A young student sitting in a library and reading a free eBook on a tablet


How Adobe can help students and educators take advantage of free eBooks.

E-readers put world literature at your fingertips. Explore how free eBooks can ignite young adults’ passion for reading.      

3 reasons to start using eBooks.

  • Get access to new books and free reading materials for students of all ages.
  • Annotate and share your eBooks. 
  • Carry an entire library of books to class without the back strain. 

Free eBooks make reading a breeze.

Digital books come in many different formats and can offer free access to a massive digital library of reading materials including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and audiobooks. This makes them a very useful educational tool for students at every reading level, whether they’re in elementary classes, middle school, or high school. Keep reading to see how high-quality eBooks have revolutionized traditional education and distance learning, and explore how Acrobat and tools like the Adobe Acrobat Compress PDF online tool make compiling literature easier for educators and students alike.

A student sitting in a university library working on a laptop

Why use eBooks for students?

Depending on when you grew up, you may have unpleasant memories of lugging a heavy backpack loaded with books to and from school every day. One of the advantages of eBooks is that since they don’t take up any physical space, hundreds of books can be stored on an e-reader like the Amazon Kindle without adding weight. And fewer physical books means fewer opportunities for books to be misplaced or damaged.


Ebooks are also more affordable than paper or hardback books, making them more accessible to readers. Many e-reader programs, such as the Kindle app, are available for free.


Ebooks offer far more interactivity than traditional books. It’s easy to highlight and underline text, take notes, find definitions for words you don’t know, and bookmark pages so you never lose your spot. And support for live, in-text hyperlinks makes it possible to explore information in greater depth.


And thanks to options that adjust reading settings based on the reader’s needs, eBooks can help to enhance students’ reading comprehension. For example, Adobe Acrobat Reader’s Liquid Mode, which uses AI and machine learning to automatically reformat text, images, and tables for easy reading on small screens, has been shown to improve students’ reading speeds by up to 27 words per minute

A teacher looking on as a young student reads an eBook on a tablet

Where to find free eBooks.

Thanks to the efforts of a number of nonprofit literacy organizations, there are lots of different sources of free eBooks online:

Project Gutenberg is the world’s oldest digital library, founded in 1971 to archive the text of more than 50,000 public-domain books and other literary works. With a vast selection of classic books available in plain text as well as eBook-friendly formats like PDF, EPUB, and MOBI, Project Gutenberg is an invaluable source.

Open Library, a project of the nonprofit Internet Archive, is a wiki-style database featuring the full text of more than 1.4 million books made available for digital lending. Open Library collects texts from libraries, user contributions, and even the Library of Congress.

Another great source for free eBooks is your local public library. Most library systems digitize their collections and put them online where anyone with a library card can download them onto a phone, iPad, or e-reader.      

How Adobe can help you manage your eBooks.

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is a powerful e-reader program that you can use to download digital books and read them both online and offline. ADE supports EPUB 3, an advanced new eBook format which offers a dynamic set of features for students and educators, including embedded multimedia, interactive quizzes, and improved support for assistive technologies for readers with disabilities.


Students can use Adobe Acrobat Pro to help manage their eBooks and conserve space on their devices. If they’ve received multiple different reading assignments as separate PDF files, students can use the Merge tool to organize them all into the same file. Then they can use the Compress tool to help shrink the size of their eBook files and free up room for other literary works, allowing them to carry even larger libraries wherever they go.


Reading is one of the most important educational activities for students of any age. Through convenience and cost-effectiveness, eBooks ensure that students are never far from good reading material.    

Acrobat logo

Do more with Adobe Acrobat Pro.