Five Ways To Legally Read Books For Free

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Keeping up a healthy book addiction is not as easy as it sounds - especially if you are living on a budget and read faster than the money for new books becomes available. While it is possible to buy used book at a cheap price there are also ways to get free books and all without having to resort to pirating or any other illegal concepts.

Here are five ways to read book for free and all without breaking the law

Your Local Library 

Often libraries demand a small fee in exchange for a book. This can range from a yearly fee to one per book. Even so it tends to be a minimal amount during the year and you can endlessly browse what is in stock. Even if the physical library is not nearby, most of them offer an online selection as well. This way you can easily lend a book while still sitting at home in your fluffy PJs.

However, sometimes this option is just not available. I have a library nearby which has no fees at all and while it is only a short ride from home, it clashes with my working hours. This way I can't use it and have to turn towards other means.

Such as ...

Amazon Prime Books 

In order to read an eBook from amazon, you don't even need to have a kindle. The kindle app is available for your phone and/or tablet for free.

What is often unknown is that your amazon prime membership does not only give you access to online streaming and faster shipping but also to a selection of free books. These can range from indie books to lesser known books published by a well-known publisher. So if you already have a prime membership, it is time to expand it and use the full potential.

However, the selection of the books is not the only limitation. There is also a restrictive on how many books you can get in a month. It is only one per calender month.

If you want undisturbed access to all types of kindle books there is always ...

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited works similar to Prime Books just a little bit more extra. All you need is a kindle app and an amazon account. Unlike Prime Books, Kindle Unlimited comes at a price of 9,99€ per month - the subscription to the service can be cancelled any time but you have to pay the calendar month that has already started.

In exchange for this fee, you have free access to over 1 million eBooks. This means that you need to consider if that price would be worth it. It is an investment but if you only read one book per month or even less, it could be considered a waste.

Book Sweeps 

... is a place where you can get books for free. That's literally it.

Many authors in the making or indie authors use it to get their first copies out and start getting the word around that they have a book out. The genres Book Sweeps covers are: Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Inspirational, General Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Signing up for the site is free but if you do not fancy an additional account, you can only subscribe to their e-mail list and get a weekly newsletter with a few books.

However, there are a few snags to this free gift of literature. Book Sweeps is mostly used by self-publishing authors which means that you have to consider that there are going to be a few flukes. Not all self-publishing authors are bad but be prepared to meet a few types along the way.

In addition to this, to claim a free copy you sometimes have to sign up to an author's newsletter or are signed up. This means you might get spam mail that is more annoying than the one promising you instagram engagement. Thus, I would keep a spare spam mail available. 

Otherwise, it is the most promising option that costs no money and gives you access to books for free without any terms or conditions.

For Reviewers Only: Use NetGalley 

NetGalley is a place that offers books for free in exchange for a written review. In order to qualify for this you have to be either: a reviewer with your own blog or contribute elsewhere or a librarian. Even then you can't just pick and mix books randomly.

Once you have your eyes set on a novel you have to apply for it. Only if the application is approved by the publisher you are going to get a copy. This sounds easy and while I am not the most famous book blogger and internationally based, I only get approved for half of the books I request.

Furthermore, if you don't review a book, it hurts your Review Ratio. A low ratio is going to turn off potential publishers who are having a snoop around your profile. In the end, it is a bit of a random selection but you are getting the books for free.

As any blogger knows, running a blog is a time consuming task. Thus, I would only recommend this to reviewers who already have a platform. For us, it's one of the easiest ways to get free books and new content for the blog without become poor.

Black cat on books
These are five simple ways to legally read books for (almost) free and save a little bit of money while indulging your book addiction.

Do you have any additional means to get free book legally? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. Great post! I can't stand it when I see authors on Twitter talk about how their books have been pirated. There's no need. Most of them would be happy to offer a copy to someone who really can't afford it as well, if only they'd just ask!

    I've started using my library LOADS lately. I didn't for years but I really enjoy it now, I like just mooching around the shelves too. It's relaxing.


    1. Thank you! And Yes! I really hope to get a chance to visit my "local" library during my holidays. It's quite comforting to walk between all those books and enjoy the atmosphere :)

  2. Ahh I didn't know about book sweeps! Thanks for the heads up. Always great to see libraries being encouraged - mine is small but I love it and the interesting reads I find there :)

    1. You're welcome! Hopefully there is going to be something in it for you :)

  3. I have been thinking of the public library for quite some time now! It is such a great alternative to buying books all the time! I don't have a kindle nor amazon prime though. Maybe i need to look into that!

  4. Yes to using the local library, we do this all teh time. And if you can't find what you want, you can usually get it ordered in from another library branch too. Plus it's a fab place to while away few hours on a rainy afternoon. I didn't know about BookSweeps, I'll have to look into that! :)

    Lisa |

  5. I love my library and Netgalley, I now have TOO MANY books to read though and my TBR is out of control. Can't resist picking up books :)

    1. Tell me about it. NetGalley sounds great and it is but sometimes it can get sooo stressy

  6. These are fantastic ideas! I actually went to my local library at the weekend and enjoyed picking up a few books, I don't know why I didn't do it sooner, the amount of money I can save is awesome! I never knew about Amazon Prime ebooks, thanks for the tip! Great post! <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. You're welcome. I am super happy to read that so many people are using their local library ☺

  7. Library is life. I am the best reader two years in a row. You really can not beat the smell of the books. Also the ideas you have are great. Thanks.

    1. Thank you so much! I am a big fan of libraries :)

  8. While it's nice to go on book hauls, it's so expensive to do! I'm addicted to my local library. I'm lucky that it's a free one and while I have the same problems as you with working, it's thankfully open on a Saturday. This is a great post!

  9. I made it a goal this year to read more and by complete fluke I found the amazon reading ebooks at the start of January. I never knew they existed but I read three in January and have another few on my account waiting. It's such a great service for people who don't want to pay for/ can't afford new books x


    1. I hope you're going to achieve your goal ♥

  10. I adore going to the local Library for used books, also Amazon is great for reading on my kindle too! Great blog post sweetheart. Thanks so much for sharing ­čĺť

    With love, Alisha Valerie x |


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