Sometimes reading gets too expensive, doesn’t it? I’m a passionate reader, and I read fairly often, so of course, from time to time I look for the best deals or even free novels. This is how I found out about these six easy ways you can read books for free.
And the good part is you’re not breaking any rule. AND… they’re pretty safe, so you don’t risk getting a virus into your device from accessing suspicious websites.
In my case, at first, I was reading only paperback books. I used to like the smell of books, the feeling of turning the pages, seeing all my books nicely placed on the shelves. But as you probably know, this quickly becomes a luxury you can’t afford.
So that’s when I got my first Kindle and started exploring how I can read free online novels. Turns out: very useful! Especially because some of these means offer not only novels and fiction, but also magazines, articles, PDF documents, manuals, and many more.
Below, you will find the resources I’ve come to know and how you can use them to read books for free.
I’m sure you’ve at least heard of Scribd. All you have to do in order to read books for free is sign up.
NO, it is NOT a free subscription. However, they offer 30 days of free membership in the following situations:
i. When You Sign Up – How To Sign Up On Scribd And Read Books For Free
So you’ve never used Scribd before, you don’t have an account, and you don’t have a subscription.
Sing up on Scribd and take advantage of their 30-day free trial! The signing-up process doesn’t take long. You’ll have to enter your payment information from the start, but don’t worry, they won’t charge you now.
ii. When You Restart Your Subscription
This means you have used Scribd before, you have an account, but your subscription is inactive.
How To Restart Your Subscription
Go to scribd.com/your-account. If you’re not already signed in, you’ll have to enter your login info.
Or log into your account, then click on the avatar icon in the top right corner and then click on “Your account”.
Scroll down until you see something like this, then click “Restart subscription“.
iii. When You Invite Friends
You get 30 days of free use for each friend who purchases a subscription via your link, while the friend gets 60 days of their own.
- You need an active subscription
- An eligible payment method associated with your subscription
If your subscription is paused/inactive, or they can’t charge you for your subscription (for example, because your credit or debit card has expired), your referral credits will automatically apply once your subscription becomes active again.
So if you had a subscription and ended it so that they won’t collect payments anymore, but you still have an account on Scribd, make sure to restart it and keep your payment information up to date.
- You need to NOT have your subscription purchased via iTunes or Google Play. For some reason, they can’t supply you with extra 30 days free per friend. However, your friend WILL get their 60-day free membership.
- Your friend(s) must sign up/purchase their subscription through YOUR link!
If you need to update your payment method, follow the same steps in Section ii about restarting your subscription. In the right column of the page, you’ll see a section “Payment information”, where you can update the details.
In case your account doesn’t exist anymore, you have to create a new one following the previous method.
Imagine how many free days you could have if you convinced all your friends and family to take this simple step! Afterward, they can cancel their membership any time in case they won’t want to pay after their 60-day free trial expires.
How To Invite Friends And Earn Extra Free Membership
- Once you’re logged in, click on the account icon in the top right corner, then select “Invite friends” (or “Read for free”).
Access this link that leads straight to the referrals section.
- Choose how to share your link with friends (copy link, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
- Once your friend clicks on the link, a message like this will appear:
- After choosing to read free for 60 days, your friend has to sign up following the usual process (including choosing a payment method).
- You will receive an email confirming your friend’s membership and a month of free reading.
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What’s great is that you don’t have to worry about when the trial ends. They always email you informing you of it.
Of course, if you want to continue and pay for the membership, that’s perfectly fine. I’d say they have reasonable prices ($9.99/month), and they do offer a lot to their subscribers. Books, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, articles, and more.
#2 Apply For ARCs (Advanced Reader’s Copy)
Follow the Facebook pages or websites of your favorite authors or the authors you’re interested in to see when they release a new book.
When they do that, they usually give ARC (advanced reader’s copy). In exchange, you have to provide an honest review of their book.
Pay attention to the announcements they make regarding the ARC. You may have to access a link and fill out a form or other formalities.
Keep in mind: There is a limited number of people who can be accepted. I believe (but don’t quote me on this one) it’s first come, first served.
Also, to increase your chances of being up-to-date with the announcements, find out if the authors have a private Facebook group for their readers/community. Some of them first post in the group and then on their FB page.
