Using Goodreads to Download Books

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on March 14, 2022

There are certain books on Goodreads that you can save in their entirety as files on your computer, so you can read them any time you want! However, there are others that only allow you to download a small section, and others that you must pay for before you can download them (we discussed this in our How to Read Books on Goodreads tutorial).

We’ll go over how to download various types of books from Goodreads in this lesson.

How to download e-books from Goodreads

1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

2. Click the small triangle next to the Explore option in the top menu, and select Ebooks from the menu that appears.

3. Once you’re in the “Ebooks” section, click the “Sort By” drop-down menu to arrange the available e-books in different ways. These include how often they’re downloaded or how generally popular they are, which ones you can download for free and which ones have to be purchased, the cost of purchasable e-books, or e-books that have been recently added to Goodreads.

You can also click in the search bar on the right-hand side (it will say “Search by Title or Author” if it’s empty) and type in the name or author of an e-book that you’re looking for. Then click Find eBooks.

When you find a book that you want to download, click Download eBook.

4. If there is only one version of this e-book available, the download prompt will appear automatically. Otherwise, the left side of the table will tell you the format and language of the file. In this case, the only file available is a Portable Document Format (P.D.F.), and it’s in English (“eng”).

NOTE: PDF files can be opened with a program called Adobe Reader. Click here for instructions on how to download and install Adobe Reader.

Click Download in the right side of the table beside the version of the file that you want to download.

5. The next screen will show you the version of the file that you have chosen, along with recommended ways for reading this specific type of file (click one of the options here to find and download/install the necessary program). Otherwise, when the save prompt appears, click the button beside “Save File”, and click OK.

6. At this point, you can rename your file (if you wish), and then use the explorer window that appears to select a place on your computer where you want to save your file. Then click Save.

7. Now, simply find the file where you saved it on your computer, and double-click it to open it.

8. Presto! There’s your book, all ready for you to read!

How to find places to download books with Goodreads

In addition to downloading books directly from Goodreads, you can also use Goodreads to find a place where you can download a book if it isn’t available on Goodreads. Simply click on a book to go to its information page.

Once you’re there, click Stores for a list of stores that might be able to sell you that book, and then click on a store name to go to a page where you can buy that book from that store. Depending on which store you choose, you might be able to get an electronic (i.e. “e-book”) version of the book to download, instead of having a hard copy shipped to you.

Anyway, that’s about all that we can tell you about downloading books from Goodreads!