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Free E-book Downloads for Kids Stuck at Home

Free E-book Downloads for Kids Stuck at Home

During these days of social distancing and time spent sequestered away at home, many kids are increasingly getting restless as new options for entertainment are running thin. To make matters even more difficult, with tough economic times hitting many Mississippi families right now, purchasing “extras” to keep kids busy may not be an option. When mom or dad are experiencing a layoff or furlough, finding funds for even the smallest extras might prove impossible.

The good news is that an online ebook service — Project Gutenberg — can provide a bit of relief for both issues. Project Gutenberg is an online library offering free e-books that may be downloaded to an e-reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.) or read on a tablet or laptop. The library of completely free ebooks includes a whopping 60,000 titles. There is no membership required, and no extra fees. Visitors are free to download as many books as they want — there are no limits!

The only catch here is that contemporary books will be far and few between, unless they’ve been donated to Project Gutenberg by their authors or publishers; the vast majority of these free books are available at no charge because they are dated, and the U.S. copyright has expired. This means most of the Project Gutenberg books are classics. 

For adults, some of the great works of literature can be downloaded for free. Kids may search through the digital “bookshelves” that include classic fairy tales, full-length children’s literature, and even older picture books. Whether your child is interested in reading Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” or tackling the old European charm of the complete collection of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” you’ll find it on the digital shelves of Project Gutenberg. 

The best thing about this is there is absolutely no risk. Just download some books to your child’s e-reader. If after a few pages or a chapter or two he/she isn’t enjoying it, just delete it and move on to the next option. It’s a great way to encourage a child to explore classic literature without feeling pressure.

Find out more — and access the catalog of downloadable books — by visiting Gutenberg.org.

About The Author

Kara Bachman

Kara Bachman is a Managing Editor for Parents & Kids. She's also a book editor, former newspaper reporter, and is author of the humor essay collection, "Kissing the Crisis," which deals with the zanier aspects of parenting, relationships and turning 40. She's read her work on NPR radio and over 1,500 items have appeared in dozens of literary and commercial publications, including The Writer, The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Nola.com, Dogster, Mississippi Magazine, American Fitness and many more. She's a New Orleans native, but lived for over a dozen years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including during 2005 when her house was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. She's a mom to two teenagers.

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