As a book lover, I can often be found with my head in a book and, now, more than ever, as many of us are confined to our homes, I rely on a good novel or autobiography to help pass the time.
We know that books can sometimes be expensive so, in this article, I’ll show you how to get hold of great books absolutely free.
7 Ways to Get Free Books
You may be surprised to learn that there are lots of ways to get your hands on a free book – if you know where to look.
When seeking free books, it’s best if you’re not too specific – for example, if you’re after one particular book you’ll have your work cut out for you in finding a free copy.
However, if you’re not too fussy and simply want books of a particular genre, there are lots of places you can look – some of these include:
Many libraries will, periodically, give away old and scruffy books to make room on their shelves for more.
Check out your local library to see if they have a freebie bin and, if not, don’t be afraid to ask a member of staff.
A lot of popular magazines include a section on book reviews and, in many cases, they hold giveaways for the book of the week or month.
Check out women magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Vogue for giveaway competitions.
Alternatively, subscribe to a book-specific magazine; some of my favorites are:
Book Forum: Available as a physical magazine and online, Book Forum is a pretty good source of giveaways and competitions for free books.
World Literature Today: is crammed full of great articles, interviews, reviews and the occasional giveaway.
Publishers Weekly: Choose from print or online and enjoy lots of interesting features as well as competitions to win free books.
Bookmarks Magazine: Available bi-monthly, Bookmarks Magazine showcases new books and authors with lots of great articles and plenty of competitions and giveaways.
Thrift / Charity Shops
Most charity shops stock a number of books at a very low price and, some also have a basket of books to give away for free.
In some cases, you’ll just be able to help yourself whilst other stores may require you to make a purchase in order to get your free book.
Check out local groups on Facebook as lots of sellers give away bundles of books as long as you’re able to collect them yourself.
Do always be careful when visiting the home of somebody that you don’t know when collecting books and, take somebody with you where possible.
You can also join book clubs on Facebook where members often swap actual books as well as book recommendations and tips.
If joining a book club, be sure to engage regularly rather than just logging on and asking for freebies.
As with social media groups, you can often find books on eBay either free of charge or for next to nothing on the basis that you need to pick them up yourself (your eBay account will feature your address so you’ll be able to filter your search by location).
If you’re passionate about books, why not try starting your own book review blog?
Begin by setting up your blog and posting some reviews of your favorite books – and make your reviews as engaging and interesting as possible in order to gain a following.
You can then contact authors via social media to ask for review copies of their new books.
Not only will this enable you to get hold of lots of free books but you’ll also have fun with your new hobby.
Similar to Craigslist, FreeCycle is a place where people can buy and sell a large number of items. Although it’s primarily for selling, you will find the occasional freebie.
Simply log onto the site and go to browse groups to search for people who are giving away books in your area.
You’ll then need to liaise with the seller to fix a time for you to collect your books.
3 Places that Send Free Books by Mail
There are thousands of book blogs out there – and it seems that more are popping up every day.
These will often be set up to offer reviews of great books and, the blogger will sometimes give away freebies in exchange for a review.
Take a look online to find some blogs and then follow the process for a free book.
Barnes and Noble
This well-known book store gives away free books every summer to children willing to commit to reading a certain number of books and to write about them in a journal.
Visit a store or log onto https://www.barnesandnoble.com/ to find out how to get involved.
This popular newspaper and ezine will send you a free coloring book by mail. Check out the newspaper or go online to order your free book.
13 Websites to Find Free Books Online
Although there are ‘real world’ ways of finding free books, the internet is your best bet in terms of choice and availability and, the following sites are just some of my favorites:
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
We all know that Dolly Parton has a fantastic singing voice but you may not be aware that she also runs the non-profit Imagination Library which promotes childhood literacy by sending free books to children up to the age of five.
Simply sign up at ImaginationLibrary.com to get your child on the list to receive a free book every single month.
The service is currently available in the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Check the video to see how it works:
This is primarily a book review site, so how do you get freebies? Log onto the site and find a book that you fancy. You can then add your name to the review request list.
Although there are no guarantees of receiving a book as they tend to be limited, you can increase your chances by adding a review request to multiple titles.
This site is a must for book lovers as it contains tons of book recommendations and reviews. It also has a handy ‘Giveaways’ section in which authors offer free copies of their books in return for reviews.
