Google has scanned thousands of public domain books, including many classic novels, which you can read free of charge.

These e-books can be downloaded into your computer, Android smartphone, iPad or iPhone.

To find the book you want, visit Google Book Search (books.google.com). Select the “Advanced Book Search” link. Under Search, choose “Full view only”.

While this way of searching does not guarantee you will find a public domain book, it improves your chances significantly. You can key in any search phrase although I prefer to search by author.

If the book you select is still under copyright, you may not be able to download it. However, if the book is available for download, a download button or “Read Now” button will appear on the page. Click on it to download the e-book to your device. You can read it using your Web browser, smartphone software or a PDF reader program.

By Grace Chng, Straits Times “5-Second Tip”