Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and
pupil are located in the same individual.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Read, read, read!

How can you write a fantastic book if you haven't read a book in a while? You can’t. Reading is so essential to being a great writer!

To jump start your creativity, make a list of books in the genre you are interested in writing in, go to the library- and read them! Note things you liked about the books- style, dialogue, characters- as well as things you hate! If you find your mind wandering- stop and examine the page and note why- and how to avoid doing that to your readers yourself!

Read books completely unrelated to your genre- you never know when that knowledge will come in handy in your writing- it invariably finds a way to seep in! For example, a book on fashion could easily influence the design of your character’s costumes in your novel, a modern political autobiography could help you create realistic power struggles in a period piece, a book on gardening could help you form a realistic farmer character…

The one thing I struggle with is finding the time to read. Look at your day and see where you could fit in some reading, and find a way to do so. You can read on your laptop or kindle or even an old fashioned book ;) For me, reading during down time at work is the best- there are thousands of free books online!

I found this treasure trove of suggestions here - forum

50 Places for Free Books Online


Large collection, divided into categories and sub-categories for download in a variety of formats.

Alive and Free -

Links to free ebooks of living authors


A small, but unique, listing of free fiction ebooks, available for download, mostly in pdf.

American Mathematical Society

has a pretty complete listing of books involving mathematics.

Arthur's Classic Novels -

Over 4000 novels covering a great variety of topics, nicely separated into categories and "best" lists. Some very interesting entries here. Available for online viewing.

Ask Sam -

A small collection of classics, including Shakespeare, and legal, resource and government texts.


10 books for online reading and about 30 for download. All on astrology.


offers a few hundred books, searchable by author, for online viewing.

Baen Free Library -

A small library of downloadable science fiction novels in a variety of formats.

BaenCD -

A small collection of science fiction books from Baen's promotional CDs. They are downloadable in a variety of formats as well as viewable online.

Baldwin Online Children's Projects

520 classic children's books in a variety of genres for online viewing

Bartelby -

Harvard classics and encyclopedias. HTML only.

BBC (Dr. Who) for those who like Dr. Who,

this is a collection of 8 books for online reading or download in a choice of 3 formats

Berkely SunSite Classics -

A small collection of classics. HTML only.

Bibliomania -

Over 2,000 classic novels, study guides, biographies and more. HTML only.


14,571 books available for online viewing in their easy to view reader. Very nice find by fellow editor Rhiannon.

Book Glutton

is a collection of 1200+ books for online reading with the added feature of groups available for discussion of the readings. Nice combination of reading and socializing. Suggested by an anonymous poster.

BookRags -

Small collection of free with many paid. Hard to find the free ones. Available in Word or PDF.


is a small collection (100+) of classic works available for online viewing, with many also available in Adobe PDF and Microsoft Reader versions. Nicely set up.

BookYards -

16,000+ books, videos, educational material.

has over 15,000 books available for online viewing. Nicely divided into a good variety of categories.


40+ ebooks on Chess available for download (mostly in PDF)


Large collection, divided into categories, for online viewing. Nice collection.

Children's Books Online

is an excellent collection (600+) of illustrated antique children's books for viewing online. They are also available for download at a fee. This little gem was suggested by an anonymous poster.


contains the works of over a hundred authors (and short biography for each), with a varying number of works per author. Online viewing only.

Classic Book Library

is a small collection (100+) of classic works arranged by genre. Online viewing only.

Classic Book Shelf Electronic Library

offers the works of 50+ authors in varying amounts. Online viewing only.

Classic Literature Library

Decent size collection that has complete works of a small variety of authors and works of others and a nice children's section available for online viewing.

Classic Reader

offers thousands of free classic books for online viewing.

larger collection, subcategorized and available for download in pdf


3011 books by 752 authors available for online viewing. Complete works of several authors and some interesting categories.

DailyLit -

Read books online by daily email or RSS feed. Over 700 titles.

Diesel eBooks -

Offers 750+ ebooks formatted for Microsoft Reader and MobiPocket


over 200 books on Yoga, religion and philosophy available in pdf or HTML


Nice collection of horror novels available for online viewing. Separate section for Vampire novels.


