Free Book Sources for Book Lovers
We have a bunch of bookworms in our family, and a big part of our budget goes to buying new books — especially when you lump in all the textbooks needed by our four kids in college.
Of course, we borrow a lot of books from the local library, but we usually purchase titles we want to keep. When possible, we buy them used at a substantial discount. But we’ve also found some great ways to get books for free.
Since August 9 is National Book Lovers Day, I thought it would be a great time to share some tips for building a home library on a budget. If you love to read as much as we do, you’ll want to check out the following links:
This club offers a nice selection of newly released Christian books and Bibles (including paperback, hardbound and some audiobooks). I’ve received dozens of free books this way with a very minimal investment of time or effort.
There are a variety of ways you can earn points to exchange for books of your choice: sign up for newsletters, take a short survey, tell a friend about the club, share a link on Facebook or Twitter, or post a review on Amazon (just to name a few).
If you aren’t already a member of My Reader Rewards, you’ll automatically receive 25 points (and I’ll get 10) when you sign up through the link above. With books currently available for as few as 100 points, it doesn’t take long to earn a free one. The books ship straight to your home, and you don’t even have to pay postage.
Don’t let the name of the club fool you — you can also get hardbound or audiobooks here, not just paperbacks. Anytime I have a long list of books to purchase, I first check to see if any of them are available through PaperBack Swap. If so, I order as many as my accrued credits allow.
It does not cost anything to join the club (they do offer some paid subscription levels with extra perks, but all I’ve ever used is the free “a la carte” membership).
As a new member, you earn credits by listing books you are willing to swap. When you use the link above, you’ll get credit for two free books (and I’ll get credit for one) as soon as you post 10. You’ll earn an additional credit for each listed book you mail to another member who requests it. (You must pay postage for the books you mail, but not for the books you receive.)
If you prefer listening to books rather than reading them, check out LibriVox. They have over 12,000 public domain works, read by volunteers, available to download for FREE.
Many of their titles are classics, including several of our family’s favorites, such as Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables, A Tale of Two Cities, and Little Women. We love to listen to books together while riding in the car (especially on long, cross-country road trips).LibriVox makes doing so easy – just download and drive on!
In addition to selling a paid subscription, Christian Audio offers a free audiobook download (their choice of title) every month – no strings attached. I’ve built a very nice audiobook library over the years thanks to this generous program.
They offer lots of Christian Classics (this month’s title is a book by Jonathan Edwards), but have also featured several new releases and best sellers as free monthly downloads, including Maria Goff’s Love Lives Hereand Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever.
While I prefer hard copies of books I can hold in my hand (and make copious notes in the margins thereof), my husband reads almost everything electronically. If you prefer reading digital versions, too, you can find a wide selection of free books for Kindle. Just use the site’s sidebar menu to narrow your search to the genres you are most interested in reading, then download and go!
If you like to write as well as read, you may be eligible to earn free books by posting reviews of those titles on your blog and/or Amazon. Both LibraryThing and GoodReads offer advance copies of books to readers through monthly member giveaways. And bloggers can request review books through BookCrash and Tommy Nelson Mommies.
So that’s where our family gets free books. I hope you’ll give some of them a try.In the meantime, happy reading!
Jennifer Flanders loves reading and currently finishes about a book a week. For short reviews of her most recent reads, follow her here.