It shouldn’t come as a massive surprise that I spend a lot of money on books each year. In fact, it was only two months ago when I was doing my taxes that I cringed a bit when I saw the number.
Yes, I have a book buying obsession. But, at the same time, I always told myself that buying books is one thing I will never judge myself for.
Ha, well a little late for that.
And while my Kindle has changed the way I consume books (I read about 75% digitally) there are still some ways out the to save my wallet.
That’s what I wanted to share with this post. A couple of ways to find free books online. So if you need to tighten your reading budget a bit, read on.
Your Public Library
Yea, I know, this is a big ‘duh’ one for most. But, you might not know that many public libraries also have tons of free books and audiobooks offered through Overdrive.
When I first discovered my public library had it, I was in heaven. This was back when I lived in New York City and had to save all my book money for astronomical monthly rent payments. Good times!
Rather than trying to figure out if your library participates, use this cool search tool. Type in your local city or town and it will show you all of the area libraries that use Overdrive.
All you have to do to read is download the Overdrive app on your phone or tablet. Or you can also use Overdrive on your laptop or desktop as well for Mac and Windows systems.
To refresh your memory from middle school history, Johannes Gutenberg was the dude who brought the printing press to Europe back in the mid-1400s. If it weren’t for the entrepreneurial spirit of ole Johannes, reading books might have been an entirely different experience for a few hundred years.
In that spirit, Project Gutenberg is a stockpile of a ton of free ebooks online. The great thing about this site is it collects books that are beyond copyright protection law (usually because they are old) and digitizes them. What you’ll find on this site is a true treasure trove of classics.
Check out the image above. These are the most popular books on the site. You can download any of these classics for free. Talk about an awesome list, right?
Currently, the site has over 54,000 free ebooks for you to download. So if you want to binge read some of the best classics out there, this is where you should start.
If you are a true nerd like I am, you spend a lot of time reading the site Open Culture. It’s basically a compendium of anything you can learn about anywhere. If I ever manage to figure out a way for someone to pay me to read and take courses, this is the first site I’d hit.
So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that they’ve got a page dedicated to free ebooks. Good for us, right?
The very cool thing about this list is that they’ve got ahead and already pre-formatted all the books. So that means you can download them for your Kindle (which has its own special format), or your phone, or even just open them up to read in a browser online.
Oh, and if you want to get more audiobooks in your life, check out this page on the site that has a collection of over 900 free audiobooks.
I know, I know, Reddit can be the worst of the Internet sometimes. But in this case, it’s the best. I’m already a frequent reader of the r/books subreddit, I mean there are few other places where you can find so many readers.
The free ebooks subreddit is basically a collection of all the free ebooks found by members of the sub. Before you think that it’s just a bunch of illegal books, it’s not. That is specifically against the rules and the moderators are very strict about that.
In here you’ll really find a little bit of everything. Sometimes you might find something that’s free for a day on a site like Amazon, other times you’ll come across a lot of new authors who are trying to break into the business. More often than not, you’ll have to do a little bit of digging, but you can come across some fun and interesting stuff.
More often than not, you’ll have to do a little bit of digging, but you can come across some fun and interesting stuff.
Even though I should funnel my paycheck to Amazon, you can actually find all sorts of free ebooks there. The key with Amazon is you have do a little digging sometimes.
So, first, Amazon does offer lots of free classic books. Once again, these are likely going to be the books that are so old they don’t have copyright protection apply to them anymore. If you’re already an avid reader on Kindle, this might be your best bet since you can ‘buy’ them with one click.
Now there is a second option, although I suppose technically it’s not free. If you are an Amazon Prime member you’re automatically enrolled in Prime Reading. Prime Reading offers thousands of books and magazines for ‘free’ to members. You don’t have to pay anything else, just read and move on.
So these are the main spots I use to search for