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The 20 Alternatives to BookFi

BookFi, a non-profit online library, gained popularity for its vast collection of over 2,230,000 free books. Founded in 2008 with a mission to provide free access to knowledge, the popularity of BookFi quickly skyrocketed. It became one of the most valuable resources in the open-access movement. But unfortunately, almost 10 years later (in 2017) the library faced legal challenges, which lead to its shutdown.

Although everybody is still sad about the closure of BookFi, there are still lots of similar websites where you can access free and legal content. In this post, we will explore a curated list of 20 BookFi alternatives. Each of these alternatives offers a similarly wide range of literary treasures to discover and enjoy, that BookFi offered.

BookFI Alternatives

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What is BookFi?

BookFi was a non-profit online library with over 2,230,000 books. It was free to use and supported multiple languages. The library had a wide range of genres, authors, and literary works, including timeless classics, contemporary works, magazines, and others. BookFi was a great resource for readers of all interests and preferences.

BookFi
Photo by BookFi

a. BookFi’s Background. 

BookFi was founded in 2008 by a group of enthusiasts who were passionate about literature and technology. Its goal was to create a free and open online library. A library that would make it possible for anyone to access the world’s great books. They were inspired by the success of other free online libraries, such as Project Gutenberg and Open Library. 

BookFi started out as a small project, but it quickly grew in popularity. At its peak, it had over 2,230,000 books in its collection and was visited by millions of users every month. Unfortunately, BookFi had to close its doors.

Interesting Fact! BookFi has been praised for its commitment to free access to knowledge. The library has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. BookFi has also been awarded several prizes, including the Open Access Award from the Open Knowledge Foundation.

b. What happened to BookFi? Why was it shut down? 

BookFi was shut down in 2017 after being sued by Elsevier, a major academic publisher. Elsevier alleged that BookFi was infringing on its copyrights by providing unauthorized access to its academic journals. The NYC district court granted Elsevier’s request for a preliminary injunction, which forced BookFi to shut down its website. The court also ordered other websites like Sci-Hub and Libgen to stop providing access to copyrighted content. Additionally, the domain name registries were directed to suspend BookFi’s domain names.  Despite recognizing the importance of public access to scientific research, the court emphasized that offering copyrighted content for free without permission is unacceptable.

The shutdown of BookFi was a major blow to the open-access movement. However, the shutdown also served as a warning to other websites which hosted copyrighted content including academic publications without permission.

It is unclear whether BookFi will ever be able to return. The website’s operators have not said whether they plan to challenge the court’s decision. 

The Best 20 BookFi Alternatives and Similar Websites.

There are many reasons to look for and find BookFi alternatives. First, there are a number of other websites that offer similar services (access to a large library). Second, the shutdown of BookFi highlighted the importance of finding legal ways to access copyrighted content. And finally, the shutdown of BookFi also showed that even popular websites are not immune to legal challenges. This means that users should always be prepared to find alternative websites if their favorite website is shut down.

The alternatives to BookFi can be categorized as follows: 

Note for pros: The 20 top BookFi alternatives listed in this article, are mostly direct link websites and search engines, but to get more, you can also use a seedbox. With a seedbox, you can also download from these websites and from download alternatives like torrents or Usenet. Seedboxes are servers that are specifically designed for downloading and uploading files. They have a lot of storage space and bandwidth. Additionally, with a seedbox, you can download books with full privacy and security.

Open Libraries to Download Free Books (The Best Alternatives to BookFi).

These BookFi alternative websites offer access to a wide range of free e-books and audiobooks within the public domain. These kinds of sites make it an excellent resource for readers seeking free access to timeless gold-worthy content.

1. Gutenberg

Gutenberg - BookFI Alternatives
01 – Gutenberg homepage photo – By Gutenberg

Gutenberg is the world’s oldest digital library founded in 1971. It is a volunteer-driven digital library, that houses a vast collection of over 60,000 free e-books and audiobooks in the public domain. With the Gutenberg Library, you’ll Immerse yourself in timeless literary gems from legendary authors like Jane Austen, Mark Twain, and William Shakespeare in a few clicks. Project Gutenberg stands as one of the oldest and largest digital libraries globally, offering literary enthusiasts access to literary history in formats like PDF, EPUB, and MOBI. The library is a non-profit organization. It is funded by donations from users and grants from organizations like the National Endowment for the Humanities.

