12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap

If you are an avid book reader then you know how expensive your habit can get. Find out how to save money with these 12 ways to get books free or cheap.

12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap

Reading is one of my favorite things to do, even though I don’t have a lot of time for it anymore, but if I did that’s all I would do. I love the way a good book can drag you in and take you to a different place. I love the way I feel after being sucked into the story like I actually left my body for a minute. However, books can be so expensive, and being an avid reader could seriously get me in trouble. Therefore, I have to look for ways to get books free or cheap.

Recently my husband, daughter and I found the (almost) perfect home. All the signs were leading up to us getting this new home, yet the night before we put in our offer someone put in theirs and got it. It was very disappointing, but I knew God had His reasons. And He did, of course. So we are trying to save as much money as we can to hopefully buy something better or build our own.

One of the ways I have found to save money is by getting free or cheap books. The library doesn’t always have the book I want to read right away, or it will be on hold for a few months, so sometimes I have to look for different ways to get books. Here are some of the tools I use to get books free or cheap.

How to get books free or cheap

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Cheap Books

1. BookLender – Booklender is the oldest book rental service, with unlimited books and audio books.

How it works: Create a list of books online and they will automatically mail the books from your queue. There are no due dates or late fees, you return the books when you want. There is no shipping fee or return fee.

Cost: There are different plans and prices available. (Here’s a code to get 60% off your first month at booklender.com – code SAS)

Rent Books

2. Bookcase Club – Bookcase Club is a monthly subscription service.

How it works: You choose a theme and they handpick 2 novels to send you each month. (With the kids club you get 3 books a month.)

Cost: $9.99 plus $5 shipping each month. You can cancel anytime.

3. Second Sale – Second Sale started out buying books from customers in 2008 and starting selling books online in 2018. The books are used, but in great condition.

How it works: Choose from millions of books, place your order, and get free shipping. You can even sell your old books to them even if you didn’t buy them from Second Sale. Books include fiction, psychology, law, medical, just to name a few. They have textbooks as well and you can sell them your old textbooks to make some extra money.

Cost: Book prices start at $2.97 with free shipping.

Second Sale

4. Thriftbooks.com – This is usually my go-to site when I am looking for a book to gift or a book for myself that I just have to have. They have tons of different types of books such as fiction, non-fiction, religious, kids, and so on. The books are used, but every book I have received from them is like new.

How it works: Go to their website thriftbooks.com and pick out your books. They also have different rewards programs. For example, with the reader rewards, you get 8 points for every $1 spent and 500 points will get you a free book.

Cost: Prices vary. If you spend $10 or more you get free shipping in the US. Anything under $10 and the shipping is only $.99.

Here’s a coupon for 15% off your first purchase!

12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap

Free Books

1. Libby App – I use this and I love it! Libby connects to your local public library and lets you borrow thousands of ebooks and audiobooks. I use this app a lot. I usually borrow audiobooks and listen to them while I’m cleaning or crocheting.

How it works: Download the app from the Apple Store, Google Play, or Microsoft. Sign in with your library card and download or stream books and audiobooks. You can sample any book you want, which I highly recommend if you are borrowing an audiobook. Some of the people reading the books have such an irritating voice that I have to skip it. But that’s just me. You can also speed up the reader if they read too slow.

2. Bookmooch.com – I have used this in the past and really enjoyed it. BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books.

How it works: You list the books you want to send and when someone “mooches” a book from you, you get a point. Then you can start “mooching” from others. You do have to have points in your account in order to request books from others. The main problem I have had with this site is that users aren’t very active and apparently do not check their emails when you mooch a book from them. Some of them have left me hanging for a week or longer so I just canceled my request. You are able to see the last time the user was online so that is helpful.

3. Amazon Free Books – Believe it or not Amazon does have free books you can read on your Kindle. (You can get the Kindle app for any device for free.) There are many popular classics and romance novels in this section as well as kid’s books.

How it works: Find the book you want to read and make sure it’s free, click buy it now and have it delivered to your Kindle or the device the kindle reader is on.

If you would rather, you can get Kindle Unlimited, which is only $9.99 a month, with the first month free. (You can cancel any time.) This gives you unlimited reading with Ebooks and audiobooks, plus magazines! Plus you can use any device. This is a great way to get books free or cheap!

