Have you been hungry for the Hunger Games? Drunk on laughter from the Hangover 2? Humming that newest hit on the radio? Now, did you pay to see, read, or listen to any of these items?  Let me tell you about this amazing place where they let you borrow everything for free.  I’ll bet you already have this place, right next door. The library!

I’ll admit, before I started to work at the library, I had the same misconceptions most people have.  My eyes have now been opened, and I can’t possibly pay a monthly subscription for movies anymore! After all, you already pay for your libraries through your taxes; make use of them! Plus, library cards are free!


  • Libraries don’t have anything I want to read/see: All I can say is WRONG! Most libraries get new releases the same time as stores, especially if you’re in a bigger city. I can’t count how many people have said to me “Oh well, the library just has old movies that nobody wants to watch anyways.”  Your tax dollars are going somewhere, and that’s to buy new materials!
  • You can still get fines:  I can’t argue with that, but most libraries have a 3-7 day loan on videos and 3 weeks for books, depending on what library you go to. For most, that is more than enough time to watch movies or read books. Also, depending on your library, they may max out the fines you can get on an item. Don’t be afraid to ask a library about their policy towards fines. My advice is to just return your things on time. Either way, it will end up cheaper for you in the long run.
  • All the good items are always checked out or on hold: It’s true that popular items don’t stay on the shelves, but hold lists really don’t take that long.  Waiting a little longer for that new release or best seller will be worth it in the long run because you won’t have to pay for it!
  • I have an e-reader, so why would I get a book from the library?  Most libraries now have books that you can borrow through your e-reader! You may find that there are more holds on these items since libraries tend to buy less of them, but you can still find a lot of great books available to read.

In summary, whether you use the library to get all things in entertainment, that classic you’ve been dying to read, or that funny movie you love to see, you’ll be saving yourself loads of money in the long run. No discounts or coupons needed!

This has been a guest post by Lauren from Milwaukee, WI
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13 thoughts on “The Secret to Getting Books and Movies for Free”

  1. Chelsea says:

    I used to work at a library and it was boooooooooooring!!!!! BUT, I did get all my late fees waived, so I always had at least 60 books/movies/cds out at a time lmao. 

  2. dayna lloyd says:

    I haven’t checked out movies at the library, but when I check out books I can get them for a max of 6 weeks unless its a popular book then it’s only 2 weeks.  It’s good because you can check out books and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to deal with the idea of wasting the money on the book!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love the library.  I used to work at our local branch in high school, so I am very familiar with everything our county system has to offer.  With 30 branches, when you request something, they are pulling books from all over.  I have the library site bookmarked on my computer and an Android smartphone app, so wherever I am I can request a book or movie.  Everything has a 3-week checkout, including DVDs, and you can have 10 DVDs out at a time.  You can also request seasons of TV shows.  The overdue fine for DVDs used to be a dollar a day.  A few years back, they dropped it to a nickel a day (same as books).  So even if you are a bit late, you’re not racking up huge fines.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I request books/movies/music/books on tape from my library’s website. It will pull from about 6 different libraries and deliver it to the closest branch so I almost always find what I want. This way I don’t even have to spend time to look for the item in the library.

    I often check amazon for titles that seem interesting and request them from the library all within a few minutes. i love the affordable convenience!!

  5. I’m sure ours is not an exception; you can also check out music, and even ARTWORK! I know people who change the look of their living room every month this way! EVERYBODY should have a library card! Oh, they also have magazines, too!

  6. Anonymous says:

    LOVE our local library. The kids think it’s a treat to go when they are out of school, tons of “new” books and movies for a week! Great resource to have.

  7. Rachel Barry says:

    This is good advice, but be aware that in some cities the libraries will charge a buck or two to check out DVDs. This is rare but I have seen it, and it can actually vary from library to library within the same system, so I would definitely check their policies closely. With that being said I have used the library to check out lots of great DVDs for free and the ebook downloading service many are offering now is awesome! Sometimes you have to put on a hold on ebooks and wait for those two, but once they’re available you can download them for free without leaving the comfort of your home. :)

  8. I have been viewing movies for many years via the library.  A good way to land new releases is: I always check out the “newly released” or the “soon to be or upcoming releases” on teh Best Buy website.  I make my list for both movies and music.  Log onto my local library website and submit a request (place a hold) on the items I’m interested in.  If they are not available, I just request that the item be purchased by the library and sometimes I am lucky to have the item held automatically if it is purchased. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if “Pick Another CHECKOUT LANE, honey!” can be found in a Public Library?