2. Open Library (by Internet Archive).

Open Library- BookFI Alternatives
02 – Open Library Homepage photo by Open Library

Open Library is a community-driven project (by the Internet Archive), which is a perfect heaven for book lovers. Its collection includes over 22 million books, and it is growing by over 100,000 books every month. Whether you’re seeking novels, textbooks, or non-fiction works, this online library probably has what you looking for. The platform allows users to freely access and download content in various formats without any charges. Open Library goes the extra mile by providing out-of-copyright books for download and even allows the borrowing of in-copyright titles. The library also offers a variety of ways to access its books, including through its website, through its mobile app, and through its API.

3. Internet Archive.

Internet Archive - alternative to BookFi
03 – Internet Archive’s homepage photo by Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a prominent American digital library founded in 1996. The archive is a centralized organization aiming to collect and preserve digital content (unlike the Open Library which is a community-driven project). Internet Archive’s mission is to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” The archive offers free access to an extensive collection of digitized materials, including websites, software applications, music, audiovisual content, and print materials. With over 36 million print materials in its possession, its book collection stands as one of the world’s largest book digitization efforts. The project operates numerous scanning centers worldwide, digitizing approximately 1,000 books a day and preserving a vast array of literary works for public access and download.

Note: While Open Library (an Internet Archive project) is a catalog of books, the Internet Archive is a repository of digitized books. Open Library provides information about books, while the Internet Archive provides actual copies of books that can be read online or downloaded.

4. Manybooks.net

alternative to BookFi - Manybooks
04 – Manybooks homepage photo by ManyBooks.net

ManyBooks.net is a widely popular book website and a perfect alternative to BookFi. It offers an extensive collection of free e-books and audiobooks to readers worldwide. With an impressive selection of over 35,000 titles available in multiple languages (and growing every day), it caters to a diverse range of reading preferences. The platform not only allows users to download e-books but also provides the option to read or listen to books directly online. ManyBooks operates with a strong commitment to protecting author rights and intellectual property. They ensure that all books offered are either in the public domain or have explicit permission from the authors. Established in 2004 with a mission to grant free access to digital books, ManyBooks has evolved into a thriving platform. On this platform, self-publishing authors can share their work with the community. 

5. LibriVox.

LibriVox - BookFI Alternatives
05 – LibriVox homepage photo by LibriVox

LibriVox is a non-profit and ad-free initiative dedicated to providing free audiobooks of public domain books. With an extensive collection of over 20,000 free audiobooks (and continuously growing), it operates through a global community of volunteers who generously record book chapters and share audio files online. These audiobooks can be accessed for free over the Internet from computers, iPods, or other mobile devices. Also, users have the option to burn them onto CDs. LibriVox maintains an inclusive and open structure, welcoming volunteers from diverse linguistic backgrounds and accents to participate in recording audiobooks. The project sources its texts from Project Gutenberg and utilizes the Internet Archive to host the audio files, making it a valuable resource for audiobook enthusiasts worldwide.

6. Wikibooks.

Wikibooks - alternative to BookFi
06 – Wikibooks homepage photo by Wikibooks

Wikibooks is a Wikimedia Foundation project that provides open-content textbooks and other educational resources. It was founded in 2003 by Karl Wick and the Wikimedia community. As of today (August 2023) it is one of the largest Wikimedia projects, with over 150,000 books in over 300 languages. All the books on Wikibooks are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which means that they can be freely reused and shared. The platform is designed for use in traditional classrooms, accredited institutions, homeschooling environments, and self-learning. It is not intended for hosting personal webpages, propaganda, advertising, or original fiction and literature. It is also not a news service, encyclopedia, or dictionary, and it is not used for developing new Wikimedia projects.

