Where to Get Books for Cheap or Free

The written language has the power to persuade, amuse, entertain, satirize, educate, and so much more. It's the nutrition facts on your...

The written language has the power to persuade, amuse, entertain, satirize, educate, and so much more. It's the nutrition facts on your cereal box, the billboard on the side of the road, and your friend's Facebook status post. Without letters and words acting as symbols for concepts, it would be very hard for any of us to get anything done. Even though most of us read for business or simply just to make it through the day, others read for pleasure. Not only are there many biological and neurological benefits to reading for pleasure, but it is one of the most budget-friendly options for entertainment. Even though you can get a plethora of television and movie options from Netflix starting at a reasonable $8 per month, there are plenty of places to find books for cheap and sometimes free. Here's where and how:

Public Library - Your local library is probably the best way to get your book fix for no money down. All you have to do is ask to get a free library card and the rest is an adventure in trying to find books that appeal to you. If you cannot physically make it to your local library, you can always check their website. You might find that they offer free e-books of their hardcover counterparts to "check out" without the pesky due dates. Also, head on over to Overdrive.com; they partner with libraries, schools, and universities to digitally distribute thousands of e-books.

Project Gutenberg - The oldest digital library, Project Gutenberg was founded by Michael S. Hart in 1971 and contains digitized and archived works of literature, most of which are public domain works and contain some self-published novels. With over 49,500 books in its collection, you can find classic works of literature in most any formats and most every language.

Thrift Stores - Next to clothes, books are the second most donated item to thrift stores. If you shop around upscale neighborhoods, keep track of daily sales, frequently visit many thrift shops, and look hard enough, you will find classic and popular books in excellent condition and may even stumble across signed copies for cut-rate prices. Thriftbooks.com is also a great online resource that offers free shipping on orders over $10. Not only will you be preventing books from piling up in landfills but you will be scoring some great deals fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, and more.

Book Swapping - Websites like Bookmooch.com and Paperbackswap.com allow you to swap books when you're done reading them. You will have to pay to ship the books but you will also earn points that you can redeem for books. Since many people are passionate about certain books, make sure you act fast and swoop your favorite book because of the constantly shifting inventory.

Book Subscriptions -  If you're the type to just blast through one novel after the other, then books subscription services may the most cost-effective option for you. Scribd's monthly service starts at $8.99 and offers a first free month. Oyster not only offers 1,000,000 titles to choose from but its service starts at $9.95 a month with a 14-day free trial. If you have a Kindle or not, you can choose to go with Kindle Unlimited which 700,000 books and thousands of audiobooks for $9.99 per month. Each service offers a great selection, different genres, and layouts, so try their free trials out choose your favorite.

No matter what you choose to read, always remember that you don't need to feel pressured to finish every book you start. Sometimes it's better to quit after reading 50 or 100 pages. Why waste time on something that you don't even like doing? That way you can move on to the next book and cover more ground. Now that you are armed with the knowledge of where to get books for cheap or free, try exploring different genres. You may end up not liking it or you end up loving it. You never know until you try.

Currently Reading: the witty and clever philosophical novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

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  1. wow The Picture of Dorian Grey! That's a classic! :) At least once a week I enter "free eBooks" in the amazon search and get ALL of them :) I have more books I would ever be able to read in my life. Thanks for the tips :)

    1. haha sounds like what I do. I love to just have books around for when the time is right.


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