operations!  Other options include specific “custom-field” searching on categories such as collection, media types and publisher, just to name a few.

Individual results can be read either online, in the Internet Archives custom book reader, or downloaded in a wide variety of formats including ePub, html, plain text, Kindle format and even DAISY.

Choosing to read online, the reader software works within the web browser and offers automatic pagination, thumbnail views and more.  Given today’s DRM-laden approach, this is a refreshing viewpoint that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Upshot?  It’s easy to only focus on the big commerical vendors and publishers when considering what texts you should read, however resources such as the Internet Archive can easily become your latest title resource!

(Source image above left and right taken from The West From a Car Window)


  1. My one problem with the Internet Archive is that, even if it does offer Kindle and ePub versions of its holdings, these are often almost unreadable. The conversion process has been incompletely worked out and drops page headings and page numbers into the text as well as random spacing in between “pages” of the original scan. It’s doubly frustrating since they have stuff that few other archives have. [Axel’s Castle, anyone? The Idea of the Holy?] The online reader software not only can’t be taken for granted; it’s just about unavoidable. Great archive, but really could show more concern for its readers.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.