7. E-Books Directory.  

alternative to BookFi - free ebooks
07 – E-books Directory homepage photo by E-Books Directory

Established in 2008, E-Books Directory is a valuable web resource that offers an extensive selection of freely downloadable e-books, technical papers, user-contributed content, articles, and more. It aims to serve as a valuable source for students, researchers, and e-book enthusiasts. Although the website and its access to the books is free, it is maintained through ads and donations. The website is committed to upholding copyright laws and avoids linking to sites that distribute copyrighted material. Over the years, E-Books Directory has undergone several updates and improvements, including a mobile-friendly design, a site map for easy navigation, and an RSS button for convenient content updates. For those looking for technology e-books, the platform covers various categories, including programming languages like C++ and Java, and more. The website continuously expands its library to provide users with an ever-growing collection of freely accessible e-books.

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———

Alternatives to BookFi: Commercial and Free Books.

These are great BookFi alternatives because they provide a mix of both free and paid e-books. Through these platforms, you can access a vast collection of titles, with options for both free and VIP memberships. VIP (or paid options) usually offer unlimited downloads and access to multiple formats.

8. Free E-books.net

Free eBooks - BookFI Alternatives
08 – Free e-books homepage photo by Free E-books.net

Free E-books.net is an online platform that offers access to a vast collection of e-books. Their e-books include various categories, including Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic, Textbooks, Classics, and more. The digital library is well-organized, making it easy to find and download free e-books quickly. The website contains over 100,000 free eBooks in over 400 categories. Although the website is free to use there are some limitations. First, you’ll need to be registered and choose between free and VIP. With a free account, you can download up to five e-books per month, but only in PDF format. For those seeking unlimited downloads and access to multiple formats (including PDF, EPUB, and MOBI), a V.I.P. level account is available at a monthly subscription starting from $7.95. 

9. Bookbub

BookBub - BookFI Alternatives
09 – BookBub homepage photo by Bookbub

Bookbub is a free service that offers a dedicated selection of free and discounted ebooks. It provides access to a diverse and updated digital library that you can download for free (or at a low price). Bookbub partners with major ebook retailers and publishers, so it provides exclusive deals on quality books including bestsellers. Their expert editorial team curates personalized book recommendations, while also offering real-time updates on discounts, new releases, and preorders from favorite authors.  The ebooks available on Bookbub come in different formats, so they can be read on various popular devices. And the best part is that with Bookbub there are no restrictions on the number of ebooks you can download. So you can indulge in as many free reads as you like.

10. Feedbooks.

Feedbooks - BookFI Alternatives
010 – Feedbooks homepage photo by Feedbooks

Feedbooks is a digital library and cloud publishing service founded in 2007, headquartered in Paris, France. It offers both free and paid e-books in various formats. Its wide selection of e-books range from both public domain classics and original titles. Its books have a strong emphasis on high-quality typesetting in multiple formats such as EPUB, Kindle, and PDF. With over 80,000 ebooks available, Feedbooks serves around 3 million ebooks every month and supports custom PDF generation settings. The platform also allows self-published authors to edit their books using a web interface, and books can be accessed via dedicated Kindle and mobile websites. Feedbooks provides a wide range of literary works and genres, catering to different preferences and interests. The platform is an excellent resource for those seeking an alternative to BookFi.net.

11. Smashwords

Smashwords - alternatives to BookFi
011 – Smashwords homepage photo by Smashwords

Smashwords is a prominent ebook retailer and cloud publishing service that caters to readers worldwide. Founded in 2008, it began as an ebook publishing platform and store. Its aim has always been to empower authors to self-publish and distribute their works. Over the years, Smashwords expanded its distribution network, connecting self-published ebooks with major retailers and library platforms. As of 2023, it offers an extensive collection of nearly one million original ebooks published on the platform, approximately 100,000 free titles available, and about 12,000 books on sale. Smashwords supports DRM (Digital Rights Management)-free books. This option provides readers with multiple deliveries and a user-friendly shopping experience right in its digital store.

12. Google Books

Google Books - BookFI Alternatives
012 – Google Books photo by Google Books

Google Books is an online book service provided by Google. It allows users to search for and access a vast collection of books. Google Books functions similarly to Google Web search, where users can enter search terms, and the search engine displays relevant books that match the content in the search results. You can browse books online and view the entire text of books if they are out of copyright or with permission from the publisher. If they are commercially available, you can see previews, buy the ebook, physical copies or even borrow books from the library through Google Books. The ebooks are also available for purchase from the Google Play Store. The books in Google Books are sourced from two main channels: the Partner Program and the Library Project.

