7 Ways to Get Free Books


One of the greatest pastimes for many–myself included–is getting lost in a great book. Readers alike all have their own habits, interests, and intricacies.  Some are hoarders, snatching up every book they can get their hands on. Some follow multiple plots, reading multiple books at once. Some have little libraries all over their house or mounds on their nightstands. While others have a whole room dedicated to books. Whatever your bookish behaviors, we can agree that books are important. But buying books gets expensive, which makes borrowing a great option. Here are 7 ways to get free books. 

  1. Public Library

    Clearly, the obvious choice. With so many format options, a trip to the public library can satisfy a reader’s needs. Not only can you get a standard hardcover or paperback, but there are also e-books, CDs, and audiobooks available. Libby, Overdrive, and Axis 360 are e-book and audiobook apps to download to your device if you haven’t already. Also, WPLC has books for Wisconsin based readers. All you need is a library card–which, of course, is free. 

  2. Book Swap

    Book swaps can be formal or informal and have endless possibilities. At one of my previous jobs, we had a few shelves in a closet that employees would swap books they had finished. You could trade a few titles with a friend, have a swap party like this blogger from Book Riot, or join an online swapping site like Paperback Swap or BookMooch, where the only requirement is to pay shipping costs. 

  3. Little Free Libraries

    Have you seen these adorable little houses around neighborhoods, in parks, and at schools? It’s a twist on a book swap. These little libraries share the love of reading with the motto, “take one, leave one.”  In case I find a book of interest, I leave some completed books in my car to swap out. Not only are these exciting to check out as a family, you never know what free treasures you might find.

  4. Bookbub

    Bookbub is an online site that will ask you some questions to customize your deals and then email you a shortlist of e-books that are marked down between $.99 and $2.99 as well as a few free options–yes, free e-books you keep! The books are only available for a limited time, so be sure to check your email for the listings. This is the number one way I grow my e-book library. 

  5. Project Gutenberg

    This site offers free books that do not need an e-reader or app. You can read right from your browser. Most of these books are free because they are older titles that don’t fall under the same copyright restrictions as new books. So, it’s a great go-to for the classics. 

  6. Join BookCrossing

    One of the coolest ways to recycle, BookCrossing, is a website where you leave the location of a book for others to find or pick up. Your book then goes on a “journey” where you can track its location around the globe. 

  7. Amazon Prime Reading 

    This is not free, but if you have Amazon Prime, you need to know about this service. Prime members get up to 10 books or magazines free when choosing from Amazon Prime Reading’s options. This is where I borrow most of my magazines, but I’ve also read books for free like Cozy Minimalist Home using Prime Reading.  In addition to choosing 10 books or magazines to borrow, prime members have access to a program called First Reads.  With First Reads, there are several newly released or not yet released books that you can download. Once you download your free selection, it is yours to keep. If you are an Amazon Prime member, be sure to take advantage of these two programs.  

Whatever your method of getting books, hopefully, you’ll find some of these 7 ways to get free books great for you and your family. Either way, cozy up on the couch and enjoy your newest adventure. 

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