21 classic books you can read for free online

The classics. They are the bane of the existence of many high school students. And yet, we all have one or two (or 20) classic books that we wanted to read… eventually. But when you walk into the bookstore, you are instantly distracted by all those glitters New books, and it looks like the emerging YA authors probably need your money a lot more than Charles Dickens right now. Lucky for you, however, there is that secret, hidden realm known as the “public domain,” where you can read all the classic books your literary heart desires. Right now. Free.

Sites like Gutenberg Project have collected tens of thousands of public domain books for your reading pleasure. You can download eBooks for your phone or Kindle, or just read them right in your browser. So if you’re looking for a free way to read more contemporary works, let me direct you to your friendly local library. But if you’re looking to read up on the classics, at present, from the comfort of your own sci-fi phone, laptop, or eye implant, here’s a whole host of amazing books you can find and legally read for free in the wilderness of the web:


Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”

Pride and Prejudice is the rom-com to end all rom-coms. Just try not to fall in love with the awkward, wealthy, and emotionally repressed Mr. Darcy as he unwittingly ruins Lizzie’s life (and ultimately, awkwardly, sweeps her away).


“The Count of Monte-Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas

The ultimate story of revenge still holds over 170 years later. In the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, a man is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and decides to deal with it by becoming fabulously rich and then completely destroy the men who imprisoned him.


Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”

Every sexy vampire in modern media owes a huge debt to the original Earl himself. Bram stoker’s Dracula is rightly known as one of the greatest horror stories of all time, featuring bloodsuckers, shapeshifting, and a very charismatic Transylvanian.


“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

The most trippy of classic children’s books is still a great read for adults. Join little Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole and deals with all kinds of weird nonsense while continually eating unidentified items and changing her size all over the place.


“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is everyone’s favorite irritating sleuth, along with his long-suffering sidekick, Dr. John Watson. All about their adventures in this collection of mysteries, and put your own powers of deduction to the test.


“Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

You probably know the Frankenstein monster as that big flathead guy with the neck bolts. But if you read the original novel by Mary Shelley, you might find that the real Frankenstein’s Monster is a sensitive giant baby-man who speaks French and just wants to be loved.


‘Incidents in the Life of a Slave, Written by Herself’ by Harriet A. Jacobs

Incidents in the life of a slave are the collected memories of Harriet Jacobs, who survived slavery in North Carolina and spent seven years hidden in a small room resembling a coffin. She eventually escaped to find her children in the North and wrote this beautifully nuanced account of her life and her perilous path to freedom.


‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’ by William Shakespeare

Listen, you don’t really have to read all by Shakespeare. But you have the possibility, with this free edition of The Complete Works. Here you’ll find all of Shakespeare’s latest plays, from classic tragedies to forgotten comedies to very, very long stories.


“Jane Eyre: an autobiography” by Charlotte Brontë

Jane eyre is a great book to read if you’re planning on getting married to your boss, but haven’t checked out his attic for ex-wives in hiding yet. It’s a classic coming-of-age tale, Gothic romance, and a surprisingly modern take on being an independent young lady.


“The Portrait of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

Dorian Gray’s photo teaches us all a valuable lesson: Hot guys are evil and they shouldn’t be trusted. Of course, there is a little more than that, but you will just have to read it for yourself and find out.


“Anne the House of Green Gables” by LM Montgomery

One of the two best brave red-haired orphans named Anne, Anne of the Green Gables is that rare and charming character who never seems dated. She is always there to cheer you up with her various snatches and fantasies and her bucolic life in the Canadian countryside.


“Ulysses” by James Joyce

Odysseus is known to be long and confusing, but now you can test that reputation for yourself. Of course, Joyce’s writing style is a bit unconventional, but if you manage to get past the forty pages of sentences, you might find that Odysseus is one of the strangest, funniest, and most beautifully human books around.


“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

Four sisters grow up together in Louisa May Alcott’s home Little woman, deal with minor lawsuits and devastating tragedies as they arise. It’s a coming of age story that brings fraternity to the fore, in all its joy and frustration.


‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’ by Frederick Douglass


“Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo revolutionized the idea of ​​writing fiction for social change with his mind-boggling (and very long) novel, Wretched. Hugo tells the stories of various French citizens, all revolving around Jean Valjean, a man who was jailed for nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread.


“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens

One of Dickens’ most beloved works of fiction, High expectations has lots of Dickensian orphans, setbacks of fortune, poverty, crime and a terrifying girl in a rotten wedding dress.


“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne

Let’s make this clear once and for all: the twenty thousand leagues refer to distance traveled under water, not depth. They are not twenty thousand leagues deep. It is also one of the greatest hard science fiction novels never wrote.


‘Poems of Emily Dickinson’ by Emily Dickinson

Join your new best friend Emily Dickinson for a lonely trip to nature, where you could rub shoulders with all kinds of flowers and also possibly death itself.


‘Souls of black folk’ by WEB Du Bois

If you’ve heard the phrase “double consciousness” recently, it’s a reference to Souls of black folk by WEB Du Bois. One of the founding works in the history of sociology, this book brings together some of the founding essays on race in America that are still too relevant today.


‘The Works of Edgar Allan Poe – Edgar Allan Poe Volume 1’ by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s works can be found online in several disturbing volumes, with all of its chilling poetry, murderous tales and everything in between.


“Awakening and some short stories” by Kate Chopin

Awakening is often considered one of the first modern feminist novels. Chopin’s heroine gradually “wakes up” to the fact that she, and most women, are systematically oppressed by society. So Edna decides to take charge of her life, no matter what her husband or anyone else wants for her.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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