Disclosure: I am an ebook evangelist.

Update 2: As expected, Google and HarperCollins India seems to have been alerted of the leak and the free fest is now over. I hope the early birds got their worms.

Update 1: The free ebook count is now 40 (up from 39). Thanks Amit! Also URL structure changed to point to Google Play instead of Google Books.

There are tons of free ebooks available on the online bookstores, but much of them are books that are out of copyright (and also quite a lot of erotica), but very little of quality contemporary fiction and non-fiction. Once in a while an Amazon India will give away a free ebook a day for a couple of weeks, and that’s all. Therefore when I stumbled upon this stash of free ebooks on Google Play I couldn’t hide my excitement and immediately announced the discovery in a series of tweets [1] [2] [3] [4].

Download for free: 40 HarperCollins India ebooks on Google Play

Though the custodian-of-Bollywood-trivia Diptakirti Chaudhuri pointed out that the entire HarperCollins film books catalogue seemed to be up for free, but the sceptical journalist part of me took over and after the initial denial that was followed by further investigation the conclusion is the not only the film books, but almost the entire HarperCollins India ebook collection on Google Play seems to be available for free and I could dig out 39 of them (so what if 39 40 doesn’t seem to be a big number, when it is all for free it is). Interestingly, these books don’t seem to appear under the free tab on Google Play.

Not sure if this is by desire, deceit or just a benevolent bug, but whatever it is download your copy now, lest amendments are made. I checked the other websites, and these books were selling at their usual prices.

Google may ask for your credit/debit card details in case you haven’t already signed up for Google Wallet and also make an temporary authorisation charge of Rs 50, that according to Google should “automatically expire from your statement in a few days.”

List of HarperCollins India free ebooks on Google Play
(In alphabetical order)

  1. Amul’s India [Read my review of the book here]
  2. Arzee The Dwarf, Chandrahas Choudhary
  3. Best Indian Short Stories – Vol. I, Khushwant Singh
  4. Best Indian Short Stories – Vol. II, Khushwant Singh
  5. Black Ice, Mahmudul Haque
  6. Bobby: The Complete Story, KA Abbas
  7. Calcutta Exile, Bunny Suraiya
  8. Chinese Whiskers, Pallavi Aiyar
  9. Controversially Yours, Shoaib Akhtar
  10. Deewar, Vinay Lal
  11. Delhi Noir, Hirsh Sawhney
  12. Gods and Godmen of India, Khushwant Singh
  13. Headley And I, S Hussain Zaidi
  14. I, Steve – Steve Jobs In His Own Words, Steve Jobs
  15. India – A Traveller’s Literary Companion, Chandrahas Choudhury
  16. India An Introduction, Khushwant Singh
  17. Jaane Bhee Do Yaaro, Jai Arjun Singh
  18. Keep The Change, Nirupama Subramaniam
  19. May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss, Arnab Ray
  20. Mediocre But Arrogant, Abhijit Bhaduri
  21. More Salt Than Pepper: Dropping Anchor with Karan Thapar, Karan Thapar
  22. Mother Maiden Mistress, Bhawana Sommya
  23. Olympics – The India Story, Boria Majumdar
  24. Potato Chips, Anushman Mohan
  25. Ravan And Eddie, Kiran Nagarkar
  26. RD Burman: The Man, The Music, Balaji Vittal
  27. Sex, Scotch & Scholarship, Khushwant Singh
  28. Tanzeem, Mukul Deva
  29. The Best Advice I Ever Got, The Business Today Team
  30. The Double Life of Ramalinga Raju: The Story of India’s Biggest Corporate Fraud, Kingshuk Nag
  31. The Householder, Amitabh Bagchi
  32. The Impatient Optimist – Bill Gates In His Words, Bill Gates
  33. The Intolerant Indian – Why We Must Rediscover A Liberal Space, Gautam Adhikari
  34. The Maruti Story, R C Bhargava (Link courtesy: Amit Agarwal
  35. The Moslems Are Coming, Azad Essa
  36. The Other Indians: A Political And Cultural History of South Asians In America, Vinay Lal
  37. The Sacred Grove, Daman Singh
  38. The Sikhs, Khushwant Singh
  39. The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs Of Delhi, Sadia Dehlvi
  40. Women And Men In My Life, Khushwant Singh