13. The Wiley Online Library

Wiley Library - alternatives to BookFi
013 – The Wiley Online Library homepage photo by The Wiley Online Library

The Wiley Online Library is a valuable online resource dedicated to empowering libraries. Its purpose is to shape the future of research discovery. The Wiley Online Library offers over 20,000 online books, 1,600 journals, and various reference works across multiple disciplines. The library offers access to Science-focused content, the Business & Management collection, the Information Technology section, and much more. While not all ebooks are free, you can still browse through them or access specific chapters using the Free Access option. This site is an excellent alternative to BookFi because it offers a wide range of online books, and it is reliable, fully legal, and reputable.

14. BookBoon.

Bookboon - BookFI Alternatives
014 – BookBoon homepage photo by Bookboon

Bookboon is an excellent alternative to BookFi. Although the website aims for personal development for corporations, it is perfect for anyone wanting to learn on a low budget. The platform emphasizes practicality, accessibility, and affordability, so it provides bite-sized and low-cost eBooks aimed at university students and professionals alike. It offers over 10,000 books, ebooks, online courses, audiobooks, and more. It also features self-directed learning and customer support. Bookboon allows users to download books and even become authors, contributing high-quality academic books to assist knowledge seekers. Bookboon is free, you’ll only have to register with your e-mail. However, the Bookboon service does offer a subscription model with a vast library of exclusive soft skills and personal development eBooks.

Similar websites to BookFi for downloading free books (Gray Legal Area).

These are similar sites to BookFi and some controversial platforms that offer access to academic and scientific resources. While their legal status has faced challenges due to copyright concerns, they remain popular among academics and students as sources of vast collections of ebooks and research articles.

15. Z-library (or Z-lib)

zlibrary
015 – Z-lib homepage photo by Z-Library

Z-Library also Z-lib (formerly known as BookFinder) is a non-profit shadow library project. It provides file-sharing access to scholarly journal articles, academic texts, and general-interest books. As of August 2023, Z-lib provides access to a massive 22.5 million books and 285 million articles. The site is sustained by donations and fights to provide access to a vast collection of ebooks and academic resources.

Legal Note: Just like BookFi the site’s legal status is also controversial. Z-Library has been subject to domain seizures and blocks in various jurisdictions due to copyright infringement concerns. Despite the challenges, Z-Library is still up and running. It remains one of the most popular sources among academics and students. Its extensive collection continues to be accessible through alternative domains and even through the dark web, using browsers like TOR (dark web browser) or Brave.

16. Libgen

LibGen - alternative to BookFi
016 – LibGen’s homepage photo by Library Genesis

Library Genesis (also known as LibGen), is a comprehensive book platform, boasting an extensive collection of over two million books, including rare and out-of-print titles. Users can download both fiction and non-fiction books from the site with peace of mind, as LibGen is highly unlikely to contain malware and offers better security compared to most book sites. All content in LibGen is free, including gripping crime thrillers and informative scientific discoveries. Library Genesis also offers Library Genesis Desktop Application, to enable offline exploration of favorite ebooks. 

Legal Note: Unfortunately its high similarity to Z Library and BookFi led to a legal case in 2015, resulting in its ban in the US, UK, and Germany. Despite this, the platform continues to operate, taking advantage of loopholes. However, as seen with Z Library, its future availability may not be guaranteed. 

17. Sci-Hub 

Sci - Hub - BookFI Alternatives
017 – Sci-Hub’s homepage photo by Sci-Hub

Sci-Hub (or sci-hub.hkvisa.net) is a highly controversial project. Its mission is to provide free and unrestricted access to all scientific knowledge. Initially, it began as a tool to quickly access articles from scientific journals, which were otherwise expensive and inaccessible to many. Over time, it has grown into a vast database of 88,343,822 research articles and books. It is currently revolutionizing science by making paid knowledge freely available to millions of users worldwide. 

Legal Note: While Sci-Hub faces legal challenges from academic publishing companies, the online platform remains committed to the Open Access Movement. It advocates for free or affordable access to academic knowledge and challenges the monopoly-like mechanisms of academic publishing. It has become an essential resource for students, researchers, medical professionals, journalists, and anyone seeking to learn and expand their knowledge.

