This is day 5 of my self-imposed Facebook fast and I feel lighter and less stressed already. I’m checking my phone less, and even leaving it in another room sometimes. I already knew Facebook was eating up a stupid amount of my time before I stopped using it, so I plan ned to be intentional with the extra time and read a book I had been curious about for a long time.
As luck would have it I came down with influenza that same day I stopped using Facebook, and since I couldn’t spend countless hours flicking through my timeline I picked up my Kindle and read. And read, and read some more. As a matter of fact I blew through three books in as many days as I was confined to the couch.
I’ve always been an avid reader, but the demands of adulthood have seriously horned in on my time. Or has it been Facebook and other time-wasters? Plus I’ve pretty much given up reading fiction. If I have so little time to spend reading I want to read something worthwhile, right? I’ve been sharing monthly posts of all the self-help, personal development, and theology books I have read this year and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them, but I missed reading just for the sake of getting lost in a story.
One of my goals for 2017 was to start reading for pleasure and NOT just for business purposes. I recently read Unbroken (AMAZING! Intense, but a must-read), Brooklyn (snooze. Why did they turn this into a movie?), and At The Water’s Edge (a few slow places, but I liked it). The best part about all the books I read this week is that I didn’t pay a penny for any of them. Gone are the days when my book allowance rivals a utility bill, because I have discovered several ways that I can read books, even new releases and bestsellers, for free.
Where To Find Free Books:
Amazon posts a list of their top 100 paid AND free books. You can find the list of free books here. The list constantly changes, and includes a little bit of everything. This can be a great way to discover new books. You can also search free books by genre by clicking here, and then choosing the genre of your choice on the left hand side. There are free books in every single category!
You may already know that most major libraries have an extensive ebook collection. I have known this for years but assumed there wouldn’t be much selection. I was totally wrong! I used my husband’s library card to set up an account last week (can you believe I don’t even have a library card?) and was blown away by the thousands and thousands of titles available, including new an popular books. A few have a pretty massive wait list, but I was able to find tons that were available that I wanted to read. There is even a big selection of audio books you can check out. I accessed the ebooks by going to my library’s web page.
If you are a blogger you can get free books to review! Websites like BookLook Bloggers and Blogging For Books let you chose a title in exchange for writing a 200 word post reviewing the book, as well as leaving a review on a retailer web site. Most publishers have some sort of a blogger program, so do a little research and you will find you can get as many free books as you can read! If you are NOT a blogger you can still be involved in launch teams for some of your favorite authors. When an author writes a new book they often assemble a launch team to read an advanced copy and help create buzz on social media, and generally being a blogger is NOT required. Get on the mailing lists of some of your favorite authors and follow their social media, because they often offer this opportunity to their followers first.
One other option, which isn’t technically free but is budget-friendly, is Kindle Unlimited. $9.99 a month gives you access to over 1 million ebook and audiobook titles that are ordinarily paid on Amazon. If you find yourself buying more than one book a month, this may be a cheaper option for you!
Reading is such a worthwhile hobby, even if you are reading fiction. I always tell me kids that if you love to read you can literally learn anything. But being a voracious reader can be hard on the budget, so I am glad I discovered all these resources for free books! If you know of any others, please share them in the comments!