Whether it's a classic such as The Great Gatsby, or a more obscure title such as A Farewell to Arms, you should avoid shelling out money for classic books. Quartz compiled a slew of free reading resources that are available if you're looking to stock up on great literature, and you can read them basically anywhere, even if you can't walk into a library.
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Shakespeare Fans Should Visit MIT
To read the works of playwright William Shakespeare, head to MIT's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare page. The works are organised in four categories: Comedy, History, Tragedy and Poetry.
If you're a fan of classic science fiction from the likes of Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, you're in luck. Archive.org now has a massive collection of the magazine Galaxy Science Fiction for you to peruse for free.
Library of Congress Goes Way Back
Read.gov is a site maintained by the US Library of Congress, and features books and other literature available for free. The books are scanned in, and you'll need to read it in a browser window, but with its selection of both classic and obscure titles, you'll probably find something you might not get in a traditional bookstore or library.
Scribd, The Netflix of Books
If you're willing to pay a subscription fee for some reading material, check out Scribd. For $US9 ($11) per month you'll gain access to articles from sites such as The New York Times, and a library full books as well as audiobooks.
Project Gutenberg, A Public Domain Paradise
For books in the public domain that you can download to an e-reader, Project Gutenberg is an invaluable resource. With over 54,000 e-books in the public domain to choose from, an updating list of newly added books and the most downloaded titles, you'll be able to enjoy the best of classic literature on whatever device you have. It beats waiting to renew a classic title, whether physical or digital. It's free, but donations are solicited to keep the operation running.
OverDrive & Your Library
OverDrive is the backbone of a multitude of libraries' e-book offerings. Sign up for OverDrive, enter your public library credentials, and check out e-books, audiobooks and other digital media. You can send the books to your Kindle or use them in the OverDrive app on iOS and Android.
You can put holds on various titles, request titles currently unavailable at your library, and check out books in multiple languages wherever supported. Recently OverDrive launched Libby, essentially an updated version of OverDrive that lets you sample books, stream audiobooks, and sync your notes and bookmarks across your devices.