Now you must be wondering, “Since when is Amazon free?”. Well, it’s not. Most of the time you have to pay for the products. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t free books on Amazon. Kindle editions, to be exact.
But first things first. Do you have an Amazon account? If not, no worries, you can create one. It’s free.
Now, about how you can read books for free!
Because the books that you can purchase and read for free are in kindle format (e-books), you need a Kindle device or a Kindle app.
It’s strictly your choice what you want to use. If you already have a Kindle device, that’s great. If you don’t and don’t want to buy one, you can install the free Amazon Kindle app. You can find it in Play Store, App Store, Google Play.
All that’s left to do now is find the free books! Use the search bar to write things like “free novels”, “free books”, “free romance novels”, “free classic kindle books” or whatever you’re interested in, really.
Again, keep yourself up to date with news from your favorite authors. They usually announce when one of their books is free or reduced on Amazon.
To conclude on how you can read books for free on Amazon. You need to: have an Amazon account (free) + have a Kindle device (paid) OR the Kindle app (free) + use the Search toolbar to look for free books.
#4 Libby App
This one I’ve just discovered. The way Libby works is it allows you to connect your library card with the app, so you can borrow and read books (or listen to audiobooks) through the app. For free, of course.
If you don’t have a library card, you should be able to get one by signing up at the nearest branch. You’ve got all the instructions you need for your particular situation inside the app.
However, not all libraries work through Libby. It could happen that when you search for your local library, no results will show up. In my country, for example, not a single library can be found on Libby.
What I did is I searched for libraries in another country and added one to my library list. Now I’m waiting to see what happens because they say you can apply at the nearest branch. But how near should the nearest be? Plus, if I have to physically go there and do the paperwork, that’s clearly impossible.
So I will come with updates on this one.
Update nr. 1: There are very few countries with libraries on Libby. The only ones I found in my session of zooming in all over the app map are the UK and the USA.
Update nr. 2: I added the Birmingham Libraries. As for the card, they say I have to “visit the local branch and ask to become a member”. That obviously won’t happen. Now I want to find out if I can borrow books without having a card. For now, I’d say this app is for people in the UK and US.
If you read a lot of romance novels, you’ll love this website. It’s got tons of them. But not just that.
I was able to read books for free without having an account. I’m thinking the difference is that when you’re signed up, you have access to some features like bookmarks.
I honestly don’t think it’s necessary to sign up.
If you try reading something on your phone and it doesn’t work, try it on your computer. You usually have the following options:
For safety reasons, I DO NOT download books on my computer (and if you have a free, standard account, I don’t believe you can anyway).
Also, if you have a standard account, ads will be popping up. Including things like winning something or updating your Windows. DO NOT click on those.
To be fair, since signing up, I’ve become a little insecure about the website. I’ve received a confirmation email that says to access the link for activating my account. That’s pretty normal, BUT I didn’t click it because it looks suspicious.
So my recommendation is to not sign up if it’s not necessary.
#6 Enter Giveaways
Two tips I have for you regarding the giveaways.
The first one: once again, follow the authors you want to read on Facebook, Instagram, and you can also subscribe to their website’s newsletter. This way, you will be informed about giveaways the authors do.
Some of them give free copies of one of their novels, while others give Amazon gift cards (example: $10 Amazon gift card). Pay attention if the giveaway is open internationally or just locally (usually only in the US and/or Canada).
Some authors that I follow and I know they do this thing are Lisa Gardner (thriller books) and Laura Griffin (romantic suspense novels). I also won a $10 Amazon gift card from Sophie Lark.
The second tip is to enter giveaways on BookSweeps. They give away a lot of romance novels, but not only that, from what I’ve seen.
Here’s what you can do.
Once you enter their website, click on “Win” in the top left corner as shown below.
Then you’ll be directed to a page full of books. Use the left side menu to explore the existing giveaways.
To enter a giveaway, you usually have to submit your email address and select one or more authors you’d like to subscribe to and receive newsletters from.
Also, if you want them to inform you of weekly giveaways, sign up for their newsletter. It’s free!
Read Books For Free – Free Online Novels – BONUS!
I’m putting this as a bonus because I haven’t tried it yet.
Remember BookSweeps, the site I was talking about? They offer the option of reading books for free. Select “Read” and a list of books and a menu on the left side will appear. Use it to look for whatever interests you.
The books available to read for free need to be downloaded.