When Grandpa bought me a Kindle for Christmas two years ago, my friend was totally shocked that I liked the gift. Since she knows I am frugal verging on cheap, she assumed that I would not like having to buy books to read. My friend is right about a few things. First of all, I am frugal. Secondly, I hate buying books, especially fiction books that I will read just one time.
What she didn’t realize at the time is that it’s not necessary to buy books just because I have an e-reader. It is possible to own, use, and love your e-reader without spending a lot of money on books. And I am going to tell you how!
1. Find sources for updates on free books
I used to read a daily blog entitled “Free Kindle Books and Tips” and I got a lot of great free books from this source. Amazon provides a list in their Kindle store of the Top 100 Free Kindle Books. Because I like Christian fiction, my favorite source for free or reduced books is www.inspiredreads.com . This site offers only Christian books for free or at greatly reduced prices. I know there are other sites that will update you with lists of free books, but this list should get you started.
2. Use the library
I gave a big cheer when our library finally started to offer e-books that are compatible with Kindle devices. I have borrowed e-books from my library on numerous occasions, and the process is very simple. Our local public library offers a one hour class from time to time to teach people how to reserve and download books from the library website to their e-readers. Don’t be afraid to contact your librarian to ask about the availability of e-books.
3. Borrow and lend to friends
This really only works if you have friends. And if those friends have tastes similar to yours in their reading material. I have a friend who has lent me books in the past. If there is a book that we both want to read, we can share the cost and both read it for one purchase price.
4. Amazon Prime
If you have Amazon Prime, you are entitled to borrow one book a month for free from Amazon. The problem with this source of free books is that not many of the books that I want to read are available as free lenders. Many popular books are available, and this is, in fact, how I read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire without having to pay for them or to wait for months for the library copy. I do force myself to choose one free book a month just because it’s a perk of the plan, and I’m not about to let it go to waste.
If you are a cheapskate … or just frugal, don’t let that stop you from enjoying your e-reader. You don’t always have to pay to read.
If any of you have other suggestions about ways to save on e-reader books, please leave a comment and share your tips.