Saturday, September 6, 2008

Free Books

I have always loved to read, so I guess there's no surprise that I grew up to become an English teacher. The problem with loving to read is that you either put out tons of money on books, some of which you end up wishing you hadn't bought, or you exhaust your free book supply. I have recently started a quest to find places to get free books, and I'm sharing my finds with you!


The Library - Of course, the library is a great place to find all types of books. My local library is connected to a system of 20 libraries in 3 counties, allowing me access to all the books in those libraries. I frequently request books to be sent to my library for pick up.

"Swap" Shops - We have a local shop that allows you to swap your paperbacks for new-to-you paperbacks. I haven't visited this shop yet, but I have friends who love it. There are a few rules regarding the condition of the books you bring in, so be sure to ask your local shop before you load up your books. To find one in your area, go to the Yellow Pages and search for "used books.

Swap Parties - Do you have several friends with whom you share books? Why not make a party out of it? You and your friends can set the rules - for example, each person brings 5 hardback fiction books - and the supplies needed (margaritas? coffee?). Maybe each party can have a theme - mystery, historical, etc.

Swap Parties, Part 2 - Why keep the party just for adults? If your kids are like mine, they have tons of books that they never read anymore. Have a kid-themed party and let the kids bring books to swap!


BookMooch and PaperBackSwap - Similar to a swap shop, but you do have to pay for shipping the books. (Thanks to Jenn for telling me about PaperBackSwap!)

Harlequin - Free book offers from Harlequin, Silhouette and other series

Daily Lit - Receive installments of books via email or RSS feed. Some books are free, and others range from $3.95 to $6.95. You can also receive short stories.

Project Gutenberg - This is the largest collection of free eBooks.

First Look - Each month, Harper Collins offers advanced reader copies of select books. Choose the book(s) you'd like to read and you'll be entered into drawings for the opportunity to read and review the book(s). Register and they will email you when books that match your interests are available

Read it Forward - Request advance copies of select books. In the current issue, the first 200 to request a book will receive it. After you read it, pass it on to another book lover.

Read it First - St. Martin will send you the first few chapters of a new release so that you can decide if you'd like to buy it. You may also get the opportunity to win free books.

Browse Inside - At Harper Collins, you can read excerpts and even entire books online. Here's the list of over 15000 books available. - Join a book club, and each week, you'll receive 2-3 chapters of a different book. The chapters are divided into 5-minute portions that are sent each day. Reading samples might also qualify you for a drawing for books or other items.

Giveaways - How could I have left this off the list? I recently won two books from Penguin on Freebies4mom! Here's a link to the book giveaway list on Prizey.

Promotions - Companies sometimes have promotions in which you can get a free book by sending in UPCs or tokens from their products. Kellogg's is currently running such a promotion.

Not Free, but Great Deals:

Amazon - I buy most of my books from Amazon because the prices are always the cheapest, especially on new releases.

Quality Paperback Books - We were members of this club years ago, and I just rejoined through MyPoints. I have discovered some really great books through the club, and they really are great quality. When I rejoined, I received 8 books for about $35. You earn points by buying books, and you can redeem the points for cheaper book prices.

Do you know of any other places to find free or cheap books?



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