Site URL: ForgottenBooks.org
Content: Forgotten Books is an independent book publisher, boasting over one million titles and offering up to 50 of them for free. In addition to offering free eBook downloads, Forgotten Books is a traditional publisher, with all books available in paperback through Amazon.com and their international sites.
Design: The entire site uses a neo-gothic theme that makes users feel as if they’re browsing the stacks in an ancient library. Fancy fonts and embossed wax imagery are everywhere, yet the designers do a good job of balancing all the classic depictions with contemporary necessities such as primary navigation and simple-to-use check-out fields.
Review: First and foremost, this is a store—a store that gives many of its products away, but a store nonetheless. There is a 50-book download limit for digital books on any one computer. After the initial 50, visitors must purchase a membership. Additionally, users must pay for any hard copies via Amazon.
With that said, 50 titles for free is pretty good, and the subsequent memberships are very reasonably priced.
The only thing keeping Forgotten Books from a five-star rating is the quality of the titles available. While all of them have some value, there are plenty with little academic relevance. In fact, when browsing the most popular titles, visitors will find a large number related to mysticism and the occult.
Bottom Line: Despite the limited topics available, free digital books and cheap hard copies make Forgotten Books worth visiting.