If you have a great love for books, but a small amount of cash in your bank account, don’t worry; you don’t have to cut new books from your budget. With these fourteen ways to get popular books for free, you can go beyond borrowing great books to adding them to your home library for zero dollars out of pocket. Plus, you don’t have to be limited to free ebooks and audiobooks–you can receive paperbacks and hardbacks for free too.
14 Ways To Find Free Books (Including New Releases)
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1. Local Public Libraries
Let’s get the obvious source for free books out of the way–your local library. Here you can enjoy audiobooks, books on CD, paperback books, hardcover books, large print books, and even ebooks for free (well, it could cost you a few library fines if you don’t return them on time).
I rarely even step into my library anymore, yet I use their services several times a week. How? My library card allows me to use the Libby app (replaced the overdrive app) and the Hoopla app to borrow audiobooks and ebooks. I love these apps. Thanks to my library for providing them, I can now listen to a book while decluttering, doing housework, or taking a relaxing walk through the park.
And don’t forget to sign up for your local library’s summer reading program. These programs are not just for kids, and often the rewards for adults are free books!
The downside of the library is that you can’t keep these books indefinitely, except for those earned during their summer reading programs. But you can keep the books from the rest of the places on this resource list.
2. My Reader Rewards Club
I have received dozens of books delivered to my door free of charge through My Reader Rewards Club (formerly Tyndale Rewards).
The club offers members simple ways to earn points that they can then cash in for paperbacks and sometimes even hardback books. Use my referral code here to sign up for My Reader Rewards Club, and you will start your account with 25 points.
These books include fiction and nonfiction books as well as children’s books.
Like My Reader Rewards Club, you can earn points towards free paperback books using BookishFirst. They also offer weekly giveaways of free books. Every Monday, they post a listing of books that you can enter to win. To enter, you need to read “First Look” for the pre-publication book and then use the “First Impression” section to write a mini-review. On Tuesday of the following week, they contact the winners of the books through email.
If you don’t win the book, your time reading and writing the review is rewarded with points (even if you win, you still get these points). You can cash in your points for a copy of pre-release books, delivered right to your door.
You can check your points anytime in “My Profile.” Use my referral code da2f3c2fddc817b1b during the sign-up process to receive bonus points! (and I get some too; a huge thank you to those who use it).
4. Prime Reading
You can get free ebooks that you can keep forever through Amazon, but many of them are low-quality or super short. However, Prime members have access to Prime Reading, which gives you access to more than a thousand ebooks–many of which are recent releases or titles that have stood the test of time and are still well-read. You can download 10 Prime Reading titles at a time.
Prime members also get access to the First Reads program, which allows you to pick one ebook per month from a list of half a dozen or so. These books are new releases that are not yet available for download by the general public. They are a great way to build up your digital library for free.
5. Little Free Library Boxes
You might have spotted one of these boxes in your area and wondered about it. The slogan for Little Free Library is “take a book, share a book.” I keep a bag of books in the back of my car that I have already read so I can swap them out at Little Free Libraries I pass by for books I have not read yet. If you pass one and don’t have a book to swap, don’t worry, you can still take a book. Just slip one in the box next time you pass it.
If you haven’t seen one of these in your area, head to their website or head to the google play store or iOS store and download their app. The app allows you to find registered locations in your area and save them in a favorites list.
6. No Rush Rewards
“No rush” rewards is an incentive program that is often offered to Prime members in the shopping cart area as you are picking your shipping option. Amazon regularly offers its Prime members a $1 digital credit that can be used towards purchasing ebooks if they choose no-rush shipping instead of the two-day prime shipping option. I do this whenever I don’t need an item right away and let the credits add up until I can get an ebook for free.
To stretch my dollars even further, I created an Amazon wishlist that I add kindle titles to and whenever I have at least $3 in credit, I scroll this list to see if any of the books I want are on sale–often, this leads to a free book.
7. Free Audiobook And eBook Subscription Trials
If you are disciplined enough to set a reminder to cancel a free trial before it ends and then take the time to cancel it, no-cost trials for audio and ebook services can be great ways to read books for free.
What works for me is to set a reminder on my phone and write a reminder in my agenda book to cancel the service two to three days before the free trial ends.
- Kindle Unlimited–one-month free trial. You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books; you can download the Kindle app to any smartphone or tablet.
- Audible–30-day free trial that includes two free audiobooks. They have apps for both android and iPhone and a vast online catalog of audiobooks.
- Rakuten’s Kobo–your first audiobook is free.
- Audiobook.com–offers three free books with a thirty-day free trial.
