I read quite a bit nowadays and about a year ago I realized it was becoming an expensive habit and I started looking into the ways I could cut down on the overall cost of acquiring the books I wanted to read. Below are the 7 best ways I've found to find cheap and free books that work on the Kindle. I do use all the items below to find books, but the three sources I use the most in the list below are my local library, eReaderIQ , and Amazon's Daily Deals.
Where to Get Free Books
Your Local Library
Your local library is a great source for Kindle books that I've written about before. I get about 60% of the books I read from my local library system. If you aren't using the library you are just throwing money away. It may not have everything you want, or in the timeframe you want it, but there's tons of great stuff to read there and for older books, or books you can wait for, its a great free way to read.
Amazon Prime Free Lending
If you have Amazon Prime you get access to a selection of books that Amazon makes available for free. This is also known as Kindle Owners' Lending Library. You can borrow one book a month under this plan. The selection isn't great, but I've found a few books to read from here over the last couple of years.
Here's how to browse the available books online. Remember though you have to get the book while actually being on your kindle through the Kindle store.
Borrow a Book From A Friend
Amazon does have a way for you to lend/borrow some books to/from your friends. Here is Amazon's help page that describes how it works. There's not many book that are lendable, but some are, so it is worth it to check it out if a friend has a copy of something you want to read.
Free Books on Amazon
Amazon has thousands of free books available. There are many classic books or books from authors who are just staring out. But if you watch carefully you can catch an old best seller. One common tactic that publishers also use is to put older books of a successful series on sale or free when the author has a new book coming out. You can use the alerts listed in the section below to help find those.
- Here's a list of the top 100 downloaded free books on Amazon.
- Here's a list of books available for a limited time that are free.
Services and Sites to Help You Find Free and Cheap Books
Amazon Daily Deals
eReaderIQ – Price Change Alerts
This is a fantastic service that I use all the time! eReaderIQ is a site that allows you to set up an email alert if the price of the book you want is lowered. You can even set it to a specific price if you want. There is also the ability to check out the pricing history for any Kindle book sold on Amazon. Below is an example for the Dennis Lehane book "A Drink Before the War" which I bought for $1.99 after recieving the price change alert in July.
Sites That Offer Daily Alerts
There are many sites that monitor Amazon deals and free books and send you updates. I have only grabbed a few books from these services, but since they were free it was definitely worth it! Here's the few sites and alerts that I have found the most useful.
- Hundred Zeros – Free Amazon books updated every hour. You can sign up a daily alert.
- Pixel of Ink – It lists out free books, hot deals, and bargain bins offers. You can sign up for a daily alert.
- Book Bub – Book Bub is different from the others in that it offers alerts that allow you to select the genres of free and bargain books you are looking for.