How to Read Ebooks for Free
I love to read, during good days I read an average of 1 book per day. I don’t have room in my budget for books so what is a bibliophile girl to do?
Over the years I have learned a variety of methods to get ebooks for free. I have accumulated over 1,000 books on my Kindle and have paid for no more than 10 of them so I’ll share these methods with you.
In order to take advantage of these tips you will need a Kindle app which is available for free for mobile phones, tablets and computer both Android and Apple.
Completely Free Ebook sources:
Library books via the Overdrive app:
If you have a library card, there is a chance that your library offers free ebooks. Many libraries throughout the country use the Overdrive platform available as a free app. My library has very limited books so I mainly use this when looking for something new as I don’t ever have luck when searching for a specific title. The app does give me the option of recommending that the library purchase a book that they don’t currently offer but there is no guarantee that they will buy it.
This option is great for books that have lending enabled on Amazon. There are several book lending websites but this one worked best for me. You have to be willing to lend books to be able to borrow books, and the system has limits as to how many books you can borrow before forcing you to earn more “credit”. I simply offered to lend books that I had gotten for free from Amazon so that I could borrow ones that were not free. This worked well for me a few years ago but I seem to have maxed out and no matter what I do I seem to be unable to earn new borrowing credit. It’s still a good option for somebody new to the site to take advantage of while it lasts. Please use referral code: UDFUMO59
Free books direct from Amazon:
There are thousands of free books on Amazon. Sometimes an author will give the first book of a series for free in hopes that you’ll get hooked and buy the rest of the series. Sometimes they discount the price to $0 for a limited time, sometimes only 24 hours or until a certain number of copies are sold. It can be tricky to find these free books just by searching on the Amazon site. Thankfully there is no shortage of services that will do the homework for you. Below are just a few that I use, there are dozens of them and some are better than others.
Available as an email list and Kindle Fire app. The list is updated daily and lists lots of free and discounted books. This is my favorite source as I can choose from 22 genres to only be notified about the books that I am interested in.
Others include: Kindle Nation Daily, BookLending.com, Discount Books Daily, Book Sends, Riffle Select. Not all of the books on these newsletters are free so make sure that you double check before you click “buy now”. Don’t sign up to too many lists as you will need to check your e-mails daily due to the fact that most books are only free for a limited time. I used to be signed up to 20 lists and would fall behind and by the time I got around to reading them all and finding a book that I was interested in, it was no longer free.
Blog, Facebook page and e-mail list. These websites offer a lot more than free ebooks but they do have an almost daily of free Kindle titles of interest to homeschoolers that include children’s books, cooking, housemaking, life hacks, gardening, clean fiction (mostly Christian but still interesting stories) and faith based books.
There are thousands of books that are part of the public domain and thus can be read for free. There are several sites that have them such as Project Gutenberg, Page by Page Books and the Library of Congress
Resources that are not quite free but offer a great value:
If you have Amazon Prime and own an actual Kindle device (sorry, the app doesn’t count) you can borrow 1 book per month for free
Another perk from Amazon Prime- every month you’ll be allowed to choose 1 out of 4 books being released the next month to get for free.
This is a Netflix for Ebooks, for $10 per month you can read as many books as you want. I actually haven’t used this service but I see a lot of the books that I read are available in this library.
How do I get books that are never free and my library doesn’t carry?
Another perk of having Amazon Prime is the ability to earn credit towards ebooks. Instead of selecting free 2 day shipping on my Amazon order I choose “No Rush Shipping”. The item will arrive a little later but still within the week and Amazon gives me $1 ebook credit per order for my trouble. If I am ordering multiple items I place separate orders to get credit for each. The credit can also be used for MP3s and streaming video but I just accumulate it to purchase ebooks, usually sequels after I have been hooked to an author’s freebie.
By using these tips you will be able to get lots of books to read at no cost. Don’t expect to get New York Times Bestsellers for free (although sometimes that does happen and I find out about it thanks to BookGorilla) but at least you will never run out of stuff to read.
Just keep in mind that some free books are written by new, self published authors and the quality of their work varies greatly. Some are very talented and produce excellent pieces and others were too cheap to hire an editor so the text is full of errors, at least you won’t be out of any money when you run into the latter.
There are literally hundred of free ebook sources online, for the sake of brevity I only mentioned the ones that I have used the most. You are invited to do a Google search to find more if you wish. Do you have a favorite resource not listed here? Please let me know in the comments.
Read reviews, keep an open mind and happy reading.
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