Although it’s not compulsory to leave a review once you’ve received a free book, it is, of course, the polite thing to do.
NetGalley was created to help authors to publicize their books as this can be quite difficult for those without an author and traditional publisher.
Many authors will offer pre-release copies of their books in exchange for mandatory reviews.
All you need to do is become a member, which is free of charge, and then hunt for the books you like the look of.
Jiffy Recipe Book
You have heard of Jiffy Mix and, the creators of this have put together a recipe book which you can get hold of for free.
Simply visit the site and fill in the form and, then, you can choose the online version or the hard copy (or both, you wish).
Or of course, you can have both the hard copy and eBook if you choose as well!
As you probably imagine, GOOD freebies go fast, so if you really want to test your luck on free books, you will probably want to check the website out frequently.
One of the world’s most famous advertising sites, Craigslist features freebie items as well as things for sale.
Although you may not find the biggest selection of free books on Craigslist, it’s certainly worth taking a look – you may just get lucky!
EPA Activity Books
The Environmental Protection Agency is committed to educating people about preserving our planet and, it offers free children’s activity books by mail.
Log onto the site and browse books by title or school grade to find a freebie for your child.
Lola’s Blog Tours
A popular book blogging site, Lola’s Blog Tours features the occasional giveaway for review purposes.
Unfortunately, free books are few and far between but persistence will usually pay off.
Enchanted Book Reviews
Another book review blog, EnchantedBookPromotions.com allows you to request a book to review.
Again, don’t expect to get tons of free books straight away but, keep trying and you’ll usually get your hands on a freebie eventually.
This comprehensive book review site features over 250 options ranging from children’s books to adult fiction and non-fiction.
You’ll need to start by filling out a reviewer application form and, if you’re successful, you can then start to browse books to read and review.
If you fancy getting creative books, visit this site and search for book keywords, you will see all of the free adult coloring books. It is a deal website that offers not only books but also all kinds of free items on Amazon.
Although you are required to sign up for an account and finish required processes, you won’t be charged for the book.
Or simply visit the site and subscribe to its newsletter to receive any notifications on free books.
Known mainly for suspense and romance novels, Reader Service will send you two books completely free of charge – including shipping. Log onto the site and go to ‘how it works’ to choose your free books.
Once you’ve received your books, remember to cancel your membership – otherwise, you’ll receive more books which you will be charged for.
American people who are blind or have sight issues can request free braille books for the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults.
There are a number of titles available and, you’ll need to fill in an online application form to enroll as a member.
10 Websites to Download Free eBooks
The internet has a lot going for it and, that includes places to get some great free books.
Whether you’re after a traditional book to curl up with or, a digital version to be delivered straight to your Kindle, there are a huge number of websites out there for you.
Some of my favorites are:
This site has a staggering 57,000 free ebooks to choose from and charges absolutely no fees at all and requires no custom apps.
Don’t expect the latest blockbusters but there are certainly plenty of classics and great modern titles available.
An internet-only non-profit library, Open Library allows users to browse and download a large number of books free of charge. 3. Google eBookstore
Ebook lovers are spoilt for choice with Google’s free book store which features a comprehensive mix of classic and contemporary books.
Amazon Free Kindle Books
Amazon’s freebie offering features some great books by popular authors – all of which are free to download.
With over 15,000,000 free to downloadable books and texts, Internet Archive encourages its global community to contribute physical books as well as digital ones.
As you may have guessed, this one features many books which are free to download and read on eReaders, Kindle, iPad, and Nooks.
It is the world’s biggest publisher of online educational literature with in excess of 1000 books on offer.
For those with an interest in science, LibGen is a search engine that helps you to find and download free science-related texts and books.
Browse through 90+ book categories and download for free.
Last but not least, Free eBooks has thousands of free eBooks on offer including fiction, nonfiction, romance, sci-fi, self-help, and business.
If you’re an e-book reader, there are literally millions of free books out there for you to get your hands on with very little effort.
Lots of authors are keen to raise their profile by getting as many new readers as possible and so, once you’ve downloaded and enjoyed your free book, try to remember to leave a review.
If you’re after physical books, you may have to work a little harder but, there are still lots of options available as I’ve highlighted in this article.
Some of these do involve a little bit of give and take, so do participate by donating books if you’re able to.
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