4. Project Gutenbuerg – This site offers the world’s greatest literature for free. You do not need a special app, just read them directly on the site. My daughter has read a few books from this site for her English class.

How it works: Go to their website (link above) and search for a book or browse their catalog. They have an excellent help section that covers a wide variety of questions.

5. Open Library – Open Library is an open project that has every book ever published. You can contribute by adding a book, fixing a typo, or writing a widget.

How it works: Sign up on their site and enter your information. You will receive an email requesting verification. Click the link in the email and then log in to the site. Search for a book to borrow or browse the list of books. You can borrow up to 5 books at a time for 2 weeks.

6. FreeBooks.com – This site has an ever growing collection of free ebooks in genres such as horror, romance, Christian and many more. They also have audiobooks and textbooks.

How it works: Go to their site (link above) and search for a book or browse through the categories. Once you find a book, click on the “get it now” button under the book and choose the way you would like to download it.

7. Borrow from friends and family – My mom used to read 20 books a month. (I’m exaggerating, but it was close!) The bookmobile would come to the little store across the road from us and we would always walk down the driveway to return our books and get more. I loved that! Now I borrow books from my mom as well as friends. This is the best way to get free books if you have friends and family that love to read.

8. The library – Obviously! I try to visit the library every month. Not only do you get to check out unlimited free books, it’s also a great place for free movies as well. Our local library has a book sale once a month, where you can find books for as little as a dollar or two. Visiting your local library is another way to get books free or cheap!

Do you prefer a physical book or an Ebook? Would you rather purchase or borrow a book?

Looking for more frugal living ideas? I recommend reading these next:
Save Money with These Vinegar Hacks
35 Topnotch Frugal Living Tips
20 Ways to Spend a Money-Free Weekend

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12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap

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49 thoughts on “12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap”

  1. All the best for your new house, these days I am also in search of good place for me and my family. I have a same dream like you to have to cup of coffee with a nice mountain view, but in Mumbai maybe it’s impossible. Ya but I can get a nice view of concrete jungle and some garden greenery.

  2. Wow, you have really done your research on this! I have a kindle which I love, mainly because I don’t have to lug a pile of books around and can just slip it in my purse. I don’t read enough to justify the $9.99 monthly, but do take advantage of the free books they offer and their library…good luck on the house hunting, a dishwasher will change your life!

    1. Thank you! I take advantage of the free books, too, although I love physical books. I do like to read at night sometimes and will use my tablet so I don’t bother anyone with the light. I think I’m most excited about the dishwasher! ?

  3. Many books tend to lose their sticker value at a rate that’s good for readers, alarming for the writers. 🙂 I recently saw a friend’s book — only a few months old — balancing a wonky table in a diner. I suspect it’s good not to take your work too seriously.

  4. This is such a useful post, thank you for sharing this! I had used some of these sites for my academic research but never for reading for pleasure. The thought never even occurred to me. xxx


  5. You never know about who will move in next….I am totally with you on that one. The people across the street from us are moving. They have been fairly quiet so far, we don’t know who will come next. Hopefully they are good neighbors 🙂 I love reading but never seem to make time for it right now. My kids, however, blaze through books faster than I can get myself to the library.

    1. I hope you get good neighbors! I know the feeling! I would love to be able to grab a book and read for an entire day! ?

  6. Good luck with your house hunting this year Michelle! I’m sure you’ll find something great for you and your family! Wow, I had no idea there were so many resources for cheap or free books! I used to get really cheap books at thrift stores (like entire novels for $2.00!) when I used to work in NYC, but they’re aren’t as many up where I live now ?.

  7. This is such a great post Michelle, and for me my favourite is thrift shops. I love second hand books. What a journey they have been on. Have they been read? Is there a little note inside? To X From X? I love it.

    1. I love thrift shops, too! I’ve gotten a few books that had handwritten notes in them. I aways wonder why the book was sent to the thrift shop if it had such a sweet note inside.

      1. I love to think about this too then I create big narratives in my head like the partner cheated, or the book was stolen, or something. Probably it was donated by accident but a girl can dream! 😀

        1. Haha! I always imagined they died and their kids gave away all their stuff because they were like evil step moms! lol

  8. I’m cheering for your new house! Hope you can find one very soon. I know how annoying problems with “loud” people are. That was a frequent problem for me in the UK, I even sigh today. These are many options to explore and find books for a more generous price! Thank you for sharing all these links! ♥️

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