Tuesday, March 15, 2011

8 Ways to Get Free Books

You're fabulous, you're literate, and you're poor.

So how do you get your book fix without being chased out of the Barnes and Noble cafe in the middle of the novel you've been "browsing"?

Free books. Free NEW Books.

I don't in any way condone stealing copyrighted works, so we're not going down that path- but I've compiled a list of ways anyone can read for free (or "cheap as free").

-First Reads: Free book giveaways: This combines the joy of reading the unknown with the adrenaline that comes from entering the lottery. That's right, you can join Goodreads.com, and then enter to win a pre-release book that's been listed by an author or publisher. The variety of books is extensive, and there's a big reading/discussion community on the site as well.

-BookCrossing: An awesome and incredibly unique book sharing experience that I can't wait to try! Step 1: Label a book from your collection with one of the special bookcrossing barcode. Step 2: "Share" the book by either giving it away to a stranger or friend, leaving it on the table at a coffee shop or on the train, or any other way you wish to release it into the wild. Step 3: Follow the book online to see where it's going and where it has been. According to the website, over 850k people registered nearly seven million books which are traveling around 130 countries. That's awesome, free, and fun. Try it!

-Kindle eBook Lending: For 14 days you can lend an ebook to another friend who has a Kindle, or has the Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android. Sounds awesome, yeah? Only drawback? Not all books are lendable, AND the lender can't read the book during the loan period. This leads us to...

-BookLending.com: If your friends don't have e-readers yet, or you're just looking for a wider variety of choices, BookLending.com is the place for all e-reading people to come together and loan out their books. The site matches borrowers with lenders at no cost.

-Free-Ebooks.net: It's the posting place for a lot of indie authors who just want to get their work out there, or booksellers who want to provide samples. You can read on your computer, iPad or iPhone.

-BooksFree: Despite the name, it isn't entirely free, but it is very inexpensive. For about $11 USD per month, you can check out two books at a time. The price is low, but the selection may not be the best if you're looking for mainstream, popular novels. I'll also point you to...

-Bookswim.com: It bills itself as "The Netflix for Books", and that's a pretty accurate title. The selection is good, but the pricing plans start at $23.95 a month for 3 books at a time OR 1-book-a-month for $9.95+3.99 shipping fee. Yeah, it's cheap-as-free over time, but there's always the totally free option, like...

-The Library: this is a big "duh" for some, but I've come across many people who don't realize their local library has an extensive New Release section. Most library systems in the US allow you to browse their catalog online, and reserve a book- so you can get in and out of the quickly. As long as you return the book on time and keep up with your library card-- it's the free-est and easiest option available.

Have other links or suggestions? Comment below, or send the cast an email at thelibraryshow@gmail.com!

1 comment:

  1. never heard of some of these! I really want to try book crossing. it sounds awesome!