- LibriVox.... has a good selection of books that can be downloaded for your listening. If you write romances of any kind, you must read "Fanny Hill" (while hearing it might help you and your plot some heat of your own). Aesop's works (for children and otherwise) could replace whatever you listen to on those family drives or during carpooling duties. If you want, you can volunteer to be a recorded reader. Use the simple or advanced Search system to explore the library of works. Lots of stuff there.
- Project Gutenberg ....not only offers free ebooks, but I noticed that they have a self-publishing opportunity for "contemporary writers". Huh. Interesting. I can't tell you more because, when I looked, the site was undergoing temporary maintenance. Best way to check this site is by going here and then finding the Site Map near the bottom of the page. Note that you can make donations. Think of it as supporting literacy and value in the age of the Kardashians.
- Cliff's Notes.... (and, I learned that I have been spelling that right, until everyone did it wrong so long that wrong has become right, like, yep, the Kardashians did with pop culture's idea of what's "trashy" and "classy".) ~deep breaths, Trudy, take deep breaths~ Think Cliff's Notes and "cheating" comes to mind. I like to think that the Notes can help you pick and choose which works of literature you want to start with when you decide to expand your reading. Stephen King is my hero, but I know that's only because he fed his writing diet with a knowledge of the writers I spent most of high school avoiding by using Cliff's Notes. Here's how I use the Notes to feed myself: I make a list of books that I've been told any serious writer should read, then I read a C.N. summary to decide which one I feel like starting with at the moment. In the meantime, I can hold pretty my own in conversations with well-read people. You can find anything in the C.N. from autobiographies (Ben Franklin and Malcolm X, for instance) to that delicately bawdy "Fanny Hill" I spoke of before. By the way, Cliff's Notes are just the better known notes, but there are others that I found via Wikipedia: 60-Second Recap seems more suited to Cracked Readers (me!), Book Rags and, Spark Notes (which had full text of a title I checked).
In my post of links for writers, I neglected to add a list of the free Kindle books Amazon has available. I will try to provide links in this following list, but things sometimes go crossways when I do this with my Amazon account. If the links don't work for you, simply do your own Amazon search in "books" on "grammar".
- The Elements of Style (yep, that one)
- Word Study and English Grammar
- The Grammar of English Grammars (cute title)
You get the idea. Amazon's notes indicate that these books are also available free elsewhere on the web. I included them because I know lots of folks use Kindle readers.
I am sure that there are many, many more sites out there that have useful reading for writers. Just go and explore. Start somewhere.
Good reading and writing.
** Make sure to read each site's notes about copyright. Books are made public domain by expired copyright; this varies by country.