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.
- Tips for Improving Your Russian with E-books
- 6 Proven Russian E-book Resources to Get You Reading
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.
- Try to find Russian audiobooks of the same title so you can also hear how the Russian is pronounced your reading with other resources. Before you become a total bookworm, try to get some audio/visual material in there as well. You could find a YouTube channel that you like, or use a virtual immersion program like FluentU.
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!
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.com 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.
Some of our favorite options include:
“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.
- “Истина далёкой войны” (“Truth About a Distance War”) — This is a textbook that seeks to help readers understand Russia’s history during the World Wars. This is a great book for the history buff and will expose you to great military terms.
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:
“Новейший Путин. Что ждёт Россию?” (“The Newest Putin. What Awaits Russia?”) — This is a fascinating read that will help you understand Russia’s political arena while learning more about its President, Vladimir Putin.
“Сочи” (“Sochi”) — A great travel resource about a tourist town located on the Black Sea. Learn about its rich history, but also familiarize yourself with helpful terms to know when traveling in Russia, like direction words, hotel names, restaurants, etc.
This resource has over 54,000 titles in multiple languages, including Russian. It publishes e-books for downloading and reading online and 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 select “Browse Catalog.” You’ll then be directed to a plethora of browsing options, where you’ll choose “Russian.”
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, shares beautiful words you can learn to woo that special lady in your life.
Russia has a rich culture, and Russians are extremely proud of their authors and poets. Remember that Russian didn’t have access to most foreign influences until the demise of communism in the early 1990s, which is why all Russians are very well-versed in the works of their own countrymen and women.
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.
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 biography.
Two excellent choices are:
- “Невский проспект” (“Nevsky Prospect”) — See what Nikolai Gogol, a famed Russian dramatist, had to say about Nevsky Prospect, the most famous street in Russia’s former capital, St. Petersburg.
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:
- “Приключения Незнайки и его друзей” (“The Adventures of Neznayka and His Friends”) — Russian children’s author Nikolay Nosov writes this children’s classic about tiny people who mature and learn about the world.
- “Словарь культуры XX века” (“Dictionary of Culture of the 20th Century”) — An interesting read; this is a dictionary that explains popular terms of the 20th century.
This website provides access to 288 Russian e-books on more 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 sort the books by the highest rated, best sellers, price, title or date added.
Each entry includes the Russian title, the name of the author in English and Russian and a synopsis of the book in English.
Some of the titles have customer reviews and recommendations for other books in similar series.
These two titles you should check out in your quest to learn Russian:
- “Год на Севере” (“A Year in the North”) — Find out what it was like to live in the Russian North, a very cold region even by Russian standards. Learn words describing weather, geography, nature and so on.
- “Московский Малый театр” (“Moscow Maly Theater”) — Become acquainted with the history of this historic Russian theater, established in 1806!
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!
Renata Ilitsky is a professional content writer with over 10 years of experience. She specializes in creating unique and engaging content for any industry. To read some of Renata’s other work, please view her writing portfolio.