I have been an avid reader since I was old enough to read (which was really young!). I finished The Hobbit when I was seven, and moved on to Harry Potter. My first ever all-nighter was when I was nine. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had just come out. I spent the night in my pink inflatable chair in the corner of my room and read it from cover to cover. Speaking of Harry Potter, have you read The Cursed Child yet? I just finished it last weekend.
As I grew older, my collection expanded. I have print books, paperbacks, hardbacks, an old generation Kindle, and a Kindle Fire (which I love). However, as I got older I also accumulated the inevitable: Rent, Bills, Child Expenses, etc. I adopted a very tight budget which didn’t allow much for extravagant book purchases, even at Half Price Books. So I got creative. If you’re anything like me, there was no way I was going to allow my lack of budget to keep me from my number one passion. Here are some of my 5 favorite resources, either cheap or for free:
- Your Local Library – I truly hope this is a no brainer, because I’m all about supporting the local library. Hopefully, you are too! At the library, you can can rent books, ebooks audiobooks, DVDs, and more. Everything is free, unless you accumulate fines. I write down in my planner when everything is due so I can renew it. There’s also an incredible online resource for free ebooks and audiobooks available through most libraries called Overdrive. You can check out my Overdrive tutorial here. In the summer, most libraries have free summer reading programs where they will give you free toys/items for kids/adults if you read a certain amount. Need help finding something? Ask a Librarian! That’s what they’re there for!
- Kindle Unlimited – This one you have to pay for. But you get unlimited books to rent for $10/monthly. Not every Kindle Book ever is available, but a good majority of them are, including New York Times’ Bestsellers. All the Harry Potter books are on there too. 😉 Amazon currently has a free one month trial and then they start auto billing.
- Goodreads.com – I love Goodreads for a LOT of reasons. I use it to track my reading, compile lists of books that I want to read, check out reviews, look for book recommendations, track my yearly book challenges. What’s really cool is there’s a section to check out how many pages you’ve read since you joined Goodreads.com, and how many pages you’ve read in a year. My goal this year was to read 50 books. It’s August at I’ve already read 44 (so far). I’ve read 16,860 pages, not including the book I’m currently reading. Anyway, I digress. Goodreads.com also has a Goodreads Deals email list. Every day they email you with discounted and sometimes free ebooks. They also offer free book giveaways.
- Bookbub.com – Bookbub.com is a similar email list to Goodreads.com. For both of these email lists, you can download the ebooks on BN.com, Amazon.com or through Google Books. Bookbub.com emails come every single day, like Goodreads.com and they’re not the same book deals. Hooray! I actually just bought The Unraveling of Mercy Louis: A Novel through Bookbub.com for $1.99. It’s a Best Sellers book normally sold for $10.99!
- Gutenberg Project – Oh Gutenberg Project, how I love thee.The Gutenberg project is a collection of books by authors whose copyright laws have expired. Since the copyright laws expired on these books, they have been transcribed into ebook form and available to download in .epub file for you Kindle, or downloaded to your computer and read straight from there. This project is incredibly perfect for fans of the classics, or older books. My degree is in Literature, so with the Gutenberg Project you can download Dickinson, Austin, Dickens, Dumas, and more. Here’s the Top 100 downloaded ebooks!
Most of these resources are for ebooks. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feel and smell of a book in my hands, but when I’m on a budget ebooks are the way to go most of the time. Plus, I take public transportation to work and carrying my Kindle makes it much easier to read on the go. If you’ve ever traveled and tried to limit yourself to a few books, Kindle makes it a lot easier and no extra baggage charges for the weight of your books. Amazon is currently selling Kindle Fires starting at $49.99. The $49.99 one is the exact same one I’ve had for a few years, and I bought it for over $100. It was really the best gift to myself. If you don’t have a Kindle or eReader, I highly suggest taking a look at the Kindle Fire. Click the picture below for more details.
Take care, and happy reading!