Dear Fellow Reader,
I thought it was time to make a list of free and reduced price book sources that I know about. This week I will concentrate on free books. Please note that with the exception on library books, these suggestions are for eBooks. Don’t worry if you don’t have an e Reader – you can download an app for that!
Sources for FREE books
Your public library – Always has to be at the top of the list. I am not sure if all libraries have access to ebooks but I know that mine does. They have a service that has a web site where you can go to look for books. The major drawback I have found with this service is that like the real library, there are only so many copies of each book and so a majority of the time, I have to put a hold on a book and wait for it to be available. This can be a bit tedious in that you never know when you will get the notice for a book and you only have three days to download it. Also, with popular books, it can take a long time to get the book. I have been waiting for at least a year to get a copy of The Goldfinch. It has been so long that I am not really interested in reading it now. But most books don’t take that long.
And as they say, you should support your local library. They have been the subject of budget cuts the last few years and need the support.
Little Free Libraries – This is the name for those little boxes with books that can spring up in someone’s yard. I wrote about these before and there are more scattered across the country all the time. There is an organization (Little Free Library) that sells the boxes and keeps track of locations.
Project Gutenberg – There are over 49,000 free books available through the Project Gutenberg web site. These books can be downloaded to e Readers or your computer. The books shared on this site are books that the copyright on the book has expired. Therefore, this is the place to go for your classics.
(In case you are wondering how long a copyright lasts, it depends on the date of publication and if the author was alive when the book was published. All books published prior to 1923 are in the public domain. Books published between 1922 and 1978 have a copyright that last 95 years from the date of publication. If the author was dead when the book was published, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. If the work was published after 1978, the copyright is the life of the author plus 70 years. This is the simplistic guide there are many ins and outs that you can look up if you need more information. )
Kindle Free Books – You can go to Amazon and in the search box type in “free Kindle books” and a list of currently free Kindle books will come up.
Nook Free Books – As with Amazon, you can go to Barnes and Noble’s web site and type “free Nook books” into the search and a list of currently free books will come up.
Kobo Free Books – In case you are not familiar with Kobo, it is another company that makes e readers and sells eBooks. You can go to Kobo and type in “free eBooks” and a list of their currently free books will come up.
Note: You can download a free app from each of these companies to your computer, phone, iPad, or tablet so that you can read their books. These titles will change all the time. If you don’t see something one day, you might the next.
Free Books – On both Android and Apple products you can download a free app from Digital Press Publications that has free books. There are also audio recordings of the books. To get the audio recordings, you pay a fee of 3.99 for any titles you would like. That is not $3.99 each – that is $3.99 to be able to download as many as you want. I cannot say for sure but I think these are mostly books that are beyond their copyrights. There are many to choose from on the site and it may be easier to use than the Gutenberg site. (Although there is nothing hard about either site.)
FreeBooks.com – I just found this site. It seems to have a mix of old and new books. I have never used it. You need to download an app “Donnaplay” to read the books, magazines, and comics that are available. The download and the materials are all free.
First to Read – This site is from Penguin Books and they are looking for people to read and review books. When you join the site, you are given “points”. I have no idea how many because I didn’t understand about the points when I joined. Every time you go to the site, you earn 5 points. Once a month, you will get an email that lists the titles available for the month. You can then spend your points to “reserve” a copy of the book or you can go in a lottery system for any book that you would want to read. They do want you to review the book on a site like Goodreads or Amazon or LibraryThing. There are books that come up on the list from both well known authors and new authors. I have two comments about this source. The first is that when that email comes out, you need to go FAST. There are only a set number of each book available for you to reserve with your points and there are only a certain number available for the lottery. If you get a book, they will send you reminders to review it. The other thing is that their books do not download to Kindle. You have to download via Adobe Digital Editions and then download to your eReader. I have run across instances where it will not let me download to my eReader because it says I downloaded once already and can’t do it again. Since I do not read books on my desktop, that book is then lost to me. I took a survey rececntly and asked them to change this system.
Do you have a source for free books that I have not mentioned? Please let me know about it so that I can add it to my list.
Next week, I will put up a list of reduced price book sources.
Thanks for reading!
I’ve had a couple of publishing houses approach me via email to send me ARC (advance reading copies) of books and ask for an “honest review.” This is because I review books sometimes on my blog or on twitter.
Netgalley also a good source (in exchange for an honest review).
I have had that happen and I do belong to Net Galley also. (Thanks to you!) I don’t usually put Net Galley on this list because they are looking for reviews not just readers. Thanks!