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How to Find Cheap & Free eBooks

by on February 06, 2017
in Money Savers, Tablets & eReaders, Tips & How-Tos :: 13 comments

ereader and coffee

When it's cold or rainy outside, there's nothing like curling up with a good ebook. But at prices averaging $7.00 a pop, a steady supply of ebooks can get real expensive real quick.

The good news: There are plenty of places to find great ebooks for free or at a significant discount. Here are our favorite places to go for reading on the cheap.

Your Local Library

The best place to start for free books is your local library, and the same holds true for ebooks. The vast majority of libraries now offer popular ebook titles to borrow, just like hardcovers and paperbacks. To find out which books are available near you, either visit your library in person or search online using the OverDrive website at overdrive.com.

Project Gutenberg

Free is hands down my favorite price for books, and few places offer more free books without subscription or commitment than Project Gutenberg. The non-profit is full of approximate 53,000 public domain titles from authors like Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jane Austin and F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you’ve ever wanted to check out a classic novel, Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org) is a great place to start.

Kindle Lending Library

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

If you’re already a member of the $99-per-year Amazon Prime premium service, then you already have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. The service now contains over 500,000 e-books, including the entire Harry Potter series and a number of other New York Times best sellers. They’re not all top-tier reads, but they are free for Kindle owners to download and try.

Free eBooks for Kindle, Kobo and Nook

Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble have selections of free ebooks designed to whet your appetite for more. You'll find new authors, first titles in a series and much more. All you need is the free Kobo, Kindle or Nook app.

Kindle, Kobo and Nook Deals

Like most major bookstores, online book stores have a sale section too. Before you pay full price for an e-book, check out Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals, Nook Books Under $5 and Kobo Great Readers Under $4.99, where you can find titles for teens and adults priced between 99 cents and $4.99. There’s a little bit of everything to discover from historical biographies to mystery novels to light romance fare. And if you don’t like what’s currently available, check back – the deals are updated every day.

Scribd and Kindle Unlimited eBook Subscription Services

If you’re the type of person who craves new reads rather than re-reading old favorites – or if you just blaze through a ton of books each month – then you’re a perfect candidate for Scribd or Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. These subscription services are akin to a Netflix for books.

Kindle Unlimited offers more than 1,000,000 titles and Scribd offers more than 500,000 from smaller and top-tier publishers like HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster. Plus, Scribd and Kindle Unlimited offer audiobooks, in addition to ebooks, and Scribd offers sheet music. In short: Even the pickiest reader is guaranteed to find something worth their time.

New members get a free month of service on all services, allowing you to get sense of the libraries without spending a dime. After the free trial, Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 per month for unlimited reading and Scribd is $8.99 for three books per month (you can roll over for a maximum of 9 books), plus unlimited access to 150,000 titles.

Updated on 2/6/2016

[eReader and coffee via Shutterstock]

Discussion loading

FREE SOURCES of Free eBooks

From Linda Ann Graham on February 03, 2015 :: 7:01 pm

Rather than SPAM this discussion with all their names, I’ll just say I subscribe to about 1/2 dozen daily email newsletters that give me lists of free ebooks - sorted by genres - with a short synopsis of each book; they include everything from kids’ books to nonfiction and all things in between (scifi, mystery, romance, distopean, historical, cookbooks).  For the most parts, their links are to Amazon; but it’s nice to have daily fresh vetted lists of books to investigate.  Anyone wanting detailed info can always contact me on Facebook.



Don't Forget BookBub

From Warren on January 28, 2016 :: 1:38 pm

BookBub offers free and inexpensive ebooks every day. Your subscribe to their mailing list and select one or more genres of interest.  http://www.bookbub.com



If only they had a search option!

From The Zapper on March 11, 2017 :: 5:11 pm

Stupidest interface I’ve ever come across. Try searching for an author or book title. Oh, you can’t.


Couple other good sources!

From Ellen Cohn Odza on January 28, 2016 :: 3:37 pm

http://ebook.bike/ - huge collection of current ebooks and even some audiobooks

Also, if you have a blog and like reviewing the books you read, you can get review copies of books in exchange for an honest review from a number of sources


http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/ (this one gives you a choice - ebook or print copy)



Here as well:

From Bookehost EBookstore on April 18, 2016 :: 9:27 am


Free? Yes Please.

From Tobias Armstrong on March 14, 2016 :: 4:44 pm

I had no idea that there were so many different ways to get cheap ebooks online. I feel like my go-to source is usually Amazon, but it sounds like I should check out a lot of these other sites. Especially the ones that can get them to me for free! Spending less is always nice. http://www.mypersory.com/ebookstore



Another great site

From Stacy Allen on July 17, 2016 :: 6:12 pm

Wow, thanks for the great list of sites. You also might want to add http://topshelfbook.org/ they have thousands of free ebooks and they update daily.



TopBooks is shutting down

From The Zapper on March 11, 2017 :: 5:15 pm

Quote: “Top Shelf Book (and many of our partners) is going private. What this means for you is that you will no longer be able to access this site unless you are a paid subscriber. Further more, once we have gone private we will no longer be accepting signups. The only people who will be able to access the site will be the ones who signed up before we went private.”

Sounds legit. </sarcasm>


top shelf book

From Sarah Renee on January 16, 2018 :: 2:28 pm

They no longer use that url. it https://topshelfbook.net  They are hands down the best out right now



Free Ebook Site

From Maxine West on July 25, 2016 :: 10:19 pm

I recommend this site - They post free ebooks daily and they have a free subsription newsletter:




Don't Forget InkArcade!

From Cliff Wellington on November 08, 2016 :: 12:39 pm

InkArcade has some great deals, I’ve been using them for months now.




Thousands of Free Kindle Books

From G.E. Stroud on February 06, 2017 :: 4:46 pm

Amazon has a great section devoted to free books in dozens of categories


You can also subscribe to Daily Free Books and get a list of up to 15 categories of free Kindle books delivered every day




Another Source

From George on February 28, 2017 :: 10:35 pm

Here is another source that is pretty good. All the books are discounted at least 50%. And you can choose your categories.



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