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I Haven’t Paid for a Book in Over a Year
I love to read. If I can find the right book to hook my attention from the get-go, you bet that book will be done within a week. So when I found a way to read any book I wanted for free, I jumped on the opportunity. I just had to be resourceful and creative – two things that always seem to pay off entirely.
I have e-readers and tablets, but nothing has ever really been better than the actual page. You know what I mean, right? The crisp lines of the letters on an off-white canvas, the smell of a freshly (or not so freshly) printed book? For some reason, tablets and other e-readers can’t compete with a real book. They have always strained my eyes or I hated accidentally turning the page constantly when I wasn’t ready.
What I Use
I’ve always been tempted by the Amazon Kindle, despite my love for a real, printed page. Their battery-life trumps any other e-reader (weeks), and they can be read clearly in direct sunlight! As an added bonus, they are extremely thin and easy to transport anywhere. Amazon also allows you to do a payment plan if you don’t want to pay out the full price all at once, at $26 per month.
It took me so long to decide what I wanted because I just couldn’t justify spending roughly $100 when I would still have to purchase the books as well.
I worried for nothing!
Please note that there is also a free Kindle app that you can download for your phone, tablet or computer. It will give you the same access to the books. I, however, can’t read an entire book on a computer screen. I love my Kindle and was able to read The Martian and all of the Harry Potter books within the first few weeks of having mine.
How I Get Free Books
This is where a little bit of ingenuity and persistence go a long way. I did a little bit of research regarding my local libraries. I started at the town level and moved my way on up to the Boston Public Library.
I’m lucky to live in Massachusetts, because if you are a Mass. Resident you can have a free library card with the Boston Public Library! I never even had to go leave my house to have my card; I just filled out a quick survey and was downloading “The Martian” within minutes. The entire process was so easy.
At the point of writing this, BPL has over 47,000 e-books that I can check-out right this moment. If a particular book is popular, you can “place a hold” just like you would at any library. They e-mail me when my book is ready and automatically take it out for me. I can take out ten books at a time. This will be perfect for travel – when I go to Europe in May I will have several books at my disposal and not need to use much room from my bag.
There are no late-fees, as an added bonus. When I forget to “return” a book, it’s returned for me. How much easier could that be?
You don’t need to be a Massachusetts resident to enjoy this benefit. If you live in New York, the New York Public Library has over 300,000 e-books for you! You can see their requirements for a card here.
You want to check your libraries at the local and state-level.
Other Free E-Book Sources
You’ll be able to read a lot of classic literature here and here, but if you prefer more recent books, then you can also try Amazon’s Kindle Store. Just search by the terms “free” and you will have a nice selection. One added bonus with Amazon is that there are thousands of user-written e-books available, many of them only $1. I wasn’t able to use this with my other e-readers and tablets.
Is this something you might try? Hopefully you live in an area with a great library! Let me know in the comments below!