5 Best Shadow Libraries on the Web

Whether you’re an avid fiction reader, a Ph. D. student, an amateur historian, or a manga lover, there’s so much for you to discover among the internet’s massive shadow libraries. All kinds of ebooks, magazines, articles, and more are just waiting to be downloaded, free of charge.

So, let’s jump right into it: here are our picks for the 5 best shadow libraries.

The Best Shadow Libraries That Still Work

There are tons of different shadow libraries out there, but some are a lot better than others. The following have the largest collections and are the easiest to use.

Library Genesis

When it comes to shadow libraries, there’s no single database that compares to Library Genesis. The site’s been around for over 15 years now and spawned numerous mirrors and offshoots.

And its collection of books and articles, from scientific articles and the best academic publications to the most mundane popular fiction, is simply massive. It’s usually the first stop for most ebook aficionados.

Anna’s Archive

As a collection of books, articles, and magazines, Anna’s Archive is unmatched. That’s because it compiles downloads from several other sites, including other libraries on this list, like Libgen and Zlibrary.

That being said, in our experience many of their non-Libgen “slow” links don’t work, and their “fast” download links require a paid subscription. With that in mind, it’s often just better to check Library Genesis first, then hop over to Anna’s Archive if you didn’t find what you were looking for.


Archive is not a full-fledged shadow library, since some of its more popular books need to be “checked out”. And in fact, their check out process is much more restrictive than it used to be, when you could actually download a DRM copy of the book for use on your devices. Now, you have to read it on their site.

But hey, renting books is free, and there’s still plenty of content that is completely free to download, without DRM. More importantly, you’ll sometimes find stuff here that you won’t on Library Genesis or Anna’s Archive.


Are you a researcher? An academic? A science nerd? Or maybe you just need citations for a college paper?

Then Sci-Hub should be one of your go-to shadow libraries. Unlike some of the other sites, which do have plenty of scientific articles of their own, Sci-Hub is dedicated to compiling them all in one place.

These are articles, papers, journals, etc. that would normally be locked behind a paywall or restricted login, which are now freely available to the public.


We included Z-Library on this list for completion’s sake, but it’s been going through a rough time recently. Many of its previous domains have been shutdown, some of its mirrors are sketchy or broken, and the official mirrors now require creating an account and logging in.

That being said, they’ve still got a big enough collection to rank among the best shadow libraries, especially if you’re into popular fiction and non-fiction.

Best Torrent Shadow Libraries

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the site above – or you’re looking for some audiobooks – these torrent sites are worth a look.

  • AudioBook Bay – AudioBook Bay is a public torrent tracker that focuses on audiobooks and has a huge collection.
  • MyAnonaMouse – MAM is a private torrent tracker with a rather straightforward sign up process and tons of files.
  • Bibliotik – BiB has a huge library but it can be tricky to get an invite, since it’s a private site with strict requirements for members. 

How to Find Books with a Search Engine

If you’re still having trouble finding what you’re looking for using the sites above – or you just want another way to find books – you can try this trick.

It works best with a search engine that doesn’t filter results, like Brave, but you can also use DuckDuckGo or other engines.

Simply type in something like “[book name] PDF”. Of course, PDFs may not be your favorite file type for ebooks, but it’s the most likely to turn up results. You can also try [book name] + epub, mobi, or even mp3, for audiobooks.

Just be careful, since some of these sites may be a little sketchy. It’s probably a good idea to use a VPN, like PIA VPN. It’ll encrypt your traffic and hide your IP, so your service provider and third parties can’t snoop into your business.

Top Tip 

One of our favorite ways to find any torrent files – including ebooks and audio books – is to Use qBitTorrent’s Built-in Torrent Search.

Best Shadow Libraries: Wrap-Up

You’ve now got tens of millions of books, articles, magazines, and more at your disposal, all courtesy of the best shadow libraries.

That’s more than you can read in several lifetimes: but that’s a good problem for any book worm to have!

Is there any shadow library that you’d add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments.

July 13, 2023

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