Reading books is one of the most fun and effective ways to help improve your English language skills. It can help to expand your vocabulary and expose you to different sentence structure. And, of course, you get to enjoy some wonderful stories.
Although e-readers and tablets have not replaced physical books as many predicted, they do make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can simply click on it to read a definition.
Listening to and reading text at the same time is another excellent way to enhance the learning process, while audio books are a great way to improve your listening skills if you are on the move.
Buying physical books, e-books, and audio books can be expensive though. Fortunately, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can get them for free (legally!). Here are just a few.
900 Free Audio Books — Download hundreds of free audio books, mostly classics, to your MP3 player or computer.
BookBub — A selection of the best free Kindle books you can read your Kindle e-reader, or on any of Amazon's free Kindle reading apps.
DailyLit —Read literary classics and great new fiction in short installments delivered by email.
Dramas from BBC Learning English — Downloadable audio versions of classic works with PDF transcripts.
Gif Lingua — Over 3,000 short 'books' illustrated with GIFs. Each book has an audio version and comes with a quiz and video.
Kobo — Free ebooks (but you'll have to create a free account to download them).
LearnEnglish Teens (British Council) —Watch animated videos of five of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Also read short stories and poems written by British authors.
Macmillan Readers — Free PDF sample chapters at various levels from Macmillan's graded readers.
Project Gutenberg — Over 53,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free Kindle books. Download them or read them online.
Read Print — Thousands of free online books.
Shakespeare Speaks — 20-part series about the life, times and language of William Shakespeare. From BBC Learning English.
Sherlock Holmes — Download all the original Sherlock Holmes stories for free in multiple formats.
Stories and Poems (British Council) — PDF texts with reading activities. Some stories also have audio.
The Landlady (British Council) — A creepy Roald Dahl short story with audio and text versions along with many language activities.
The Poetry Archive — Online collection of recordings of poets reading their own work.
10 Great and Easy English Books You Must Read (FluentU)
9 great novels to help improve your English (Pearson English Blog)
9 Classic Novels for Students of English as a Foreign Language (Oxford Royale Academy)