18. PDF Drive

PDFDrive - alternatives to BookFi
018 – PDFDrive homepage photo by PDF Drive

PDF Drive is a search engine specifically designed for finding and downloading PDF files. Through this search engine-like book finder, you can find free-to-download eBooks, articles, magazines, and more. The platform is entirely free to use, and users have the option to create accounts to save eBooks and make notes or highlights for future reference. With PDFDrive there are no download limitations and no ads, just plain searching and downloading. 

Legal Note: It is crucial for PDFDrive users to ensure the legality of the content they download. PDF Drive in many ways can be compared to Google. While it allows searching for PDFs, it does not grant legal rights to reproduce, share, distribute, or copy the content. Always be cautious about downloading or sharing content due to potential copyright infringement. The policy of PDFDrive is explained, stating that it acts as a proxy server for downloading files from the public web. So, literally, users must have legal rights to access the content. It also clarifies that the site should only be used for downloading data found on the web, such as articles, books, and files hosted in cloud storage services.

19. E-Book Searcher

eBook Searcher - - BookFI Alternatives
019 – E-book Searcher’s homepage by E-Book Searcher

E-Book Searcher is a reliable search engine designed to help you find legitimate sources for free ebooks while avoiding potential scams or unauthorized downloads. The site diligently searches various websites, blogs, and forums, leading you to reputable platforms where you can “legally” download ebooks for free. With compatibility for EPUB format on popular eReaders and dedicated reading apps for Android and iOS, E-Book Searcher offers a wide range of literary genres, allowing you to explore ebooks that match your preferences. 

Legal Note: Although e-book Searcher’s primary aim is to simplify your search for free ebook downloads by providing a curated list of legal sources, it does searches in sites like pdfdrive, getcomics, and former BookFi. 

20. FreeComputerBooks

freecomputerbooks - alternative to BookFi
020 – FreeComputerBooks’s homepage photo by FreeComputerBooks.com

FreeComputerBook is a valuable book resource for computer professionals. It works as a directory of hyperlinks to free ebooks, tutorials, and lecture notes from all over the world. Its primary focus is on Information Technologies, Computer Science, and Mathematics. The site offers a vast collection of books, lecture notes, and tutorials on various computer-related topics. It provides free access to textbooks, programming languages, big data, networking, and more. It allows downloads in multiple formats (like PDF, MOBI, and EPUB) and features a recently added book section. Although the design is outdated and the genre of books is limited, it remains a valuable platform for those seeking advanced knowledge in computer science and any related fields.

Legal Note: FreeComputerBooks.com does not contain the actual content; instead, it provides hyperlinks to external web pages, similar to search engine results. It promotes Open Access (OA) content, and over 95% of the listed books’ links are search results from well-known search engines. The site does not endorse copyright infringement or link to websites trading copyrighted material. 

Final Words.

The shutdown of BookFi served as a cautionary tale about the importance of respecting copyrights and finding legal means to access copyrighted content. It also prompted readers to seek alternative platforms for their literary needs. While BookFi’s future remains uncertain, the legacy it leaves in the world of online libraries and the open-access movement is undeniable. 

As readers continue their quest for free books and legal access to knowledge, they can explore the curated list of 20 BookFi alternatives we provided in this post.

Who knows, you might find the book you are looking for.

Happy reading!

Wondering how RapidSeedbox can enhance your access to BookFi alternatives?

📚 Seamlessly download from direct link websites, torrents, and Usenet with our Seedbox.
💾 Benefit from extensive online storage and high bandwidth for all your downloads.
🔒 Download books securely and privately, keeping your activities confidential.

For unlimited reading, for secure downloads, turn to RapidSeedbox.

———

About Diego Asturias

Avatar for Diego Asturias

Diego Asturias is a tech journalist who translates complex tech jargon into engaging content. He has a degree in Internetworking Tech from Washington DC, US, and tech certifications from Cisco, McAfee, and Wireshark. He has hands-on experience working in Latin America, South Korea, and West Africa. He has been featured in SiliconANGLE Media, Cloudbric, Pcwdld, Hackernoon, ITT Systems, SecurityGladiators, Rapidseedbox, and more.