Monday, January 25, 2021

How to Read Books for Cheap or Free

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, but buying books can be an expensive habit. I know this because when I was a kid I would save up my money for an eventual trip to Borders (RIP) or Barnes & Noble. It always felt so exciting to walk out of the store with a new book.  My Mom would drive us home from the store and I would sit happily in the backseat, excited to dive into my new book when I got home.

Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

But while going to the book store can easily become an addictive and expensive habit, there are other ways to get our reading in! Here are some of my tips and tricks for how you can read for cheap or free. Some of them are more obvious than others, but I hope these ideas help you fit some more reading into your everyday life.

1. Utilize your Local Library

You probably already know this, but libraries are a great resource for more than just books.  I grew up going to the library with my Mom and my brothers once a week for books, but now there are so many other things you can do.

  • Books
  • Audiobooks
  • Kindle Books
My local library has a program called Overdrive that I can use to sign up for audiobooks and kindle format books that I can read on my eReader. There are rules, like you can only keep them for a certain amount of time and sometimes you have to add yourself to the wait list if a lot of people are wanting a certain book.

If you're curious about what your local library offers, you should ask someone at the checkout desk next time you're there. Or you can also look on their website. That's where my library has links for all their different services.

2. Purchase an eReader

Now, I know what you're thinking. Buying an eReader isn't cheap. But to me, it feels like more of an investment. Because while you have to spend a bit upfront, buying eBooks is generally cheaper than going to the book store and buying a new book. Even the less expensive books are running closer to $12.99.

PRO TIP - Amazon also has a lot of eBooks that are free. If you search for a certain genre and then search by bestsellers, they will show you a list of the top 100 books in that category. You can also select the top 100 free books in that category.

You have to sift through them and be choosy in order to find good reads, but I've found some great deals.

The eReader I have is the Kindle Fire and I love it because it also has some tablet functionalities, like being able to browse the internet and use apps.

Mine is black, but I really like this plum color too!

3. Utilize Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited (KU) is similar to Netflix in that it's a monthly subscription you can sign up for through Amazon. Authors enroll their books in the Kindle Unlimited program which allows for members of KU to "borrow" their books, read them, and then return them when they're done.

Recently I found out that some books in KU give you access to the audible book as well, which is awesome! The last book I listed to was Layla and I binged it in 1.5 days. It was so good!

Click here to learn more about Kindle Unlimited

4. Shop Secondhand

Thrift stores are a great place to look for books because you never know what you might find. You'll probably find a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting (haha it's crazy how many copies of that book are floating around in the world. Other places to look are:

  • Secondhand stores
  • Garage Sales
  • Used Book Sales.

5. Share with Family, Friends, and Your Neighborhood

Sharing is caring, right? I think so. Especially when it comes to books. This idea is especially useful if you have friends or family members who are readers.

  • Share with your family members. If they're readers, great! If they're not, check their house. Sometimes people purchase books for airplane rides or as vacation reads. You never know what you might find.
  • Share with your friends. My best friend Emily and I are constantly swapping recommendations. I actually have a book of hers right now that I need to read and return to her. Thanks for reminding me, blog.
  • Check for Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood. And make sure that if you take a book to read, you put one back in its place for others to read and enjoy.
Do you have any tips? Reading is one of my favorite activities and I would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment section down below.

xo Marian

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