4 Ways to Get Books for Free - adaatude

4 Ways to Get Books for Free

This photo showcases an array of pink coffee table books in a gorgeous living room set-up featuring a bookshelf in the background.

4 Ways to Get Books for Free

September 7, 2022

Save money, read more

When I first got back into reading 2 years ago, I was buying every single book directly from Kindle or Amazon. It really starts to add up after a few weeks of buying 2-3 books at a time. I looked up tricks and hacks on how to spend less but still get the books in a way that still supports the author (local bookshops, audiobook sites, etc.) A lot of the time when I suggested the library, brought up little libraries or mentioned First Reads, my friends and followers didn't know what I was talking about so I decided to make this post to help those of you who are newer to reading on a budget. If you've been reading for a while, these won't be news to you but could help someone out there read an extra book or two each month. So let's get into it!


A no brainer, and such a money saver. I know when someone told me to get a library card, I was like "those still exist?" and I was so confused on where to even start. Things have evolved to digital library cards so rest assured. You don't necessarily have to go inside a library (ever) to obtain or use your library card.

The best part is that your library allows for digital downloads, physical copies and more. For me personally, I do a lot of eBook holds and occasionally an audiobook hold if the eBook is a really long wait time.  

Little Free Libraries

"Little Free Library is a 501 nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges, usually in the form of a public bookcase. More than 150,000 public book exchanges are registered with the organization and branded as Little Free Libraries."

These are essentially the little bookcase stands in random parts of town and the concept is you put a book in, and then take a book out. Oftentimes the books in there are as old as me, but if the little library is in a more public place (outside a school, near a popular intersection, active neighborhood street) there's some gems in there. 

I usually stumble upon them myself, but there's actually a few services that showcase locations of these stands. Here's a world map, which will help with the location of a few, but I'd recommend searching for resources outlining your town's little libraries because they're not always on these more official maps given no one registered them (especially if they're in a random neighborhood.) For example, This is Tucson provided a more extensive list since locals added in additional locations due to their own insight and knowledge.

Book Exchanges

Either do a pen pal situation (find a fellow book lover on social media or someone in your life who wants to trade books on a consistent basis) OR join a local book club and do a book exchange every few months in that situation.

A few of my incorporations of this:

My friend Geena and I exchange hard copies of books consistently. Sometimes before I buy a book, I ask if she's got it on her list too so we can get 2 reads out of the one book purchase. It's great especially for book club books. Makes it a little more worthwhile you know? Unlike everyone else, I am not creating a library in my home (we have no space) so therefore I don't mind exchanging books and sending them all to her who does want to have a library sometime. 

A few of my friends on Instagram have also asked me to send a book their way, so they can send one mine. I love this concept and it keeps the books moving and showing them love. Kind of like sisterhood of the traveling pants, but with books. 

If you're part of a local book club, I highly recommend (perhaps around the holidays maybe?) doing a fun book exchange where everyone brings a specified number of books from their collection outside of the books you read for the club of course, and you do a swap or exchange. Organize it however you want, but I just love giving books another breath of life. It just makes them more loved and it's nice that after making the purchase, someone else can also enjoy it.

Amazon First Reads

As part of being an Amazon Prime member, which I feel like almost every person in America seems to be (cha-ching Amazon) you get a member perk to pick one book each month for free. This concept is early access to books that have not yet been released but are top editors' picks. For the month of September, the books were all launching end of the month or in October so it's fun to be one of the first people to read the book but you also get to pick out of a multitude of genres. They offered 1 book from the following genres this month (but this changes month to month):


Contemporary Fiction

Historical Fiction

Legal Thriller


Book Club Fiction

Psychological Thriller

Women's Fiction

You can see the editors' previous picks to get an idea, but it's a great way to get a free *newly published* book monthly.

Have any tips on how to get books for free?

Let's help each other read more, leave a comment!

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Is the free Amazon book from Audible – looks like you have to subscribe to Audible for the freebie? Or is it somewhere else within Amazon?

So the monthly free month is specifically from Amazon, and it’s their First Reads program. You have to be an Amazon Prime member, and you can get that but I believe it’s only for Kindle (digital versions) and not Audible itself. For Audible, I’m aware that you get 2 free books the first month and then the membership is $14.99 but I’m not 100% sure if they do a free offering too. I’ll take a look and see! x

I love getting books out of the library, it is one of my favourite things to do. As soon as I moved to uni, I went to the library to get a new card! I wish there were more Little Free Libraries around where I live.

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