Finding Free eBooks

What's an "eBook"? An eBook is an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read on a computer or on an eBook reader. (Sometimes eBooks are called digital or digitized books.) You read these books -- they are not the same thing as an "audio book" that you listen to.

How you read the book varies according to the provider:

  • "Read only": You can open the eBook and read it in a web browser, but you can't download it to your computer;
  • "Downloadable": The eBook can be downloaded and read on your computer or eReader device. If it is a loaned eBook, you will only have access to it for the length of your loan period.

eBooks from the Library

The North Carolina Digital Library supplies both eBooks and eAudiobooks to check out and use. Using the Digital Library requires a current library card (log in with the bar code number on the back). eBooks from NC Digital Library are protected using Adobe® Digital Rights Management (DRM).

The NCDL now offers free apps for smart devices:

NC Live is the state's electronic library, created to give you access to online resources including eBooks. To log in to NC Live at home, choose "Lincoln County Public Library" from the drop-down menu and type in your library card number.

In NC Live you will find collections of eBooks by clicking the eBook link under Browse. Some of these are "read only".

  • EBSCOhost eBook Collection -- 24,467 titles in literature, technology, career and self help, how-to books and more. For example, Be Prepared!: Getting Ready for Job Interviews. You can search by author, title, subject or keyword just as you do in the library's catalog.
  • Home Grown eBook Collection -- A collection of more than 3,200 eBooks from a variety of North Carolina publishers. Includes popular and scholarly nonfiction, novels by well-known NC authors, and award-winning short fiction and poetry.
  • Open Library -- A downloadable eBook collection with books contributed from libraries across the country. Create a username and password to borrow up to five books at a time.
  • ABC-CLIO eBook Collection -- 200 history and literature titles. For example, Cooking in Ancient Civilizations and also a large collection of American slave narratives.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library -- 30 encyclopedias and reference books. For example, UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography (10 vols.).

eBooks for Children

The NCkids Digital Library is another North Carolina Digital Library that is geared specifically for children. These eBooks and audiobooks will always be available for download. It makes sure children will always have a book to read with no wait times.

More Free eBooks

  • Open Library is a project to make a web page for every book ever published. You can search for eBooks only or browse what's available. Open Library is part of the Internet Archive. Use the link below to go directly to their digital collections.
  • Internet Archive. A non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 150 billion archived web pages.
  • Project Gutenberg. More than 33,000 titles, pre-1923. Find the classics.
  • Google Books. Once you have conducted a search, limit your results to "Free Only".
  • Documenting the American South has early North Carolina history and literature. "Read-only."
  • Kobo, a maker of eBook readers and software, provides several hundred free titles.
  • Baen Free Library. Baen Books, a publisher of science fiction & fantasy novels, has available — for free — a number of its titles in electronic format.