The 5 book science fiction series of Earthbound available for download in lit .pdb .pdf .txt .rtf.

E-Books Directory

944 books in 344 categories available for download in varying formats.


Interesting collection of DRM free eBooks listed daily. Most are free.


Over 41,000 books available for download in pdf or text. Search by author or title

eLibrary -

Thousand of free eBooks

encyclopedia of the self

has a nice children's section, divided into nursery through eight grade as well as a nice classics section. Available for online viewing.

has a small collection of free ebooks for download, but a couple interesting entries. Registration required.

eServer -

Over 30,000 works covering a variety of interests


The University of Virginia online library has a large collection of works available for online viewing (some are available in Microsoft Reader). Even though a good number are limited to UVA students and staff, there is still a good amount of interesting material available to the general public. Suggested by poster mikedutch.

Federal Citizen Information Center

offers informational booklets on a great variety of subjects. Many are free and most of the paid ones are available for a free download. Suggested by an anonymous poster

FeedBooks -

Thousand of eBooks downloadable in a variety of formats


Links to author sites with free eBooks and promotional giveaways. Nice way to find eBooks that would not be listed at the larger sites.


eBooks is a interesting small collection of works of fiction (including some Beatrix Potter illustrated childrens books) as well as some books for writers and works philosphy and sociology. Online viewing only.


has 35 books available for free download in a great variety of formats. Most are the usual classics avialble elsewhere, but there are a couple of unusual ones and a few reference books that might be interesting.

Franklin -

Thousands of free titles available in text and HTML format


links to thousands of computer ebooks divided into many sub-categories

FreeBookSpot -

5,000 free eBooks downloadable in 96 categories available for download in a number of different formats. Suggested by devinathann.


1500+ books, in a wide variety of non-fiction categories, available for download. Registration required.


Over 650 works (in varying languages) dealing with medical matters. Available in pdf download.


A fairly large collection of non-fiction books availabe for download (mostly in pdf)

FreeComputer Books -

Free computer, math, technical books and lecture notes

Free eBooks -

Smaller collection divided into categories

Free eBooks Net -

Free books and resources for authors. Also magazines


Interesting collection on individualist feminism and libertarianism available for online viewing.

Free Online Novels

Interesting collection for online viewing. Several hundred novels separated into categories.


a bibliography of Australian writers who died before 1955, with links to a good number of them for download or viewing.


Collection of links for mostly science fiction, fantasy and horror novels and short stories, but also some other genres

FreeTechBooks -

Computer science and programming books, textbooks and lecture notes.

FullBooks -

Thousand of free full text books.

GetFreeEbooks -

Smaller collection of all free ebooks.

Globusz -

A place for new authors to post their work and for readers to check them out for free.

Google Book Search -

Good selection of free ebooks available in a variety of categories.

GrtBooks -

A large collection of great books and classics.

Gutenberg -

Over 25,000 books for download there and over 100,000 available through their affiliates.


Thousands of works in a great variety of categories available for download in pdf (zipped).


2100 classic horror novels available for download in pdf, plus links to horror novels at other sites.

Infomotions -

14,000 listings from full classic novels to Western philosophy. HTML only.

InternetArchive -

Over 500,000 texts available for download

Internet Sacred Text Archive

very interesting and large collection of books on religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric available for online viewing.

Islaam Pure & Clear

around 50 Islamic books for reading or download

Kellscraft Studio

Around 250 books available for online viewing. Kellscraft lists out of print, public domain novels, most published prior to 1923. Searchable by title, author and topic.


A small collection of childrens books, available for online viewing, from the Internet Public Library.


Nice collection of children's books available for online viewing.


Although mostly know for its excellent collection of audio books. A poster named Les has pointed out that they also have links to online viewing sites for all of its large collection of audio books and also download links.

LilFingers Storybooks

Small collection of books for very young children for reading and being read to.

Linux Online

Around 25 linux, open source and programing, books for download or reading

has a collection of classics, arranged by author, for online viewing.


has over 1900 full books and over 3000 short stories and poems by over 250 authors available for online reading. Searchable by author and they have a few unusual ones.