- Scribd–30-day free trial. I consider Scribd an audiobook version of Netflix. You don’t get to keep any of the books you listen to, but you can listen to as many as you like each month.
You will need to enter your debit card or credit card to sign up for these trials, but you will not be charged unless you continue your membership past the trial period. If I am not keeping a service, I like to cancel a few days before the end of trials to be on the safe side.
8. Sign Up To Review Books
When I first started blogging, I signed up for every company I could find that offered bloggers free books in exchange for a written review on their blog. The number of books I was required to read each month was overwhelming. So if you go this route, I suggest signing up for just one or two companies. Two companies to look into are NetGalley and TLC Book Tours.
NetGalley offers audiobooks and digital copies of books for review. You can download the books in various file formats, including MOBI, EPUB, and PDF. They have a large selection of books available to review. No matter your favorite genre, you can probably find a book to review through NetGalley–including romance, travel, and history. If you are part of a book club, check out their “Book Club kits.”
You don’t need a blog to receive and do reviews at TLC Book Tours; they accept those with Instagram accounts and TikTok accounts. I would assume that your account needs a strong following and a book focus. If you are part of a Book Club, enter your club into their monthly book club giveaway, and you might win a set of books for your book club to review. TLC offers real paperback books to review.
9. Bookswap With Friends
Bookworms tend to attract other book lovers, so why not gather your friends together and hold a book swap.
10. Earn Gift Cards For Bookstores & Other Places That Sell Books
Earning a few gift cards to spend on books doesn’t have to be time-consuming. I earn dozens of gift cards each year by joining several companies and sticking to the simplest ways to earn points. Often these point-earning tasks are things I already do online, so why not make something in return for doing them–like performing web searches or buying daily deals.
- Places Where You Can Earn Earn PayPal Deposits
- Places Where You Can Earn Amazon Gift Cards
- Places Where You Can Earn Target Gift Cards
If you like to shop at Barnes & Noble, here are a few places where you can earn gift cards for their store.
- PrizeRebel–my tutorial on how to use PrizeRebel.
- Swagbucks–visit my post to find out ten simple ways to earn gift cards using Swagbucks.
- InstaGC–my tutorial on how to use InstaGC to earn gift cards.
- MyPoints–my tutorial on how to earn gift cards using MyPoints.
- FetchRewards–my tutorial on using the FetchRewards app to earn gift cards.
If you are an active user on GoodReads, under the “browse” tab, you will find “giveaways.” Here you can enter to win print copies of soon-to-be-released or newly released books.
12. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
If you have a child ages one to five, you can sign them up for free children’s books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This literacy program is not just for those who reside in America, but also for those who live in Canada, the Republic Of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
13. Summer Reading Programs
Summer reading programs are another way that your kids can get free books. I already mentioned library reading programs, but bookstores including Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books also offer summer reading programs where the prizes include free books.
14. BuyNothing Groups Or FreeCycle
If you live in a town with an active BuyNothing group or FreeCycle, check the listings for books.
A Few Ways To Get “Newish” Books Close To Free
These following five ways to increase your at-home library will cost you up to a few dollars per book.
1. Yard Sales
Each yard sale season, I pick up a stack of books to keep me busy all winter long for ridiculously low prices.
2. Online Bookswaps
These types of programs will cost you postage, but if you live in the United States, you can use media mail to reduce the cost to significantly less than the retail cost of a new book. Two companies to try are Paperbackswap and Bookmooch.
3. Thrift Stores
Thrift store prices for books can vary from store to store, so if the first one you walk into has high prices, don’t let that stop you from trying another one. To bring the costs down even lower, see if the store runs sales.
4. Secondhand Bookstores
Secondhand bookstores tend to have higher prices due to higher overhead expenses. However, at some of these stores you may be able to get free books by trading in books you have already read for store credit. This is why I decided to add them to this list.
5. Thriftbooks Point Rewards Program
Thriftbooks offers new and used books at great prices, plus free shipping on orders over $15. They also have a point system where your purchases add up to free books. Here is my referral link; when you use it and purchase $30 worth of books, you and I will both get a free book.
For those who love the classics as much as you do new titles, don’t forget about Project Gutenberg, where you can download free ebooks. The titles are public domain books, meaning that the copyrights have expired, which is why they can be offered free of charge.
3 More Posts That Bookworms Like You Are Going To Love
- 17 Ways Thrifty Bookworms Save Money On Books
- How To Read More Than A Book A Week Despite Being Crazy Busy
- 6 Ways To Keep Track Of The Books You Read
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