Kindle, Free Google Books Guide

This Kindle Google Free Books Guide will help you convert Free Google Books (both ePub and PDF formats) and read them on your Kindle (1, 2 or DX).

IMPORTANT: Also want new free kindle books? SUBSCRIBE NOW! Free Kindle Book Emails with 100+ free kindle books every day. Hand-curated.

  1. Free Google Books are available in PDF and ePub. You can convert either for Kindle use.
  2. Advertising it as a major Sony advantage is disingenuous since they can be read on the Kindle. Rather easily.

The big thing to note is that free books in the Kindle StoreGutenberg and ManyBooks include some of the best public domain books already.
Plus they’re in Kindle format to begin with (or MobiPocket, which is compatible). Start with those three sites, and then add on from Google Books.

Find Free ePub Google Books and Convert to Kindle Format

Here’s the video walk-through –

And the Google books in epub to kindle format conversion details -

Part 1: The smart way to find free ePub books from Google.

There’s a possibility you run into problems activating the Sony eReader software even though I don’t recall having to enter any secret codes to get it to work. Let me know if you do.

  1. Download the eBook Library Software from Sony.
  2. Register for an account at the Sony eBook Store.
  3. Fire up the software and select eBook Store on the left hand side.
  4. Then click on the Google Books ad on the right column on the main page of the Ebook Store.
  5. Search through and find the book you want.
  6. Click on it to go to the book page, and then select ‘Download Now: Free’.
  7. You’ll get a notification saying the book is downloaded and you’re ready to go to Part 2.

This book will get saved (in Windows) in your Documents > My Books >  eBook Library Folder. It will be in ePub Format. Now comes the conversion to Kindle format.

Part 2: Converting ePub books to Kindle format using Calibre.

  1. Download Calibre.
  2. Start It and choose Amazon, then either Kindle 1/2 or Kindle DX as your device.
  3. At the top click on ‘Add Books’ and then navigate to Documents > My Books > eBook Library.
  4. Select the ebook(s) downloaded from Sony.
  5. The ebooks get added.
  6. Now Right Click and select Convert eBooks and ‘Convert Individually’ or ‘Bulk Convert’.
  7. If you like, change the metadata etc.
  8. Make sure the output format in the top right hand corner is ‘Mobi’ – that’s a kindle compatible format.
  9. Select OK at the bottom right. Then you’ll see the hourglass in the bottom right of the Calibre main screen rotate.
  10. Wait till it stops. Now, right click on the ebook you converted, Selected ‘Send To Device’ and then ‘Send to Main Memory’.
  11. Wait a minute or so. Then disconnect your Kindle and the converted Google Book should show up on the Home Page.
  12. You’re set.

Voila! Amillion Google Free Books on your Kindle.

Find Free PDF Google Books and convert for Kindle

Here’s the video walkthrough –

And google free pdf books to kindle conversion details -

Part 1: Find Free Google Books in PDF Format

The slightly annoying way to find free books -

  1. Go to this ‘Google Books Advanced Search’ Page.
  2. Select  ‘Full View Only’ out of the Search options, and ‘Books’ for content.
  3. Select 100 results in the drop down.
  4. Press the ‘Google Search’ button to get a list of books.
  5. When possible, choose the books that show a published date before 1923 (the current copyright date for passing into public domain).
  6. If the book is downloadable there will be a little download link on the top right, with a down arrow.
  7. Select ePub or PDFand save the book – ideally in your Documents > My Books folder.

Note: Trying to limit search to just books published before 1923 doesn’t really work. If you can get it to work, let us know.

Part 2: Convert Free Google Books in PDF Format into Kindle Format.

If you downloaded the ePub version look at Part 2 above (of converting epub files) to convert using Calibre.

If you downloaded the PDF version, you can still use Calibre to convert into kindle format – However, it doesn’t always work due to some image related issues.

Also, the Kindle DX will NOT read some PDF free google books correctly (again, the same image related issues).

Which brings us to another conversion option.

An alternative way that works (supposedly always) to view PDF versions of Free Google Books (as found in June by Elaine) is -

I’ve learned the fix!! I called Kindle support (which was awesome btw) and they suggested emailing the google book PDF file to my free.kindle.com email address. I did and minutes later received back a file, which I copied via USB and the images display PERFECTLY

Note: Paid conversions will work for Kindle 1 and 2. They will NOT work for Kindle DX. The free.kindle.com is the only way to get PDFs converted for your Kindle DX.

Amazon converts Free Google Books into PDF format for you correctly.

This guide should have now given you access to over a million free google books on your Kindle. Questions and Comments are welcome.

39 Responses

  1. [...] A million free Google Books on your Kindle – You can check the guide (including video walkthroughs) to getting google free books on your kindle. [...]

  2. [...] going after orphan works and anything that’s not strictly under copyright. Check out this post from Kindle Review to get you [...]

  3. Dear Kinddle
    Can I get a list of kindle medical books.
    Best regards

  4. Dr. Ameer please try kindle customer support OR search in the kindle store.

  5. [...] If you do want another source of free books then check out this guide to convert Google books to read on your Kindle. There is also a video that shows you how to do this: Free Google Books Guide [...]