825 works from 71 authors available for online viewing.


has a large and very nice collection of children's books for online viewing.

ManyBooks -

22,000 books available for download in a variety of formats

Mary Jo's E Texts -

Small collection has not been updated in a while, but links still work. Palm.

Master Texts

is a collection of 30+ authors for online viewing.

MedLine Plus

is a great, trustworthy site for general health information, including tutorials, clinical trial updates and the latest news in medicine. You can also find plenty of books, including some intended for children.

MemoWare -

Free books for PDA

Mises Institute

Several hundred books, mostly on economics (and from a libertarian point of view) available for download as pdf. Some unique entries here. Suggested by poster, Bill Starr.

MIT Internet Classics Archive -

Over 400 works of clasical literature available for download.

MobileRead -

Forum listing thousands of free ebooks.


over 10,000 works, in a variety of categories, available for download in MOBI.


Small collection of scientific and educational books available for download in pdf

Munsey's -

Over 18,000 ebooks available in a variety of formats

NetLibrary -

Small selection of free. But annual membership is only $8.95 for over 500,000 works.


large collection of links to other sites for online viewing or download. Nicely categorized.

Online Books Page from the University of Pennsylvania

is a listing of over 30,000 free books on the web. Mostly this references to other sites, but they do have the Gutenberg listings available for download as well as some interesting special exhibits.

OnlineComputerBooks -

Good selection of free computer books.

OnlineFreeeBooks -

links to various ebooks (mostly pdf) in 9 categories

Online Library of Liberty

hosts over an interesting collection of over 1,100 books available for online viewing and also for download.


has a small collection for online viewing, but a few unique entries worth a look.

OxfordTextArchive -

Over 2,000 classical texts downloadable as ASCII or DOC


a few hundred works available for online viewing.

PDFBooks -

4,700 pdf ebooks


Small collection of children's books and two rare books on Syriac grammar and Arabic-Enclish lexicon. Available for download in PDF or DJVU.

PerseusDigitalLibrary -

A large collection of classical texts broken down to time period written.

PlaneteBook -

Free classical literature

PlanetPDFeBooks -

Small collection of classical works.

Project Gutenberg Australia

over 1600 novels and an assortment of other works available in varying ways, including test, pdf and online viewing


around 150 books in varying categories for online viewing.


Has some unique public domain novels among its classic collection of around 100 books. Also has a large selection of writings submitted by authors which are free and legal to download, but not to distribute. All are available for online viewing and download in several formats.

PubMed Bookshelf

is an engine which lets you search for books containing keywords of your choice and then browse them.

PubMed Central

This search engine covers all the open-access articles [rather than books] available on PubMed, the National Library of Medicine's main scientific portal (where you can also find abstracts from many restricted-access articles).

Questia Online Library

offers over 5,000 classic and rare works for free online viewing


hosts over 6,000 free titles available in Palm Database (.pdb) format.


has a nice collection of classics available for online viewing.

ReadEasily -

Small collection of works that has option for larger print. HTML only.

ReadPrint -

Thousands of books, poems and short stories.


short fiction, poetry and other writings especially for and about lesbians.

RealTime -

Free media for IT professionals


Small collection of children's books available for online viewing (or read to you). Featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog.

SnipFiles -

Small collection of free ebooks and software.

Starry FreeOnlineNovels

small collection, but some interesting entries, available for online viewing.


Links to 345 online programing books


A good amount of each of the few mystery authors listed are available for online viewing or download


is a small (150) collection of "How To" books on unusual topics available for online viewing or download as pdf. Suggested by an anonymous poster.

Web Literature

has 6500+ works of over 350 authors available for online viewing. A nice feature is that they try to display the full works of the listed authors

WitGuides -

Small collection of free ebooks in a variety of categories.


Nice collection of over 10,000 books available for online viewing. There are some unusual entries here, but hard to find unless looking for specific title or author.


- Good size collection of novels and also comic books.


Useful Websites

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam (funny!)

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