Books are my kryptonite.
For many months, I drained my “fun money” budget each month on books.
I was spending nearly $50 a month on books, and most of them have still not been read.
I loved having a huge selection when I went to pick out my next book, but grew tired of never having any money for anything else I wanted.
There are hundreds of free and discounted books out there, and I had no idea they existed!
If you’re a bookworm like me or just need to save on reading materials for your family, here are ten ways you can get discounted or FREE books.
Where to Find Free and Discounted Books
1. The Obvious Choice: Your Local Library
Most people know that the library has thousands of books to choose from, and the best part, they are always FREE.
But were you aware that if they don’t have the specific book you’re looking for in stock, you can ask them to transfer it from a different library? Yep! In about 2 days they’ll have the book you want waiting for pickup!
You can even order books online and they will pull them and have them near the entrance for you to pick up next time you drive by! Talk about convenient!
And since a library card costs you nothing, there really is no downside to having one. Well, except late fees (connect your library card and use the “Library Elf” to automatically set up free reminders). Don’t mess that up, always put the due date in your calendar immediately (I always put it a couple days ahead) so you aren’t rushing to return them.
And Kids always enjoy the library too! Having the freedom to choose and take home their favorite books can become a fun reading incentive.
2. Free eBook Websites
If you don’t mind reading books from your tablet, e-reader, or computer there are millions of free books just waiting to be downloaded.
There are tons of sites dedicated to free ebooks! I always check these sites for my kids reading lists so that I don’t have to spend money on their school books when they are probably never going to read them again (I’m sorry, but one reading through “The Yearling” and I never needed to read it again…).
Here are just a few websites I’ve used personally:
- International Children’s Digital Library
- Good Reads
- Many Books
- Project Gutenberg
- Feed Books
- Read Print
- Open Library
I also post the FREE ebooks I’m downloading almost each day here!
3. Get Free and Discounted eBooks from Amazon
You do not need a Kindle to read kindle books. They have a FREE App that allows you to read them on your phone or computer too! And Amazon offers hundreds of FREE Kindle ebooks that you can download.
Here’s how you can score free kindle books from Amazon:
- Go to Amazon’s Kindle Store
- Scroll down and click on the category that interests you
- On the upper right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see a drop-down menu that says “sort selection”
- Choose price: low to high. When you do this, you’ll be able to see all of the free kindle books listed first.
4. Sign Up for a Free Trial of Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 per month for unlimited books to read on your device.
When you sign up for their FREE 30-day trial, you can quickly download a bunch of your favorites for FREE!
And just so you don’t get stuck paying the monthly fee, set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to cancel.
5. Join Story Cartel
Story Cartel is a platform that allows authors to launch their book and receive honest reviews from real readers.
So you get the book for FREE and all you have to do is leave an honest review.
Plus, the review is super easy to do, it’s not a survey or anything, you just leave your review on Amazon!
6. Check Barnes & Nobles’ FREE Nook Books Area
Did you know that Barnes & Nobles offers FREE Nook Books!
They have a large selection to choose from and is one of the best options out there for Nook owners.
But the best part is that you don’t have to have a Nook Tablet to read Nook Books, you can also download the Nook App to read on your Computer or SmartPhone!
7. Online Book Swaps
One of the best ways to get FREE books is by participating in a book swap. You could obviously swap books with friends, neighbors, and even co-workers. However, there’s also a number of great online book swapping services.
Here are a few book swapping sites:
8. Use BookCrossing To Give & Find FREE Books
This is the geocaching for book lovers! Simply drill down to your state and a city near you and you can “go hunting” for books that are hidden in your area.
But what’s even more fun is that you can also hide books for others to hunt down and find!
Fun, right?! Learn more and start your book hunt at BookCrossing.
9. Give FREE Audiobooks a Chance
When my kids were little, we didn’t have a DVD in our mini-van (crazy right!) so I would get audiobooks (on CD… I’m not THAT old, lol) and we would listen to suspenseful mysteries from Adventures in Odyssey as we drove around doing errands or toting back and forth from sporting events.
We also loved listening to historical fiction on CD. Then at dinner time, we would all talk about what we each thought the characters looked like, or the setting. Listening evokes a whole set of senses that reading (or watching) doesn’t.
Here are some of my favorite sites to get daily or weekly updates of free Audiobooks:
- Loyal Books
- Lit 2 Go
- Internet Archive
- Itunes PodCasts (and they even have the Adventures in Odyssey Podcasts!)
As a last resource, I also have to mention that my sister and her hubby LOVE Audible, the audiobook service from Amazon. It costs $15 per month but you can try Audible for FREE for 30 days here.
10. FREE Annual Subscriptions to Magazines
Okay, every time I tell someone all the magazines I get for FREE, they simply do not believe me.
But it’s true, you can get Annual Magazine Subscriptions completely for FREE.
I don’t enter my credit card, I don’t complete any surveys. I just know where to find them…. and I post them almost every day for readers.
I update one Free Magazine Subscription summary page every week to keep them all in one place to make it easy for you to just go down the list and subscribe to the ones you want (and skip over the ones you might already receive). There are always over 15 FREE ones (ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS PEEPS!) and sometimes you can subscribe to over 20 FREE ones.
We are talking expensive subscriptions too, I always see these magazines pop up for free at some point in the year: Food Network, Oprah, Better Homes & Gardens, and even Martha Stewart Living.
Why pay for a magazine subscription, when you can wait a month or two and get them for FREE?!
11. Take Advantage Of Amazon Prime Reading
I know I only promised 10 ways to get books, but I have to mention that if you have an Amazon prime account then you do not want to miss the FREE book resources you get with your membership (along with a TON of other options besides just 2-day shipping).
Prime Reading gives Amazon Prime Members unlimited access to thousands of books, magazines, comics, and more. All you have to do is be a prime member, which means some of you may have this service already and not even know it!
Making a trip to your local library, borrowing or swapping, and taking advantage of online resources are all easy ways to feed your book habit AND save your budget!
YOUR TURN: About how many books does your family read in a month? Comment below for fun and let me know!
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