Budget Bookworm: Where to Acquire Free Reads

Posted July 19, 2017 by Zeee in Budget Bookworm21 Comments

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Saving moolah while you read!

This year, I have been trying very hard to curb my one-click urge and book splurges. For the most part, I have been pretty successful so I decided to share my success with all the budget bookworms out there!

For this first feature, I wanted to share where I get my free reads!

The awesome thing about the US is that we have libraries! Use it, people! This is where you can borrow books, audiobooks, magazines, graphic novels, and comics for freeI have a library card from The Los Angeles Public Library and it enables me to borrow physical and digital books that are available in their library system.

The apps that I use regularly are Overdrive, Kindle, and Hoopla. Overdrive is what I use to download their audiobooks, Kindle for the ebooks, and Hoopla for graphic novels.

With these apps, I can borrow and download library books and audiobooks from the comfort of home. The most awesome thing about this is that I don’t have to go to the library to return my books in time! I also won’t be stopping by to pick up my books when they become available! Also, because they are digital, when the books are due for return (I can only borrow books/audiobooks for 21 days), it automatically deletes it on your app.

Another awesome thing about the library is that library card holders can suggest books be purchased! I have requested quite a number of audiobooks and they have become available! What’s more, the system automatically emails you when they purchase your suggested book (if you choose to).

The book/audiobook options are pretty good, as well. They have a bunch of older titles and also a lot of brand new titles.

The only negative about the library is that they only have so many digital copies of a book and there is also a queue to check out a book. This doesn’t bother me, though. But if you are one of those readers that MUST have the book on the day of release, this may not be for you.

The next best thing, that isn’t 100% free is getting Advance Reader Copies (ARCs or eGalleys) from NetGalley and Edelweiss. Now, I say that they aren’t 100% free because these websites are where you can get free eGalleys in exchange for an honest review. So technically, NOT free. But if you review books anyway, then what better way than to review books that you got for free, right?

ARC requested on Edelweiss

The great thing about getting eGalleys or ARCs is that you can actually leave negative reviews aside from positive reviews. There is also no actual stated date that these reviews need to be posted, but they do request that you post your review around the time of release. It’s a win-win in my opinion.

There are probably other places where you can request eGalleys but these are the two places where I request mine.

Netgalley is more user-friendly than Edelweiss, though and you usually get approved more often on Netgalley than on Edelweiss.

If you are a blogger, you are probably familiar with Blog Tours! Of course, the way you can get free books is to sign up to participate in blog tours!  The only way to get free books is when you sign up to review. Technically, not free.

Some blog tour companies send out physical ARCs to select bloggers. So if you get lucky, you can even get a physical copy! However, most of the blog tours send digital ARCs/eGalley.

Received this book from a publicist.

There are also a few audiobook tours, which is AWESOME! This isn’t as common, though and I honestly haven’t signed up for an audiobook tour because the audio options aren’t really that great. I’m hoping that the audiobook review gods are listening because I would definitely be on board!

To participate in blog tours, you need to have the following: a blog. Some blog tour companies have Facebook options, but it isn’t as common.

Another way to get free books is to request them from the Publishers! If you get lucky, you will be able to get your hands on physical ARCs! Mind you, it is pretty hard to get physical ARCs so if you are one of those luckies who have pub contacts, hang on to them!

Also, there are A LOT of things you can do with your physical ARCs. Have an Instagram account? PERFECT, you can take those purty flat lays and promote the heck out of them!

ARC received from Avon, Harper Collins.

Another way to get free books is to be part of a Street Team! I am currently a member of Avon Addicts (for Avon Romance, historical and contemporary) and Klovers (Kensington Books, also for historical and contemporary romance) and I regularly get free books from them. Avon usually sends an ARC every couple of months because I am not an active member. When I was an active member, I usually get a box filled with multiple ARCs and published books.

from the last Avon Addicts box

For Kensington, I am an auto-approved, which enables me to download any Kensington book on NetGalley without waiting to get approved! This is an awesome perk.


Where else can you get free books? I want to know!

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21 responses to “Budget Bookworm: Where to Acquire Free Reads

    • Oh, I forgot about Project Gutenberg! They have a lot of creative commons books there. I haven’t read a lot of classics lately. 🙂

  1. oh love this post so much hun!! I definitely love what libraries offer. My local library doesn’t offer hoopla for books though. I wish they did, because they have a great selection. So I mostly use overdrive for ebooks and audio, and then for physical books at the actual library. I do like to read ARC’s as well.

    I was too late to sign up to Avon Addicts, I never hear about it in time hehe Maybe next year, since I read them on a consistent basis.

    • I know! I love Avon Addicts! I love that I get to stay on since I am not a current member but still get eGalleys from time to time.

      And yeah! I use Overdrive the most, Hoopla not as much. Still I love the selections in my library. I actually don’t go to the library anymore since I usually don’t have time to go 🙁

    • Oh yes! I love that I get dibs when I recommend a book! 🙂 Such an awesome perk! And I recommend quite a few ebooks and audiobooks!

    • Ohh AWESOME, Nicole! I mostly request romance books on Netgalley and usually prefer audio for YA so I usually get mine from the library 🙂

  2. I suppose you could try a free little library, but I have no experience with those. From experience, I would be cautious about free Amazon books because of quality. I’ve been burned. There are a few websites that can send you a daily newsletter of free ebooks, like BookBub.

    • Yes, which is precisely why I didn’t list that here! I absolute don’t like the free Amazon books unless it is from a reputable author and/or publishing company that marked the book as free for a limited time. I also subscribed to a number of those newsletters!

      Thanks for the tips!

    • I know what you mean, Georgiana. Physical ARCs are expensive to make so publishers usually have very limited copies for reviewers. If you want physical ARCs, the best place to get them is to be on a publicist list of reviewers 🙂

  3. Kel

    RivetedLit.com (run by Simon & Schuster) has a small rotating selection of extended excerpts and full books free to read. I recently read Lock & Mori through that. Xoxoafterdark.com has a similar setup, but for adult romance titles. The library is still the most versatile and best. 🙂
    Kel recently posted…How to Make a DIY Book Subscription BoxMy Profile

    • Awesome tip, Kel! I used to be on xoxafterdark but I found the site hard to navigate…but that was a few years ago, I may have to check it out again 🙂

  4. Great recommendations. I am a major advocate for using your public library even if you’re only planning on accessing their digital/audio options.

    For non-bloggers I’d also add in that following blog tours and entering their giveaways can be surprisingly worth it. Same for subscribing to publisher and author newsletters. You won’t always win but there’s nothing more fantastic than getting a free signed book in the mail.
    Rhianna recently posted…SALE: 99¢ NOVA by Rebecca YarrosMy Profile

    • Oh good point, Rhianna! I honestly don’t really win a lot of contests but I have and I totally forgot about that! *wink