5 Ways to Get FREE eBooks & Audiobooks

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Free Ebooks and AudioBooks

I love to read books.

I mean actual, literal, books.

Reading on a Kindle, however, always felt like work to me (i.e. being on a screen). And listening to books seemed like something little kids or old people did.

But then I moved to Israel.

Since I don’t read for pleasure in Hebrew, the public library selections here are slim. No surprise, I’ve come to really appreciate the ubiquity of digital and audiobooks. But there was only one problem: Cost.

Spending $14.95 a month for Audible, or buying Kindle books at Amazon for several dollars (or more) just wasn’t in my budget.

Fortunately it doesn’t have to be in my budget, since there are plenty of ways to read – and listen – to books for FREE!

#1. The Libby App

Do you have a U.S. library card? Then you can read or listen for FREE to just about any book you can imagine through this incredible, user-friendly app. Even if you’re not physically in the United States at the moment, the Libby App will work for you – making this perfect for olim!

How the Libby App works:

Step 1: Download the app, then upload the membership number on your local library card(s) – yes, you can connect multiple cards on one account.

Step 2: Click the magnifying glass on the top left of the app to search for an e-book or audio book.

Step 3: Borrow your title – or place a hold on it if it’s currently checked out.

Step 4: If you prefer to read/listen on your Kindle rather than your phone, it takes just a few clicks to send it there. Follow these simple directions.

Step 5: Read or listen to your book. Your book is checked out for 14 days, after which it book will automatically be “returned”. If you’re not finished and want to keep it longer, you can extend your check-out by another two week – as long as the book isn’t on hold by someone else. If it is, just re-request the book and you’ll get it again soon.

*A limited number of libraries don’t work with Libby yet. If you can’t find your library system once you download the app, try using Axis 360. It works very similarly – available on Google Play and iTunes.

#2. Loyal Books / Books Should Be Free

Loyal Books has thousands of books available as audio or e-Book downloads. Their selection focuses on the classics – everything from Pride & Prejudice, to the Odyssey, to Romeo &  Juliet.

I recommend being on the device you want to listen / read from when you search for and download your books. That way they automatically open into the correct app.

Audio books can be downloaded as an MP3 Download or into your Podcast App. E-Books can be downloaded for the Nook or Kindle, or as a word file for your computer.

#3. Google eBook Store

While most ebooks at the Google Bookstore are not free, there are a number of ebooks and audiobooks that don’t cost a thing!

The free audio sections are primarily kid’s titles, which are great for “quiet” time or road trips. The eBooks selection, in my opinion, is unfortunately pretty poor, and I will warn you that they aren’t the most tzanua.

My advice: Stick to the audio selection.

#4. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg has over 58,500 free eBooks available for you to download, with an emphasis on older works for which the copyright has expired. There are no audiobooks available on Project Gutenberg.

The books are digitized and proofread by a team of thousands of volunteers, which is pretty cool, I think. You can choose from Kindle, ePub and PDF formats for your download.

Prime Reading Free#5. Prime Reading

Amazon Prime members can take advantage of a rotating selection of FREE books, magazines, comics, children’s books, and more — at no additional cost. There are more than one thousand titles in the Prime Reading selection each month.

While technically this service is dedicated to FREE ebooks – and not audiobooks – there are a number of books that have an audible narration option.

Each month the Prime Reading selection changes, so if you don’t find something you want to read now, check back next month!

For a limited time, you can also score a FREE one-month membership to Kindle Unlimited, which gives you access to over 1,000,000 ebooks, audio books, and current magazines. Read on any device (it doesn’t need to be a Kindle!). After your free one-month trial, your membership will automatically renew at $9.99 per month, but you can cancel at any time.

**Bonus**

In addition to the five options above, right now you can score a FREE one-month trial of Audible that comes with 7 FREE BOOKS.

With this awesome offer, you get to choose any TWO audiobooks, plus you’ll get two Audible originals, AND enjoy three more FREE books to start your year off right: Do Over by Jon Acuff, Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, and Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

If you choose to continue your Audible membership, it costs $14.95 per month. You can cancel any time (even before your free trial ends) – and the seven free audiobooks are yours to keep FOREVER!

You can listen to your Audible books on any device – your phone, tablet, computer and even your Amazon Echo or Dot. And you can seamlessly switch between devices – start listening in the kitchen on the Echo, pick up the book on your phone while in the car for your morning commute.

Note: If you’re planning to read on a device, I highly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite. The reading experience is much better than on any other screen I’ve tried. There’s no glare and the pages “feel” more like a book than they do on a typical screen. Regularly $129.99, the Paperwhite goes on sale twice a year (for Black Friday and Prime Day) for $99.99.

That said, if you don’t want to splurge for a new device, you can install the Kindle Reading App for free on just about any device you already have, including your phone, iPad or tablet, laptop or even desktop.

Do you like to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks? What are your best tips for getting them for cheap – or free?

Comments

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Comments

  1. Ahava Steinbauer says

    My library in the US that I can still access from Israel has five free downloads a month from Hoopla – could be audio book, TV show, or movie. Also they have Freegal and I get five songs a week to download for free. It worth checking your local library‘s website for any of the services. My library also gives me access to audiobooks from Recorded Books.

  2. Charnie Feldman says

    I’m saving this email! For NYC readers, the NYPL has a huge selection of Kindle books.

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