Disclosure: This post does include some affiliate links to Amazon, but other than that, it is not a sponsored post.
I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy my Kindle. There is definitely something to be said for the touch and feel of a good old-fashioned printed paper book. However, having a Kindle has allowed me access to many more books than I would otherwise have an opportunity to read.
While I’m currently in the process of downsizing my personal library as part of my decluttering efforts, I have been known to have a sizable book collection in the past. With books available digitally it’s been easier to let some of my treasured books go, knowing I can access them any time I might want to re-read them.That being said, the bulk of my reading has always been primarily from the library. Which hasn’t changed. I love how libraries now have books available for digital download on their websites. It’s as simple as logging into my library account, browsing through the listed books (or doing a search for a specific title), clicking to check it out, then clicking through to Amazon for one more check-out button. Then it automatically downloads to my Kindle, and voila! New library book from the comfort of my living room in just a few minutes.
But, of course, I can’t resist having my own personal Kindle library… and I’ve been able to acquire quite a number of books for free. I thought I’d share with you some of my tips for finding free books.
First of all, there are the obvious public domain titles. Even before e-readers and reading apps became as mainstream as they are now, there was Project Gutenburg with literally thousands of public domain titles to download. I actually read some of these on my first laptop years ago. You’ll find all the classics there, and lots of old, old books. What you won’t find are books with current copyrights.
It is possible to get current books for free, though, if you keep your eye out. The publishers often make certain titles free for a limited time. There may be other ways to find out about those, but here’s how I do it:
To start with, I bookmarked this link: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&rs=154606011&sort=-edition-sales-velocity&ref_=sr_pg_3&bbn=154606011&qid=1256908869&rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133141011%2Cn%3A154606011%2Cp_36%3A0-0%2Cp_27%3A-Neo%2Cp_30%3A-Domain&page=1
I click through on that bookmark every so often–every day if I think about it, because some books are only free for one day. The list is sorted “by relevance.” In this case, I’m not sure what that means. I don’t know if the ones at the top are the current most popular downloads or what. If I understand correctly this is supposed to be all Kindle books that are currently free except for the public domain titles which are filtered out of this list.
I usually glance quickly through the first page or two of this list, but primarily I am interested in Christian/inspirational titles, so I want to filter it a little more. Categories are listed in the left side-bar. I click on “Religion & Spirituality.” This narrows the list down to more of what I’m interested in. Now, obviously, not all religions are Christian so you can narrow it down even further by selecting “Christian Books & Bibles” in the left side-bar.
A lot of books on this list are self-published. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve found many self-published books are poorly edited so if I’m not familiar with the author I usually don’t go for those. Once in awhile one will grab my interest and I’ll give it a try, but in general I am more inclined to get books from known publishers. Sometimes I can tell just by looking at the cover whether a book is self-published or not. If a cover and/or title catches my eye I will click through on it to read the synopsis and see who the publisher is. Some of the publishers I watch for include: Abingdon Press, Bethany House, Revell, Tyndale House, and Zondervan. There are others. Those are just some of the more well-known ones. And I also watch for authors I am familiar with, self-published or not.
Here are a few titles that are currently free that I downloaded:
- Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith (Revell)
- A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann (Bethany House)
- Westward the Dream by Judith Pella and Tracie Peterson (Bethany House)
- When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason (Revell)
- Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley (Revell)
- A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman (Revell)
- Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson (Bethany House)
- Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson (Bethany House)
- Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney (Revell)
- The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry
- Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington
How do you find e-books? Do you read on an actual Kindle or other device? Or are you still holding out for good old-fashioned paper books?