Are books one of your biggest spending vices? You may think that great literature is worth any price, but buying books here and there can quickly add up. If you're a voracious reader, try to save money by getting some of your books for free through these means:
- Library: You won't need to spend a cent on books when you borrow from the library. And if you can't find a book you want in your local branch, you can put in a request for a book that's available in other branches to be sent to a library near you. And if ebooks are your favored way of reading, you can borrow ebooks for free from most libraries. Check out the other freebies from the library.
- Become a well-known reviewer: You can get free books from authors, even the acclaimed and famous ones, if you try this trick. A lot of times, you can even get the book ahead of its release. All you have to do is start building up a nice repertoire of really solid and detailed book reviews on Amazon or Good Reads, the social network for book recommendations. If your Amazon reviews are good, people will start voting on them, which may qualify you for Amazon's Vine program, an exclusive club that "invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and prerelease items." And if you're a popular Good Reads reviewer, authors will start reaching out to you to review their books.
- Follow authors and book blogs: If you don't have time to review books, you can follow other reviewers or the authors themselves on their blogs to see when they host giveaways for their latest books. You may even get books ahead of their releases.
- Amazon free list: Online superstore Amazon has a huge collection of free ebooks. It has a top 100 free ebooks list that's regularly updated.
- Book swap: There are many sites that let you swap books with others for free. This includes bookmooch, paperbackswap, and even one that swaps eBooks, eBookFling. There may also be in-person book swaps in your city, so check out event sites like meetup to see if there are any local book swaps.
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- Your personal network: Reach out to your friends, family, and colleagues to see if they have books you'd like to read.
- Barnes and Noble: There are plenty of Nook holders out there, so let's not forget the free eBook collection on the Barnes and Noble site as well.
- Hunt it down: If you have the time and energy, go hunt down a book in your area when you look up its location on BookCrossing. Members release books back into the "wild" by leaving them in cafes, airports, gyms, and more, and noting their locations on the site.
- Internet Archive: Internet Archive is a nonprofit, which aims to provide the public with access to historical collections that are in digital format. It has over 2.5 million ebooks in its collection.
- Librivox: This site provides free audiobooks for books that aren't copyrighted. Volunteers record chapters of books and the audio files are shared with the public.
- Podiobooks: This is another great option for getting free audiobooks. Authors list their books on there to get more exposure for their work.
- Freecycle: Look for books for free through your local freecycle group and keep an eye to see when they list books. The network currently has about 10 million members.
- Free stuff on Craigslist: There's a section in Craigslist in which people give away their items for free and there are often people giving away books for free.
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