Find a Book For Free or Cheap
When you're passionate about books, or if you just happen to read fast, you may find that your reading habit can get expensive. Luckily, today readers have more options than ever to find inexpensive or free books. Here are six ways to find a book and access more pages than your heart desires while sticking to your personal budget.
1. eLibrary Through Your Local Lending Library
Many traditional brick-and-mortar libraries now offer patrons free e-book access in their digital libraries as a membership benefit. Often, their digital libraries get hosted on a platform like OverDrive, cloudLibrary or Freading. In some cases, e-books can be read in your browser or might require that you install e-reader software on your device, as library electronic books usually take one of three forms - EPUB, MOBI and PDF.
2. Online Lending Libraries
If you don't have access to a local library with an eLibrary program, find a book in an online-only lending library. Simply set up an account and browse for your favorite author or subject, ranging from electronic copies of the classics to more modern titles. While membership is free, make sure you have an appropriate e-reader on your tablet, smartphone or laptop. Some online lending libraries include:
- Open Library gives access to more than three million free fiction and non-fiction titles in a variety of electronic formats
- Digital Public Library of America offers over 15 million free online books, archives and other items covering many nonfiction subjects
- Brooklyn Public Library in New York offers nonresidents access to 90,000 fiction, non-fiction and audio e-books in the OverDrive format for $50 annually
3. Free Kindle Books
Whether you have an Amazon Kindle or simply download Kindle Cloud Reader for free, finding free Kindle e-books is a simple way to keep new reading material on your hands. Visit Amazon's e-books page daily for titles, but take note - Kindle versions may only be free for a limited time so if you see something you like, download it quick!
4. Community Book Drops
If you prefer reading print books in paperback or hardcover format, you know what a dent buying new books makes in your budget. It takes creativity to find a book for free, but community book drops can help as long as you're ready to part with a book as well.
Here's how it works - readers drop their used books at a community book drop location and then choose others for free. Two worldwide community book drop movements include Bookcrossing.com and Little Free Library, which both have strong online communities as well.
5. Online Used Book Stores
You can also search Facebook groups for a used book swap group in your area or state. This is a great way to find cheap used books and connect with others. If you live in a more remote or rural area, check out Thriftbooks.com, AbeBooks or even the used book listings on Amazon.com. With free (or low) shipping and prices at a fraction of what you'd pay for new books, searching online used book listings can be a great way to save money.
6. Your Local Thrift Store
While many cities have used book stores, sometimes you'll find even cheaper used books by visiting a general secondhand or thrift store that isn't dedicated to books. Don't be surprised to find books at less than a dollar a piece.
Whether you look online or in your community, make searching for cheap or free books part of your routine and keep your reading costs low.