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You don’t have to wonder how to get free books for very long now that you’ve found us. Free books — physical copies, e-books, and audiobooks, are absolutely within your grasp and with little to no effort required on your part.
So if you’re someone who likes to collect beautiful hardbacks and paperbacks, I’ve got you covered. If you just like to consume stories and enjoy the ease of your Kindle, this is for you. And if you’ve joined the audiobook revolution and no longer care about seeing the words with your actual eyeballs, guess what? Yep, I got you too.
You should be able to smash your reading goals without smashing your piggy bank. Ready? Here we go.
1. Give and take books from more than 90,000 Little Free Library boxes.
Little Free Libraries are book-sharing boxes that look like little houses. You’ll find more than 90,000 of them in neighborhoods and other high-traffic areas.
If you take a book from the collection, etiquette says you’ll replace it with a book of your own.
If you’re looking for children’s books — we’ve got tips on how to get kids’ books for free.
2. The library, yes we know. But are you using Libby?
Everyone knows you can check free books out at the library. But did you know that you can access thousands of digital and audiobooks through the Libby app? In fact, you can have up to 15 audiobooks on hold at one time, ensuring you’re never without something to listen to. You just need a current library card to get started.
Sure, you don’t get to keep these books, but considering the scale of free books accessible this way, I think it’s worth mentioning.
Related: Free Kindle Books
3. Get new-to-you books via book exchanges.
Book exchanges have a “give a book, take a book” kind of policy going. Like the reverse of a Little Library. And online book exchanges make it easy to list your good-condition books and find some more that you might want. You’ll only pay for shipping.
Here are some of our favorites:
Book exchanges aren’t just online; check Craigslist and Google to find listings for book exchanges near you.
4. Sign up to read Advance Review Copies (ARCs) of new releases.
Every new book needs reviews on Goodreads and then, once it’s out in the world, on Amazon. This boosts author sales, and so authors are very motivated to get their books into the hands of readers.
Anyone can get an ARC to review. Here’s how it works: you sign up through a third party like NetGalley or BookSirens and read a free digital copy of the book of your choice. (Some books require approval in order to access, but the way to get approved is to start out reading books that don’t need approval and leaving reviews faithfully. This will make you more appealing as a reader for upcoming releases by your favorite authors who tend to not have as many reviewer slots.)
The only requirement is that you leave an honest review and mention you received a free Advance Review Copy in exchange. And yes, please be honest, even if the book wasn’t for you. In addition to NetGalley and BookSirens, here are more places looking for reviewers:
5. Get free Kindle e-books — either limited-time titles or public domain classics.
Kindle offers a range of free e-books, and if you see something you like, snap it up because it might not be free for very long. Famous works by authors, like Dickens, some Agatha Christie, along with Jane Austen, are always free.
6. Read over 2,000 free digital books on Bibliomania.
You can read classic fiction, drama, short stories, biographies, and more for free on Bibliomania. They add new books every month, and you can also access study guides for books.
7. Read books from over 20 different genres on BookBub.
You can access free e-books on BookBub in almost every format: Kindle, Nook, iPad, Android, you name it. Titles rotate frequently.
If you’re willing to pay just a smidge, BookBub also runs deals for $0.99 e-books all the time. These are often new and bestselling titles.
8. Or access over 50,000 classic free e-books on Project Gutenberg.
Project Gutenberg has been in the free book game for a while, and they have a ton of e-book titles. The only catch is that you won’t find anything new. Nothing even in the past 100 years or so. That’s because of copyright laws and how Project Gutenberg is set up. However, if you want Shakespeare or Sir Conan Doyle, this is your jam.
9. Find free books using local bulletin boards.
If you don’t see books on there, you can always post that you’re looking for them.
10. Get free audiobooks from Audible, Spotify, and more.
Audiobooks are becoming a favorite way to consume books because you can do other things while you listen. It’s a multitasker’s dream. Still, they can be expensive, and so it’s important to know where to look for free audiobooks.
Audible offers a free book with their 30-day trial period, but I’ve found this resets about once a year. I’ll sign up for the free trial, usually keep my subscription for a few months, then cancel. Rinse and repeat a year later.
Or find free classic audiobooks on Spotify. They offer over 300,000 books, some of which require a purchase in order to access, but most of the classics are free.