Project Gutenberg is the largest collection of FREE eBooks in existence. The project has been run by volunteers since 1971. There are over 20,000 eBooks amd Audio Books in the collection.
What is the catch? For one, you will only find books in here for which copyright protection has expired or that are in the public domain. So you will not find the latest Tom Clancy and Steven King books in this collection. Any book published pre-1923 is part of the public domain.
I explored the site and while it is not exactly Amazon.com easy-to-use, I was certainly able to find many interesting books. (Now if only I actually had the time to read them! Some books are available in audio format however!). For example, it took less than a minute to download the entire text and pictures from Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (published in 1884). I was surprised that both the text and all of the original pictures from the book came with the download.
Other classic books I saw in there included Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, The Raven (Edgar Allen Poe), The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Beowof and others.
So if you would prefer to have a bunch of classic books available on your laptop to read rather than checking them out from the local library, here's your opportunity!
I did come across a Barnes and Noble website that has a collection of literary classics available free online in a readable online html format. However pdf download of the books are not free. Check it out by clicking here.