This library of classic ebooks is dedicated to the philosophers and dreamers whose ideas changed the world. Read these classics and learn from history’s greatest thinkers and visionaries so you may walk in their footsteps.

Mark Twain famously said that a “classic” is a book which people praise and don’t read. Reading and studying these classics will make you a rare autodidact who takes control of their education and seeks knowledge and wisdom in the thoughts and ideas of history’s greatest knowledge seekers.

I encourage you to choose a book on this list and set aside a few hours each week to read one of these classics each month. They are all freely available in the public domain (nearly all were originally published before the 1950s) so you can download and read them anywhere you go on your iPhone, Android, or any other kind of portable reading device.

“Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”

― Carl Sagan

Libraries are the bedrock of civilization. Support our digital libraries by studying and contemplating the knowledge and wisdom contained in these free ebooks.

Classic Biographies:

Read the personal stories of the most influential thinkers and inventors in history.

1. Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda)

2. The World As I See It (Albert Einstein)

3. My Inventions: The Autobiography Of Nikola Tesla (Nikola Tesla)

4. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (Charles Darwin)

6. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Benjamin Franklin)

7. Autobiography: Truth and Fiction Relating to My Life (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

8. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (T.E. Lawrence)

9. The Everyday Life of Abraham Lincoln (Francis F. Browne)

10. Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (Theodore Roosevelt)

11. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told To Alex Haley)

12. Mark Twain: A Biography (Albert Bigelow Paine)

13. The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie (Andrew Carnegie)

14. The Story of My Life (Helen Keller)

 

Philosophy:

Deepen your knowledge of philosophy with the classics of Western Philosophy.

1.  The Republic (Plato)

2. Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzsche)

3. Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche)

4. The Critique of Pure Reason (Immanuel Kant)

5. The Problems of Philosophy (Bertrand Russell)

6. History of Western Philosophy (Bertrand Russell)

7. A Pluralistic Universe (William James)

8. The Nicomachean Ethics (Aristotle)

9. Meditations (Marcus Aurelius)

10. A Treatise of Human Nature (David Hume)

11. Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)

12. The Wisdom of Life (Arthur Schopenhauer)

13. Utopia (Thomas More)

14. Island (Aldous Huxley)

 

Politics:

Influential political treatises that ignited modern political debates that still rage.

1. The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)

2. The Age of Reason (Thomas Paine)

3. Common Sense (Thomas Paine)

4. The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)

5. Second Treatise of Government (John Locke)

6. The Communist Manifesto (Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx)

7. On Liberty (John Stuart Mill)

8. Proposed Roads to Freedom (Bertrand Russell)

9. Anarchism and Other Essays (Emma Goldman)

10. Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville)

11. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

12. 1984 (George Orwell)

 

Education:

Thought-provoking books on the nature of education and how to deepen your understanding of life.

1. Education and the Significance of Life (Jiddhu Krishnamurti)

2. Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook (Maria Montessori)

3. The Montessori Method (Maria Montessori)

4. Democracy and Education (John Dewey)

5. Deschooling Society (Ivan Illich)

6. Weapons of Mass Instruction (John Taylor Gatto)

 

Psychology:

Explore the inner workings of the human mind through the lens of modern psychology.

1. Dream Psychology (Sigmund Freud)

2. The Psychology of Revolution (Gustav Le Bon)

3. Your Mind and How to Use It: A Manual of Practical Psychology (Walter Atkinson)

4. The Mass Psychology of Fascism (Wilhelm Reich)

5. Dreams (Henry Bergson)

6. As a Man Thinketh (James Allen)

7. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (William James)

 

Science:

1. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Sir Isaac Newton)

2. On the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

3. Physics (Aristotle)

4. The Pioneers of Science (Sir Oliver Lodge)

5. Relativity: The Special & the General Theory (Albert Einstein)

6. The Journals of Lewis and Clark (William Clark and Meriwether Lewis)

 

Western Religion:

The three Abrahamic religions and their different cultural translations of God, scripture and truth.

1. The Torah

2. The Bible

3. The Koran

 

Eastern Religion:

The Eastern religious traditions and their radically different ideas of liberation and the nature of being.

1. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

2. The Rig Veda

3. The Upanishads

4. The Mahabharata

5. The Ramayan

6. The Bhagavad Gita

7. The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana

8. The Dhammapada: The Sayings of The Buddha

9. The Tao Te Ching

 

English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh Classics:

Literary classics from the nations that comprise the United Kingdom.

1. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe)

2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

3. The Lost World (Arthur Conan Doyle)

4. Ulysses (James Joyce)

5. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce)

6. Finnegan’s Wake (James Joyce)

7. Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)

8. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)

9. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)

10. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

11. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)

12. The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)

13. Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)

14. A Modest Proposal (Jonathan Swift)

15. The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling)

16. Dracula (Bram Stoker)

17. The Time Machine (H. G. Wells)

18. The Complete Works (William Shakespeare)

19. Paradise Lost (John Milton)

20. The Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)

21. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

22. The Lord Of The Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)

23. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

24. Through the Looking-Glass (Lewis Carroll)

25. The Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)

26. The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)

 

Western European Classics:

Literary classics from the Western European nations of Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

1. Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse)

2. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

3. Grimms’ Fairy Tales (Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm)

4. Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)

5. The Divine Comedy (Dante)

6. Candide (Voltaire)

7. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Around the World in Eighty Days (Jules Verne)

9. Faust (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

10. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (Leonardo da Vinci)

11. Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)

12. The Stranger (Albert Camus)

 

American Classics:

American literature classics that have shaped uniquely American ideals of freedom and liberty.

1. Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

2. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

3. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)

4. Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)

5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)

6. The Call of the Wild (Jack London)

7. Twelve Years a Slave (Solomon Northup)

8. This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

9. Poems (T. S. Eliot)

10. Essays (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

11. On The Road (Jack Kerouac)

 

Russian Classics:

Renowned Russian literary classics.

1. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

2. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)

3. The Gulag Archipelago (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

4. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

5. Notes from the Underground (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

 

Ancient Greek and Roman Literature:

Classic epics from ancient Greece and Rome.

1. The Iliad (Homer)

2. The Odyssey (Homer)

3. Aesop’s Fables (Aesop)

4. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome (E. M. Berens)

5. The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)

What’s the one classic book that changed your life?
Share your story in the comments.