Reading More Without Living Less

More Resources for Free Books

October 30, 2012

Earlier this month, I wrote a post listing several resources where you can find free audiobooks. Some of those sites also offered free eBooks, but here are some further options for finding free books in eBook and paper book format (beyond library use and borrowing from friends):

1. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg has thousands (40,000, to be exact) of ebooks available for free download in a variety of formats (Kindle, HTML, mobile phone apps). (You can also read more about the site and it’s founding on a separate site, here.)

2. PaperBackSwap is a great way to trade in used books and read more for free. Essentially it is an online-directed book-trading community.

For every book you mail you get a book credit (some books cost more than just one credit), though you do have to pay shipping. When you do this using media mail it’s around $2.50 per book. You also get 2 free credits once you list 10 books as available.

I have not personally used this resource, but plan to when I go through some of the books I no longer need to keep on hand. I’ve also read that some people use this to order some of their books needed for homeschooling.

3. Swagbucks

Use Swagbucks to earn Amazon giftcards. Swagbucks is a search engine that rewards you with points (at random) while you use their search engine. You can earn points with them every day. Using this method, you can earn enough points to “cash out” for prizes, including a $5 Amazon gift card. It’s not grand, but if you use the Internet a lot and do searches, it’s a great way to also earn while you do so. If you search daily with Swagbucks, it’s fairly easy to earn $5 to $15 per month in gift cards. You can also earn more by referring others with a referral link.

I use this somewhat infrequently, and usually earn a $5 gift card every month to every other month.


Everyday, Amazon has various Kindle books listed for free. You can view them by selecting books as your shopping category, and then select Kindle format as your format. Then, on the right-hand side, you can sort books by price, from lowest to highest. This will show you the thousands of free books available for free on Amazon.

Other sites, such as Pixel of InkMoney Saving Mom, and The Vessel Project post daily about new free Kindle book offers.


In addition to being a great site for tracking reading, Goodreads lets you read a lot of books for free at With some of them, you can even download the ebook version. The selection is limited and generally does not feature bestsellers. At the time of writing, there are 2,500 books available for free.

6. iBooks (iOS app)

If you’re an iPhone or iPod Touch user, you can download Apple’s iBooks app for free public domain books. Most of their free books are drawn from the Gutenberg Project, but having the books in a portable format may help some people read more.

(I’ll also add that while I’m thankful for free books galore, I also believe writers should be paid, and that’s why I’m willing to put money toward books/audiobooks. If I expect to get all my books for free, somewhere down the line we’ll treat writers as if we expect them to write for free.)

What about you? What are your favorite resources for finding free books or earning point/rewards toward books? 

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

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  • Johanna Hanson October 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for pointing out that you think authors should get paid. I agree one hundred percent. It’s hard work to write and we have much to be grateful to writers for putting their words out there.

    All writers (including bloggers) should get paid. {another reason to click on actual blogs and not simply read through a reader if it is a blogger you benefit from regularly so they get pageviews. So if you see lots of clicks on google analytics from KY that’s me… 😉 )