Clean Reads discussion

Anyone use an online library?

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message 1: by benebean (new)

benebean | 13 comments hmm, I think the Netlibrary collections can differ from library to library depending on that region's contract. In general, you might have more luck looking for clean reads under the classics and young adult categories. I think most online collections have a lot of classics so you can usually find stuff by Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte and the like. My Netlibrary collection also has an "inspirational fiction" section-- and presumably those are clean reads. The only one I've read was At Home in Mitford which was a decent book and clean.

Some libraries also have contracts with Overdrive that provides a site where patrons can download ebooks and audiobooks. Around here each county has it's own overdrive page, so there isn't a masterlink I could provide. But I would assume if your library does have an overdrive collection that you would find a link to it on your library system's page. There are several free online ebook/audiobook libraries that are run by volunteers and try to provide books in the public domain. The Librivox project has volunteers tape readings of books that're free to download. The Gutenberg project tries to provide scans of books that can be downloaded. They each have various links, but here're a couple.

Kindle often lets you download free books that're in the public domain as well as google books and various other ebook vendors.

ok that was probably way more information than you wanted. But I hope some of it will be useful. :)

message 2: by Becca (new)

Becca | 24 comments If you want a really great selection of audio and ebooks for download from a library, you may have to pay a membership fee if you're out of the area. I know the Philly Free library has an amazing and HUGE selection of both audio and ebooks from Overdrive and anyone in the country can join, but you have to pay a $20ish membership fee. Completely worth it in my opinion.

message 3: by Mark (last edited Feb 28, 2011 08:31PM) (new)

Mark (nizhmuth) Becca, how long does a membership there last before you have to renew it? Also, what format are the audiobooks in? Are they MP3s or some DRM format? If they are a DRM format, do they have a program that works with Linux that can properly authorize and transfer them to your MP3 player?

What formats are the ebooks in?

message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark (nizhmuth) I've used Netlibrary through the Provo, Utah library. I do agree that Netlibrary probably offers a different selection for each library. I'm guessing libraries have to pay money in order to offer most of the books they do. doesn't just have scans, though. It has txt, html, epub and all kinds of formats (sometimes even audiobooks, and not always the same ones that are on LibriVox, although LibriVox is really the place to go if you want audio), containing the full texts of the books (so, they're not exactly scanned images—although I'm sure many of the texts came from some image-text-recognition software, but they're pretty good about being free of galling errors and such). is another site that offers free e-books. Some of the ones there aren't on Gutenberg. I check that site and sometimes a few others if I can't find them on Gutenberg.

Now, if you want scanned PDF ebooks, you should check out There are loads there that you might not find anywhere else. Plus, you can often find previews of newer books that are still under copyright (they usually—not always—have some pages missing here and there, though, for the sake of it being a preview).

Also, has a book search (for scanned image books) that is comparable to Google Books. It's definitely worth checking out. When you search, select Texts in the drop-down box to get the book search I mean. I just use a Firefox search plugin for it, though (found it on—very useful site if you use the Firefox search bar).

Google Books and are great for finding sources for research. I sometimes use them a lot for hymnology since they have more public domain hymnals than you can shake a stick at.

message 5: by Becca (new)

Becca | 24 comments Membership lasts a year, they have all sorts of formats. I haven't explored the extent of it yet because my local library system has been awesome so far and free. You can go to their site for more information.

Also if you're searching for specific titles, authors, etc. There is this great site that lets you know the libraries nearest you that has it and what format it's in. It's really helpful when you're searching for specifics. Check it out:

And if you're looking to buy rather than borrow books, there's a great site that has all the book sales going on and you can search your local area.

message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark (nizhmuth) Thanks for information!

I've actually used before, but I had no idea it was used for that purpose. Good to know. :)

I'll have to check out the sites.

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