Like I promised, Tuesdays are now “How-To Tuesdays.” And what better way to kick off the category than with a post on how to get free books? I’m not the biggest fan of eReaders myself, but I’m slowly coming around, especially considering the savings. I’ve found that getting books for the Kindle is much cheaper than print books in most cases, and often you can pick up some great titles absolutely free. Since not everyone has a Kindle, but everyone can take advantage of Kindle deals, let’s look first at your options for reading eBooks without a Kindle. There are basically three ways you can still read Kindle books:
Kindle in Your Browser
First off, you need to stop using Internet Explorer. Once you’ve installed either Firefox or Chrome (I’m partial to the latter), you can get the Kindle Cloud Reader. If you don’t already have an Amazon account, you’ll need to create one. After you’ve signed in, or made a new account, you can now download any Kindle books you’ve purchased (or picked up for free) and read them in a tab in your browser.
Kindle on Your Computer
A second option (that I’m more partial to) is installing the Kindle app on your computer. You can do this for either Windows or Mac. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the appropriate app, you can then download from the cloud any Kindle books you own. Even owning a Kindle myself, I’ve found it useful to have this on my computer for reading and highlighting purposes. It’s actually quicker to highlight in the app than it is on an actual Kindle (or at least my generation of Kindle). If I want to tweet quotes from an eBook, this is how I do it.
Kindle on Your iPhone/iPad
Lastly, you are probably aware you can download the Kindle app for either iPhone or iPad (or Android phones or tablets, as well Windows 7 phones and Blackberries). I’m not a fan of reading much of anything on my phone that I could read elsewhere, but if you’re into that, it is an easy option. The downside of this is that books you’ve gotten from outside Amazon cannot be accessed on mobile devices. Since I’ve gotten plenty of eBooks from Monergism and Cruciform this is a huge downside to me. I’m might change my tune if I get an iPad for my birthday, but we’ll see.
So, now the question,
“Where do I get these free books?”
Now that you’ve got a way to read them, here’s
5 ways 6 ways to get free (or at least cheap) books for your Kindle:
Follow Gospel eBooks and 100 Free Books
Gospel eBooks: Either follow them on Twitter or subscribe to their blog. One way or the other, they’ll keep you up to date with available deals and freebies. More often than not, I’ll go ahead and download any free books they highlight whether or not I’m all that interested because, hey free book. In general though, if there’s a significant sale on Christian books (of varying quality) they will let you know about it.
Click thru to download these free books from Monergism. Bookmark the page and check back every now and then since they update it with new offerings every so often. While Gospel eBooks highlights just about anything and everything that can count as a Christian book, Monergism is a little more selective in the books they elect to offer (if you catch my drift).
Subscribe to Cruciform Press
This is something I’ve been doing ever since I got my Kindle and I’ve easily gotten my money’s worth. The books aren’t free, but are set at $3.99. When I first subscribed, they offered a book a month but have since switched to every other month. Several of the books I’ve read have been outstanding (especially Licensed to Kill, Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life, and most recently Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside). Though not free per se, this is a great deal to take advantage of, Kindle or not. Each time a book is released, it’s emailed to you and you can download and start reading right on your browser.
Join Amazon Prime
While this might seem like a bait and switch since joining Amazon Prime isn’t exactly free, but it does offer three benefits, one of which is free books. I tend to think of them as free at least since I joined Amazon Prime before they offered and was mainly looking to save money on shipping while I was getting on first name basis with my UPS guy in Dallas. If you join Prime (which is cheaper if you have a .edu email address at your disposal) you not only get free 2-day shipping, you can also check out free books from the lending library and watch free instant videos. The lending library however is only usable from an actual Kindle, so this might not be the option for everyone, but I’ve taken advantage of it at least.
Check Out Books From The Public Library
This is something I’m just now starting to explore since I finally got an Orange County Public Library card. With that card, I can now check out books for my Kindle through their Overdrive Digital Collection. If you’re a resident of Orange County you need to get on this. If you’re not, click here and punch in your zipcode to see if your local library offers this lending service. It works in conjunction with Amazon so you don’t have to actually have a Kindle to check out the eBooks, you just need one of the reading options I highlighted above.
Consider a Deep Roots Library Membership
I had meant to include this, but check out their site. They offer older public domain books in a better format than you’ll find in a lot of the offerings on Amazon. Again, not free per se, but a great bargain for you get.
That basically covers all my avenues for getting cheap books, but I’m sure there are others. Are they any significant ones that I missed?