What Are PDF eBooks And How To Read Them

PDF e-book is an electronic (digital) book in PDF format.

A PDF ebook is a digital (aka electronic) book in Portable Document Format. In other words, it’s not a paper book, but a file optimized for reading on computers, laptops or handheld devices. You can download such a book over the Net on your PC and read it on screen.

The main advantages of PDF ebooks over other digital book formats (such as ePub, DJVu, Mobipocket, Amazon Kindle, eReader, and others):


  1. It’s an old, established format: Adobe Systems invented it in 1993, and later put it open and royalty-free; the latest version (as of 2011) of PDF standard is 1.7 Extension Level 8.
  2. It doesn’t depend on any external software: you don’t need to download or install anything except a PDF viewer (many of which are free of charge) to be able to read a PDF ebook. Fonts are usually embedded into a PDF file, so you can read, say, a book in Chinese without searching for a Chinese font.
  3. A page of a PDF book looks nearly (sometimes exactly) the same on different operating systems and in different viewers: if you’re a creator, you can be sure that your readers will see the same picture as you, regardless to systems, devices, and software they use.
  4. PDF file can contain wide variety of data: text in different fonts, shapes and encodings, images and graphics, forms, file attachments, etc.
  5. Since PDF is closely related to PostScript language of printers, PDF books are highly optimized for printing: you can be sure that what you see on screen is what you get on paper. Professional printing houses use PDF to prepare galley proofs of paper printed books.
  6. Because PDF is an “open” and royalty-free format, a lot of different software was made to read, create, and manipulate PDF files. Also, many e-book readers can handle PDF files well.

To read a PDF book you need to install a special software — a PDF viewer. They are available for the major OSes: MS Windows, MacOS, Linux, and some less popular operating systems too. Many of these viewers are distributed free of charge.

The most prominent one is of course Adobe Reader: a freeware created by the inventors of PDF format itself. It can be downloaded from Adobe.com website.

Besides, there’re Foxit Reader, Nitro PDF Reader, GSView, Evince, Qiqqa, and many others. Mobile viewers are available for Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad too.

Most stand-alone e-book readers like Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, iRex, Barnes & Noble Nook, or PocketBook Reader can well handle PDF files.


Free PDF Books In My Online Library!

Free PDF book cover: Alice and Cheshire Cat.

PDFreebooks.org was once started as a small collection of free illustrated pdf e-books for children…

For kids we still have here a couple of great children’s books: Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” followed by “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There” (both with illustrations by Sir John Tenniel), and “Wizard of Oz” by Lyman Frank Baum.

Classical fiction books are Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, Edgar Allan Poe’s somehow neglected humour and satire stories, and a recently re-opened short story by Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

Those interested in quick bucks should read two traders’ books: “How to trade in stocks” by ill-fated Jesse Livermore, and “Wall-Street stories” by Edwin Lefevre (also author of the “Reminiscenses of stock operator” being Livermore’s biography).

Language books on various exotic languages are interesting mainly for the linguists.



PDFreeBooks.org does not charge anything for books downloads. Some books are kept on external file servers, and PDFreeBooks.org is not responsible for their functionality. All downloadable books are believed to be out of copyright in the USA.