We all wish we could buy endless books. But those hard copies pile up fast, and pretty soon you have forty books stacked in your living room waiting for you to read them (don’t judge me).
Does that mean you stop collecting books? No way! But if you don’t have the funds or the space for more, you might want to think about getting some ebooks. Luckily, there are plenty of classics available for free on Kindle that will save your wallet and your floor space.
The Island of Dr. Moreau
What better way to start our list than with a classic Sci-Fi novel? Published just before the turn of the 20th century, The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells gets deep and dark fast. When Edward Pendrick finds himself shipwrecked on Dr. Moreau’s island, he gets roped into a dangerous world.
Dr. Moreau is a classic mad scientist who performs experiments, creating chimera-like creatures from animal and human parts. This philosophical novel deals with themes like what it means to be human, our identities, and our choices. If you like dissecting the nuances of morality, pick up The Island of Dr. Moreau.
The Count of Monte Cristo
While not part of the Sci-Fi genre, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is nevertheless a thrilling tale of a ship captain wrongly imprisoned for treason thanks to his envious crew. When he escapes and finds enough treasure to bring him enormous wealth, he returns to Paris as the Count of Monte Cristo.
There, he enacts his revenge on the crew that had him thrown in prison. If you want stories of revenge, power, and personal conflict, you need this one.
In Anna Karenina, Countess Anna Karenina, married at the start of the story to Count Karenin, leaves her husband after she begins an affair with another man. At that point, things really go downhill.
While this novel isn’t Sci-Fi, it explores similar topics to those you see in the Sci-Fi genre. You see political, social, and class struggles, and the questioning of gender and moral roles in society. If you’re into themes centered outside the main character’s mind as much as inside it, Anna Karenina might be for you.
Pride and Prejudice
You’ve probably heard of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, even if you haven’t read it yourself. I only read it last year, after the title showed up in another book I was reading, and I was surprised—it’s a 19th century romcom. Quite the departure from our usual Sci-Fi repertoire, but even staunch geeks enjoy the occasional foray into other genres.
Elizabeth’s witty comebacks and Darcy’s fumbling attempts to garner Elizabeth’s favor will make you laugh out loud. But really, we all know the star of the show is Mr. Bennet and his retorts in the face of Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins.
Plus, if you watch either of the book’s TV adaptations, the book gives you all the insight you don’t get watching the characters on the screen.
Dracula has always been one of my favorite classics, so I couldn’t resist putting it on this list. It has plenty of adaptations—including the most recent from Netflix, which aired at the beginning of January—but nothing is better than the original novel by Bram Stoker.
The story of Dracula unfolds mostly in letters and journal entries between the characters, starting with Jonathan Harker. We get accounts from his fiancee, Mina, and her friend, Lucy, as stranger and stranger events happen throughout the book centering around Dracula himself.
If you haven’t read this one yet, you should. Even if you have read it, you can never have too many copies.
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables has had even more adaptations than Stoker’s Dracula—and in more formats. The story of Jean Valjean and his attempt at rebuilding a life after his release from prison has been recreated in several iterations of film, theater, and even manga.
Les Mis isn’t exactly a quick read, so if you decide to pick it up, make sure you’ve got time on your hands—perhaps on a very long trip. It’s worth it, though. While pretty much every book on this list deals with complex themes, Les Mis raises many issues still prevalent in our own society, from questioning social justice to human rights and personal identity.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Gothic Sci-Fi novels are some of my favorites, and if you’re reading this list on our geeky site, maybe they’re yours, too. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde follows the odd behavior of Dr. Jekyll, a scientist whose experiments begin to go wrong after he drinks a serum to transform himself into Mr. Hyde.
Mr. Hyde represents Dr. Jekyll’s most evil, impulsive desires, and while Dr. Jekyll is a pleasant enough person, Mr. Hyde turns him into someone entirely different. This Gothic classic is perfect for you if you love looking deeper into the nature of good and evil—and the spaces in between.
Have you downloaded any of these free Kindle classics? Which ones do you love? Tell us in the comments!