Thursday, June 14, 2012

Top Ten Ways to Get Free Books (or Nearly Free)

Our budget is tighter than tight, since the Ref has not had a job in 4 years (he refs during seasons).  My motto is Make do or Do without.

But our family LOVES books.  So I've found many ways to get books to read, without a budget for books.

1.  Public Library - on the shelves, and most have an Inter Library Loan program for other books.  For the last 12 years, this has been our default action for reading school books without purchasing them.  Sometimes, we would have 6 or more people reading the same book - to avoid having to have them spend the time and money to ILL it a second time.  ...  Also, some libraries have a free table or shelves, and some do book sales.  Ours sells the children's books for 25c each.

2.  Garage Sales - Not always free, but especially really large church sales, I can usually find a few great books tucked in between the romances.  More than once, I've looked back wistfully at a stack of books that I left behind, only to have a worker tell me to go get the rest of my stack and take it home, because I'm the first person to show any interest in the books.  (I'm not asking them to give them to me for free - but when you spend time going through them, stacking, sorting, counting your loose change, and then leave behind half of your stack, sometimes people are just generous.)  ....   People also tell me I glow when I smile.

3.  Friends ....  Honestly, do you know how much money I've saved with the words, "Does anyone have a copy of *** to borrow?   ....  AND having a reputation for returning the books in good condition in a reasonable amount of time.   For me, this is among the best reasons to become a part of some homeschool network.

4.  Amazon! - Really.... they offer thousands of classic books for free all the time.  Free Classic Books on Kindle

5.  Librivox -  -  All audio books of non-copyrighted literature.  Not every recording is easy on the ears - but we've found a few readers that we love to listen to!  ...   This is also a great opportunity for an older teen to practice their oratory skills, by volunteering to do some of the reading on current projects.
We almost always download the books to the MP3 players, and they can listen while doing their chores.

6.  Gutenberg - - This has something for everyone.  You can read books online, in several types of readers, PDF, Txt, and other formats.  Sometimes there are audio books offered as well.   Librivox gives a link to a print version of every book that they have read aloud - and I've found this useful with a reluctant reader .... allowing them to listen to a book being read, while reading along.

7.  Google Books -  ...  I've not used this one a lot, and like Amazon, you have to watch them to make sure you've got a Free book.

8.  Paperback Swap - Not entirely free ... you have to be willing to part with some books from your collection (or pick up some cheep ones at a garage sale) - and pay to ship your own books to their new owners.

9.   Good Will - I've found this to be a great place to pick up books cheap.  Kids buy a book to read for school or college, and dump them at Good Will when they are done.

10.   Need more places to look?

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