Amazon’s Kindle Store, as most of you would know, is not exclusively for Kindle owners. You can use their Kindle app on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC/tablet, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone and use it to read the books you have bought/downloaded from the Kindle Store. So Amazon has covered pretty much every platform.
What you probably don’t know it you can also use the app on Cloud i.e. you can read the books and surf across the internet simultaneously. What I’m trying to say, here, is that you can enjoy all the Kindle books in virtually every device you possess.
Which means, you can read those free classic books available on the Store without paying a *single* penny. Then why not use the app? After all, books are awesome, right? And anything free is good?
I presume you now realise that this piece is useful for you even if you don’t own a Kindle?
Fine. Now. Where do you start? Well, from the best ones, of course. Or at least, those which I think are best for you. Hang on, you are going to have to trust me here a bit.
Here’s my Top Ten list of the best free classic books you can download from the Kindle Store. And yes, in no particular order. I hope you like them.
1. The Three Musketeers: A great story, told very very nicely. Originally in French, this is an English translation (telling you only because I didn’t know that until only a while ago). This book is one of those books which are suitable for people of any age. If you can read, this book is for you. A fun story, well written.
2. Pride and Prejudice: Witty, funny and full of interesting characters, this book is one of the most read books even today. I know at least twenty girls who have Pride and Prejudice as their *all-time* favourite book. Tells a tale, doesn’t it, if you pardon the pun? Not that it is a women-only book. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are two characters which are almost impossible to dislike.
3. The Secret Garden: This book was one of my favourites (I had a beautifully illustrated hard-cover copy) in childhood. One of the best children’s classics in my opinion. Centered around a little girl who comes to her home country, England, from India and discovers a mysterious garden near her new abode.
4. Dracula: The book that started it all. The birth of vampire fiction. In its modern flavour, anyway. It is not exactly frightening, but the tension is overpowering throughout. A must-read for vampire fiction fans (get over Twilight, for God’s sake!).
5. The Jungle Book: What? Do I really need to tell you anything about it? Yes? Well, as you say, cave-dweller. The Jungle Book stories were written by Rudyard Kipling about an Indian boy who has grown up with wolves since infancy. The book tells us about him and his animal friends’ (among them a black panther, a sloth bear and a python) adventures in the jungle along with clashes with his enemy, Shere Khan, a lame Bengal Tiger.
6. The Call of the Wild: Perhaps the shortest book in the list. More a novella than a novel. But no less impressive for that. In fact, quite the opposite.
7. Treasure Island: I guess some of you must have read it in your high-school. I certainly did. And a dozen times, if not more. Well, if you didn’t, you didn’t have that good a childhood. No matter, now is the time to fill that crater. This book has pretty lovely writing style and excellent characterisation. I personally think this is one of the best books written for kids and is is enjoyable even for adults.
Unrelated note: If you want your kid to read this book, I suggest buying a hardcover illustrated edition for them. Children like to read books with pictures and colourful illustrations arouse their interest in reading. You can’t get that off Kindle Store (obviously), but with a bit of search, you will surely be able to buy it from Amazon (their main site) itself.
8. The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Aye, every novel and short story concerning the best fictional sleuth penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in one compact package. For totally free.
9. Great Expectations: Frankly, this list would have been incomplete without a Charles Dickens book. Considering the genre “Classic” is ruled by Dickens with ruthless authority. Great Expectations is a typical Dickens novel with his trademark Victorian-style (read classy) prose, great plot and brilliant characters.
10. The Great Gatsby: Considered by many the greatest work of American literature, this book is not exactly a page-turner at first. But moving on, it does get addictive. By the time you are finished, you get a feeling that you just read something really special. Recommended to everyone, even to those who have seen the movie. Whilst the movie is quite good in its own way, take my word, the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer isn’t a patch on the book.