How To Read Books If You’re Broke

How To Read Books If You’re Broke

In my humble opinion, the two most important words in the English language are “FREE BOOKS.”

We all know books can be expensive. As a writer, I’m happy that authors are getting fairly compensated for their years of imagination and incredible hard work. When I can, I buy books from local indie bookstores. But since I’m currently jobless and saving for college, I’ve also had to find some thriftier ways to read.

These methods don’t hurt authors or your wallet. (And yes, all of them are legal.)

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Me at the beautiful Vassar Library!

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1. Borrow Books From Friends

That’s what friends are for. If you have any friends who love reading, ask them if they’d be willing to lend you a book. Just remember that means you have to lend out your babies books to other people too, even with the threats of water spills, dog-eared pages, and bent covers looming large.


2. Used Books

This isn’t a completely free option, but used books are a fantastic way to get a lot of good quality, physical books for less. I buy the majority of my books through charity sales and secondhand shops. If you’re a thrifty shopper, you can find recent fiction for as cheap as fifty cents for a novel. You can buy used books online through E-bay and other vendors, but first, see if there’s a used bookstore near you! In my experience, secondhand bookstores are some of the most magical places on Earth. (Even if I am allergic to dust and spend most of my time there sneezing.)

3. Free E-Books

If you love genre fiction, like science fiction and romance, you’re in luck! Some independent authors release free e-books to download, which you can view on sites like Bookbub. Also, keep an eye out for bloggers who release snippets of their writing, free short-stories, and even entire novels for their readers to download.


4. Expired Copyright

All works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain, which means that these books are free to read. Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Anne of Green Gables are all at your disposal. If you love classics, or if you want to read something tried and true, check out Project Gutenberg, which offers over 55,000 free E-books to download.


5. Libraries!

Um, because of course? Not only are libraries essentially hubs of free books, they’re community centers filled with some of the best, most hardworking people you’ll ever meet. You’ll be able to check books/e-books/audio books out for weeks at a time for free, as well as access computers, literary events, and helpful classes. Also, if you’re looking for a book that the library doesn’t have, librarians will often to go out of their way to find it at another branch.

There was recently a (now deleted) article on Forbes about libraries being replaced by the internet and Amazon. There’s a lot wrong with that sentiment. Libraries provide literature, community, and support to everyone, regardless of income, race, gender, and sexuality. Remember to support your libraries, and the wonderful librarians in them!

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How do you buy your books? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, you can find me on Pinterest or Instagram.vivian parkin derosa.png

13 responses to “How To Read Books If You’re Broke”

  1. I love all these options! Libraries are so underrated, but if you’re a student (especially in college) you should definite take advantage of your public/school library because it’s funded in part by your tuition.

    I think the only thing hard, if you’re a book blogger, is you might want the physical book for photographing purposes. It’s drastic, but people in a money bind might also think about buying a book from a big-chain store then reading and returning it in a timely manner and in perfect condition. I don’t do this, but I’ve thought about it! ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

    • Libraries really are amazing! You can always photograph the library book. If you buy a book from a bookstore and then read it, I would just resell it to a secondhand store. That way, you can still save a lot of money, and someone else can get an excellent used book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s true! The only thing with photographing the library book is sometimes, if it’s hardcover, there’s a plastic cover over it so it make the photographing a little bit harder. Whew, I’ve been there…Illuminae was a tricky beast!


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