In many ways, Jack Schafer's Shane is the archetypal Western novel, even though Schafer's book was published in 1949, well after the immensely popular Westerns by Owen Wister (The Virginian in 1902) and Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage in 1912. But Shane was different from the heros of other Westerns. For one thing, Shane, although clearly comfortable and knowledgeable about guns, doesn't wear his.
As more and more books become freely available online, more specialized websites are being born, dedicated to specific genres and periods. While some of them sadly face an early demise—such as LookyBook.com, one of the best free picture book sites ever made—many others remain, here for us to peruse and play on each and every day.
If Western books are your cup of tea, you’re in luck; there are plenty of sources for free Western books online. Here are just a few of them for your reading pleasure.
The Free Western Novels Download Directory features a fair selection of novels. Classics like The Call of the Wild, The Virginian, The Red Badge of Courage, and The Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane are available here, as well as humorous and romantic books like I Married a Ranger.