For most bibliophiles, there is no greater joy than opening a new book and turned the pages after emerging from a bookstore. However, a voracious reading habit can break the bank as your wallet struggles to keep up with the quantity of books you purchase. I am in high school, so I can't afford to purchase a book a day to read and review! Luckily, I know a few ways to get books for free. All of the ways mentioned in this post are legal (authors deserve the credit and compensation for their work). Let me know in the comments if there are any ways I missed or if you like to use any of the methods I describe below!
I am not gonna lie. It is a LOT easier to get free digital copies of books to read than it is to get physical copies. However, it is possible, so here are a few methods I use to get a precious hardcover or paperback free of charge.
1. The Library
I can almost guarantee you know what a library is, but I am listing it here anyways because people often forget how AMAZING libraries are! Libraries often have the latest books in stock along with oldies-but-goldies. You may not be able to keep the book, but having free access to read the newest releases? I think that's a win.
2. Goodreads Giveaways
There is no guarantee of a free book, but Goodreads giveaways are always worth a try! Winning may seem like a long shot, but I promise, it happens. Just a few weeks ago, I won a copy of Spinning by Tillie Walden from a Goodreads Giveaway! They are incredibly easy to enter, and there are a plethora of ARCs in the giveaway selection. Of course, if you receive an ARC, it is always appreciated if you write a thoughtful review after winning.
While Freecycle does not focus entirely on books, it is easy to come across someone who is giving away free books! Freecycle is a website where people who wish to give away stuff "freecycle" it by giving it to people who want their stuff for free!
Twitter has an insane number of authors and book bloggers hosting giveaways for FREE BOOKS! Sometimes you can even get signed copy or awesome swag along with the book if you win! Most giveaways are rather simple. Entering may only require a like, retweet, and follow!
5. Paperback Swap
Paperback Swap is an awesome website where users list their books and swap them with other users. The rule is: if someone wants your book, you pay to ship it to them. If you want a book from someone else, they ship it to you free of charge.
This one is pretty straightforward. If you go to the Craigslist website, there are books listed for free in the free section!
7. Book Crossing
Book Crossing is an awesome program where users leave books at coffee shops, gyms, or other public locations. Then, the location of the book is posted on the website, and users can track the book down. If they find the book, it's their's!
8. Host a Book Swap
It may require a little bit of work on your part to host a book swap, but it is a super fun way to share your favorite books with friends! When you host a book swap, have all guests bring a book they have read and loved. Then, have guests trade books with each other to share the love of a book with someone else!
Luckily for readers with electronic devices, it is super easy to get free access to hundreds of thousands of e-books. After extensive research, I have compiled the best and easiest methods of obtaining free e-books.
1. The Kindle Bookstore
The Kindle Bookstore has thousands of books from all genres available for free! If you do not own a Kindle, you can still access the store's collection by downloading the free Kindle app onto your device.
2. The Nook Bookstore
The Nook Bookstore has a similar premise to our previous suggestion. The Barnes and Noble Nook Store has a plethora of free e-books for individuals with a Barnes and Noble account.
3. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer-run website which provides over 54,000 free e-books, especially books where the copyright has expired. You can find a variety of classic novels on the site from Peter Pan to Pride and Prejudice.
Similar to Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks is a website where users can access free public domain books on their phones, tablets, and computers. Feedbooks is convenient because books can be downloaded onto the device directly from the website.
Smashwords is an online collection of e-books written and posted by indie authors. The website currently offers over 70,000 free books in a variety of genres.
6. Overdrive Media
Overdrive is an incredible application where users can check out e-books from their own public library! It is a great way to read the newest books for free without having to leave your home! A large percentage of libraries use Overdrive, so it is a great way to read for free!
iBooks is the Apple bookstore and can be accessed on most Apple devices. The store offers a massive selection of free and discounted books.
8. Open Library
Open Library is a website with a vast selection of e-books which are free to read. Titles are organize by genre. There are over 40,000 books about religion alone!
9. Many Books
Many Books is a well-designed, seamless website which provides a large library of free e-books. In addition to their webpage, they have an active presence on Facebook where they inform followers of the latest books in their selection.
Wattpad is perfect for discovering stories you cannot find anywhere else. Anyone can publish on Wattpad, and while it may take time to find the perfect book, there are many hidden gems on this wonderful app!
I hope this list of sources for free books helps you with finding your next read! If I discover any new websites or sources, I will update this post. I did not go into detail about obtaining Advanced Reader Copies because I have another post about the subject coming soon. Thanks for stopping by and let me know in the comments if you give any of these methods of a try and find a book!
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