The Paper Kind

Creative living.

How To Get Free Books

Reading is an expensive hobby. I think all readers understand the problem of not having enough money to buy the books. So here are some ways to get free books.

Goodreads Giveaways

goodreads giveaways

Goodreads host giveaways where authors and publishers list prerelease books which can be won by Goodreads members. These giveaways are run in hope that members will write reviews of the books they receive. However because you are entering into a competition you have no way of picking which books you want to receive and therefore may get books that you do not like.

One Penny Books

Many less popular books are sold on Amazon extremely cheaply. You can get some for as little as 1p. But you still need to pay £2.80 for postage so technically this one isn’t free.

one penny books on amazon

Free Books for Kindle

Amazon has a program which monitors the price of books being sold worldwide; it automatically makes sure that Amazon is never undersold. However this leads to situations where books are priced for free through Amazon because they are being given away as part of a promotion else where. These books can easily be found by viewing all books then sorting by price.

Book Swaps

Instead of selling your books you can participate in an exchange by sending your book to someone that requests it and in return you receive your own request in the mail. Book exchange websites make the process of trading books easy. Most are free to use, and some even pay for the postage needed to exchange books. Some websites to check out are:

  • BookCrossing. Register your book and then set it free by leaving it on a park bench or in a gym allowing it to find a new owner.
  • BookMooch. Mail your books to someone who wants them for points and then use your points to buy books from other users.
  • PaperBackSwap. Exchange books with other readers for the price of postage. *US ONLY*

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitise and archive cultural works, to “encourage the creation and distribution of ebooks”. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of March 2014, Project Gutenberg claimed over 45,000 items in its collection.

The releases are available in plain text, but where ever possible other formats are included, such as HTML, PDF, ePUB and MOBI.


If you enjoy reading we can assume that you also have friends/ family that enjoy reading. This is possibly the best way of getting free books. Your friend/ relative finished a book. Ask if you can read it, then maybe if you liked it “forget” to give it back. Some may say this is wrong. But I can almost guarantee that if you read books you have at least one or two on your shelves that you have borrowed and forgot to give back.

Thanks for reading.
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36 responses to “How To Get Free Books”

  1. While not free, the Midtown Scholar has paperbacks for $1 and $2 hardcovers out front most days. Of course, that means you have to come to Harrisburg Pennsylvania PA, but no plan is perfect.


  2. Great ideas. I volunteer in the Ian Rennie charity bookshop and we sell most of our books £1.50 and under, the higher price for hardback nonfiction. Books are gold for many people and it delights me the pleasure people get from buying affordable books. Brilliant.


  3. I don’t buy as many books these days as I used to. Although having said that, I do have a Kindle and I download a fair amount of books and I find that the Kindle version is generally much cheaper than the printed version. Australia is an expensive place for things like CDs, books, movies and anything to do with computers. The largest users of on-line buying are Australians because things are just so expensive, Quick example – iTunes in the USA costs 62 cents a tune – here in Australia the same tune will set you back $1.96. However, if I do see a good book I will still buy it.


    • I have a friend living in Australia who is always complaining how expensive books are. I know he ended up buying a Kindle for the same reason. Though if you want a physical book you might want to check out the Book Depository. They have some really good sales and have free worldwide shipping.


  4. As a reader and aspiring writer, I completely understand. I got addicted to the amazon audio book site audible. However, I got into the thing. I will keep this in mind when I am ready to go back to hard things.


  5. Love this! I recently started using Google Play Books and was super excited when I found really cheap stuff to read, as well as some free stuff. Now I just need to find more time to do all that extra reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so glad to see someone promoting Project Gutenberg. I was one of their early volunteers back in the day when it was only plain text. It’s wonderful that they now have the various formats. I purchased a reader about five years ago but have not paid for a single book–I get them all from PG!

    I have recently gotten into LibriVox. These are audio readings of books in the public domain and are also free and prepared by volunteers just like PG.


  7. I’m not sure if someone said it before me, but libraries and secondhand bookstores periodically throw away unwanted books. It’s worthwhile to snag them and trade them later at book swaps. 🙂


  8. Reblogged this on Mikes Life and commented:
    If you are like me, and to some extent you must be, otherwise you would have not created this site into your experience of this reality) and therefore you like reading and love books!
    Well, this post is a great post about sourcing and using books to share the love of literature with and for others.
    Thanks #BluChickenNinja


    • Glad you liked it!

      As for your blog it looks quite good. You could maybe start adding some photos to your posts but there is not really much else that I can recommend. To be honest I’ve been blogging for 2 years now and I’m still learning. Just keep writing about stuff you like and try out new things.

      Hope this helped 🙂


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I’m Emma. I am a designer, calligrapher, and content creator, sharing my love for paper goods. Expect pens, pencils, and some really fancy paper!


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