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I love to read, and while we live in a magical time when free ebooks abound, sometimes I just want to feel the paper of a physical book and carry it around with me. Shrug.

There are some great places to get free physical books, but you have to know where to look. Nah, just kidding — we know where to look, and we’ll tell you, so you can read all the books without spending a cent.


1. Give and take books from more than 90,000 Little Free Library boxes.

Little Lending Library

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.

Find a Little Free Library near you (or apply to set one up yourself for free).

If you’re looking for children’s books — we’ve got tips on how to get kids’ books for free.


2. Get new-to-you books via book exchanges.

Book exchanges have a give-a-book, take-a-book kind of policy going. And online book exchanges make it easy to list your good-condition books and find some more that you might want. 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.


3. Swagbucks helps you get free books on Amazon.

Amazon isn’t in the business of giving away physical books, but you can earn free Amazon gift cards when you take surveys and complete tasks via Swagbucks.

And if Amazon’s not your jam, Target gift cards are also available (among many others). Is Swagbucks legit? We’ve got some opinions.



4. Find free books using local bulletin boards.

Listing on Craigslist.com about free kids books

Visit Freecycle and the “Free Stuff” section of Craigslist to see if people in your area are giving away free books.

If you don’t see books on there, you can always post that you’re looking for them.

Also: Look on barter sites like Bunz, OfferUp, and Trademade to see if you can trade goods or services (not just books) for free books.


5. Get free books in exchange for your reviews.

Woman reading a book.

One way to get free books is to sign up to be a book reviewer. You’ll get free books from new and independent authors in exchange for an honest review. Although most of the review copies are digital, some will send hard copies.

These sites are looking for reviewers:

Here's How I Get Free Hard Copy Books