  6. Thanks for the guide it is very well written. However, when I try to access the google books from sony’s ebook library, it give me this error “The requested content is currently unavailable. (Note: Some content may not be available in all areas)”

    • Bo, what country are you in?
      also could you let me know what book you were trying to download.
      The message seems to indicate that Sony might have country based restrictions. In canada they disallow certain paid books. Perhaps they have restrictions on downloading books in certain countries (especially likely in countries where they don’t sell the Sony Reader).

      let me know your country and the book and i’ll check it out.

  7. I am in USA. Studying at Georgia Tech,Atlanta, Georgia. I just want to try out on your guide. I did try few book, none of them seems to work for me. thanks for the fast reply.

    • let me know one title that didn’t work for you. Eveyr book I’ve tried has worked – you could try wind in the willows or pretty much any book on the first page (lord jim, twain, etc.) and they ought to work.

      have you registered and logged in?

      • i tried the book you had in the video, Importance of being earnest by Oscar Wilde. I try the books from first page beside the one I mention, none of them seems work for me.

      • let’s switch over to email. i’ll email you, and once we have found a solution we can add it on here.

      • ok, thanks a lot for helping me

      • Bo, am getting the same problem – even on books that were working earlier (well, all of them were working earlier).
        Seems there’s a problem with free google books at the sony store at the moment. could you please use manybooks.net or gutenberg.org for now.

  8. [...] Top Posts Free Kindle Books, Amazon Kindle Book, Amazon.com BooksKindle PDF conversion – View PDF on Kindle42 Free Books in the Kindle StoreKindle Vs Sony Reader Touch EditionKindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle HacksKindle 2 PDF FAQ + Conversion VideoKindle, Free Google Books Guide [...]

  9. [...] As a publisher itself, Barnes & Noble will reportedly sell its own titles at a deep discount over the print price. The eReader will also have access to at least some of the titles in the Google Books project, which again positions this device favorably against the Kindle (the latter can access Google Books titles but currently only after a conversion step). [...]

  10. [...] Kindle, Free Google Books Guide « Kindle Review – Kindle 2 Review, Books [...]

  11. [...] You can also convert all of the million free Google books for your Kindle.  [...]

  12. [...] you can convert Google Free Books for your Kindle. Gutenberg usually has better formatting so check it out [...]

  13. The above instructions worked like a dream on my Kindle 2 with a free Google book

  14. An excellent guide. Worked first go, so now I have access to Google books in my Kindle. Thanks! (from Australia)

  15. If you want to convert Google epubs to Kindle, check out http://www.retroread.com — allows you to forward downloaded epubs directly to your Kindle, with on the fly conversion.

  16. Is this program legall? My parents won’t let me use it unless it’s legal.

    • Legal? It would only be illegal if you used it to remove DRM. Google Books have no DRM. It’s OK to convert them OR you can download the PDF version and read that straight.

      If you want things simpler just use Gutenberg.org or Internet Archive. Both have Kindle format books.

      • I’ve tried using the Reader Library/Calibre option to convert free books to my Kindle. However, when I have tried to do it, it says that it cannot convert because the book is locked by DRM. Is there a way around this? I would use Gutenburg.org or Internet Archive but the books I’m looking for are not out of copyright yet.

      • Kelly, I can’t help you with this. I really can’t. Kindle doesn’t read DRM locked books from other stores unless you break the DRM which is illegal as far as I know.

  17. Great guide. I’m actually just researching buying a kindle and how I’d go about sticking some google ebooks on. Just one (probably stupid) question though, have you tried this with kindle 3 yet?

  18. Thank you for the great article, it was what I wanted to do. I am very happy with my Kindle…

  19. [...] Google books for your Kindle How to convert free eBub and PDF format for your Kindle http://ireaderreview.com/2009/08/29/kindle-free-google-books-guide/ [...]

  20. Thanks for the review, but you can skip Part 1 altogether. In the Google eBookstore click on a free title. To the right of the screen there will be the “Read Now” button and a link below “READ ON YOUR DEVICE.” Select the “READ ON YOUR DEVICE” Link and download the epub or pdf file directly.
    Then continue with Part 2 (Calibre).

  21. when i went to the sony site i downloaded about 100 books for my kindle. i went to calibre and did what your directions told me to and ever books says this book is locked by DRM. how would i go about still being able to read a book on my kindle?

    • Nicole, there must have been some change since the article was written. You should be able to find the same books free at Gutenberg.org and at ManyBooks.net. If you can’t find the same books there please let me know.

      • i dont think those books are on those sites because i went there prior to reading this page. they are a lot of romance and short stories.
        Also, this was a year ago. Google might have changed things.

        You should be able to find most of those books free in the Kindle Store. Else you can read them on another device using a reading app from Sony.

      • Well, if they are free books offered by Sony with DRM then they won’t work on Kindle. Only Google Books that are ePub and PDF without DRM will work.

  22. Hi..

    Can Kindle Fire be able to use in S’pore?

    • Yes. However, a lot of the things like Amazon MP3 store and video streaming service etc. won’t work as Amazon only has US rights. So it would be limited.

  23. So what is yr take? Shld I buy? What about apps in the Kindle Fire? Is it limited to USA only?

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