This is post two of two on saving money while still indulging in expanding your TBR pile. Because, y’know, sometimes you just need new books! Post one is here, and it’s about BUYING books. This one is about getting them (legally) free!
Libraries are wonderful, everyone loves libraries (although not everyone has a library near to them), and though sometimes it’s hard to find a book you want in your library, WorldCat.org makes it easier to see what books are where nearest to you. And, depending on whether your library has enabled this feature or not, you can even request books through inter-library loan through WorldCat!
Trading books with friends seems like one of the most fun activities Ive ever heard of, and yet I’ve never done it myself. I’ve always loved the idea of having a bookish equivalent of a clothing swap, where people bring in books they no longer want and take home new ones in return. Why not set one of these up yourself? It would probably work really well with book groups! Or you could try setting up a book-trading box at your workplace. Think widely, and I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to get more free books.
If you’re feeling frisky, you could try going out and hunting BookCrossing books that people in your town have left for booklovers just like yourself!
I’ve known about NetGalley for at least a year now, and I’ve been a member since at least January 2010, but I never really used them because I never had a good ebook reader until recently! If you haven’t heard of them before, NetGalley is a website where publishers send electronic ARCs to (almost) anyone who requests them.
They have a lot of interesting books available that should work on most major ebook readers out there, so if you’re looking for some new reads, check them out. And now that they’ve added in a feature for using free Kindle addresses, you can get galleys for 100% free instead of whatever the Amazon file transfer fee was!
Please remember that you should conduct your NetGalley business with the same professionalism as you conduct your paper ARC business with publishers elsewhere. The NetGalley ARCs are just as much of an agreement between you and the publisher as getting a physical book is an agreement. Okay?
MobileRead’s freebie forum
MobileRead is a really excellent website that focuses on ebooks and ebook readers, and their forums are a fun place to hang out if you love books and technology. They also have several subforums that are dedicated to free (and cheap) ebooks, and I raid these pretty regularly for new ebooks for my Kindle. (You don’t have to sign up to view the forums, btw.)
There are a ton of websites out there that give out public domain ebooks, but my absolute favorites are Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks, simply because they have the most variety and the best-formatted books out there. If you’re into classics or weird old books on esoteric subjects, or old adventure novels or how-to books on raising sheep, or anything like that, please do check out at least PG. They even organize things by genre and subject to make it easier!
So what do you think? Was this series of posts helpful to you in any way? How do YOU indulge in your book habit while short of funds?