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 ( 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”