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6 Best Sources for Russian E-books

Tolstoy. Dostoyevsky. Chekhov. Pushkin.

These are famous Russian authors and poets that have been studied in Russian classrooms, read in Russian homes and treasured by Russians for generations.

And yes, they may sound like challenging reads.

Luckily, getting your hands on them is the easy part, thanks to the internet’s wealth of Russian e-books.

Contents

6 Proven Russian E-book Resources to Get You Reading

The sources below are hand-picked to help you find Russian e-books that are from trustworthy sources. The reading selections below provide a wide array of genres and topics to please even the pickiest reader!

1. Amazon Amazon icon

Anyone who owns an e-reader knows how easy it is to download e-books from Amazon. This source offers a multitude of free and paid Russian options for every taste and need!

Choose action & adventure books, comic books, health & family, sports, travel, etc. Entertain yourself while honing your Russian skills, learning about something new or adding an interesting travel destination to your bucket list!

Each selection has an image of the front of the book, the author and a summary (in Russian). The bonus is that some of the e-books have customer reviews that can help you pick the best option for you, or direct you to other e-books of the same genre.

We recommend the following titles:

  • “Доктор Живаго” (“Doctor Zhivago”) — The famous novel by Boris Pasternak is set between the October Revolution and World War I. Because of the novel’s critical outlook of the political landscape at the time, it was originally banned in the USSR. Pasternak won the Nobel Prize in Literature after the manuscript was smuggled out of the country. 
  • “Мастер и Маргарита” (“Master and Margarita”) — Another important novel of 20th-century Russian literature, this novel is by Mikhail Bulgakov. A censored version was published in 1967. It’s critical of the Soviet Union and has supernatural themes, with one of the main characters being the devil.

2. Klassika Klassika.ru icon

Russia has a rich culture, and Russians are extremely proud of their authors and poets. Most Russians are very well-versed in the works of their own countrymen and women, and if you’re interested in Russian culture then you should be, too.

Utilize these works to understand the Russian culture, language and history better with these classic e-books. The titles are organized by authors, in alphabetical order by last names. Poets are on the left and authors on the right.

Clicking on the author’s name allows you to choose multiple works created by that person, as well as providing the author’s image, year of their birth/death and a short biography.

Two excellent choices are:

3. Kulichki

One of the most comprehensive literary collections on our list, this website organizes its e-books by genres, including:

  • Художественная (general fiction), including classics, contemporary and international literature and poetry
  • Фантастика (science fiction and fantasy)
  • Специальная (specialized), including works of psychiatry, philosophy, history, economy and more
  • Компьютеры (computers)
  • Разное (various), including titles that include myths, laws, dictionaries and humor

Select the genre, then click on the author to choose one of their works. Two worthy e-books to check out include:

4. Project Gutenberg

russian-ebooksThis resource has over 54,000 titles in multiple languages, including Russian. It publishes e-books for downloading and reading online, plus world-famous literature and other works whose copyrights have expired.

The link above will take you to their selection of Russian books. But if you find yourself on the main page, scroll down and click on “Search and Browse.” You’ll then be directed to a plethora of browsing options, where you can choose “Russian.”

Once you see the list of books, make sure you click on the Russian titles instead of the authors’ names in English. Check out titles such as:

  • “Детство” (“Childhood”) — The very first published novel by famed Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, from 1852. The first book of the trilogy, it explores the life of a young Russian boy, Nikolenka.
  • “Красавицa” (“Beautiful Lady”) — The most famous Russian poet to date, Alexander Pushkin (who is not as well-known outside of Russia!) shares beautiful words you can learn to woo that special lady in your life.

5. Rakuten Kobo

russian-ebooksThis website provides access to several Russian e-books on serious topics, such as essays, literary criticisms and more for advanced Russian students.

You can choose to browse only free options or specify the minimum or maximum price of e-books available for purchase. You can also sort the books by highest rated, date added and a few other criteria.

Check out these titles on the website:

6. BookRix BookRix icon

This is a great online resource that allows you to either download or read e-books online. Some of the titles are completely free, while others cost. You can choose to browse through free or paid books by choosing between the options “free e-books” or “e-books for sale.”

Since BookRix has e-books in many languages, choose Russian under the language section of the menu. You can also narrow down your search by categories, such as drama, fantasy, fiction, philosophy, romance, short story, thriller, etc.

One of our favorite options includes:

  • “Запах лаванды” (“Smell of Lavender”) — This book describes the reflections of a Russian woman who’s been cheated on. We follow her thoughts as she ponders her childhood, parents and current situation. It’s a great way to learn Russian words about romance, betrayal and jealousy.

Tips for Improving Your Russian with E-books

We know you’re invested in improving your Russian. Use the following tips to be more successful during the process:

  • Pick books for your level so you don’t waste your time with material you don’t understand.
  • Take the time to mark unfamiliar words or phrases and look them up.

 

Learning Russian has never been more fun, informative and available!

With the help of e-books, you can improve your Russian reading, writing and speaking skills all at the same time!

And One More Thing...

If you love learning Russian and want to immerse yourself with authentic materials from Russia, then I should also tell you more about FluentU.

FluentU naturally and gradually eases you into learning the Russian language and culture. You'll learn real Russian as it's spoken by real Russian people!

FluentU has a very broad range of contemporary videos. Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of Russian-language content available on FluentU:

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FluentU makes these native Russian videos approachable through interactive transcripts. Tap on any word to look it up instantly.

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Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab. Easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.

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All definitions have multiple examples, and they're written for Russian learners like you. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.

And FluentU has a learn mode which turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples.

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The best part? FluentU keeps track of your vocabulary, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You'll have a 100% personalized experience.

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