The Student News Site of Texas Wesleyan University

The Rambler

The Rambler

The Rambler

Reading Books and Changing the World: Where to Find Free or Cheap Books!


I don’t know about the rest of you, but throughout all of this, one upside has been the amount of “for-fun” reading I have gotten to do recently.  Typically, my limited free time is filled with homework, but now that I’ve found myself with more free time than I’ve ever had before, I’m averaging a book a week.  (Happy I stocked up on these precious resources before the library closed down, though I am running low on physical books…)

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation as me, and perhaps you are also running low on literature, you’ve come to the right place.  Today we’re covering the first of two topics: where to get books cheap or for free, and the best series to binge during quarantine.  So settle in, and let’s get reading.

First, we’re gonna look at where to get books from for cheap/free.  Obviously, my go-to place for books is my local library.  Unfortunately, with everything being closed right now, they’re out of the picture currently.  (My second choice, if I simply must have a new book to read, is to head to Half-Price books and check out their clearance shelves (where I’ve made some amazing $2 finds!) but alas, they are closed, as well.  So let’s look at some of my favorite ways to digitally get books.

1. Thriftbooks

Thriftbooks is a superhero that no one but me seems to know about, so let me sing its praises for a minute; the average book on Thriftbooks is between $4-$6 dollars and they’re typically in amazing condition.  I’ve yet to be disappointed by a “like new” book that only costs a couple bucks out of my pocket.  Additionally, if you sign up for a free account, you can earn points that get you FREE books.  (Yes, I said FREE!  Every $50 you spend gets you a free $5 book, and it is pretty easy to spend that much on cheap books, let me tell you!)

Shipping is also FREE on orders over $10.  Yes, FREE.  It also typically only takes three days from the time I order to get to my door.  FREE.

Not hooked yet?  How about this one to blow your socks off; they have textbooks.  Some with access codes.  For $5.  I just saved your life.  (I have gotten two textbooks off this site for $5 each.  Both were in nearly perfect condition, and one had an unused access code on the inside cover for me to have.  Blew my mind.)

I just ordered 4 books from there today for a grand total of $14, which includes my four books being delivered to my door.  I can’t sing this site’s praises enough.  If you want to get started on Thriftbooks, follow the link below for 15% off your first order – plus I get some points toward free books for referring you, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved!

2. Prime Reading

(Note: this one requires you to have an Amazon Prime membership, but in the year 2020, is there really anyone that isn’t at least borrowing someone else’s account?)

This is a little hidden gem on Amazon; you can “borrow” up to 10 digital titles at a time from their Prime Library for FREE.  This includes classics you might need for class like 1984, the Handmaid’s Tale, and The Iliad, as well as newer favorites like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.  There’s also quite a few cookbooks and other nonfiction works that might help you find a new hobby or improve your understanding of a topic from class.  There are also some comic books available on there if that’s your thing!  Some of the books are even recorded as Audiobooks, so you can switch from reading to listening as you so desire.

Their shelves are a little more limited, but to get dozens of classics for free, it is definitely worth taking a look at to see if what you’re wanting is on there!

3. Libby

(Libby requires you to have a Public Library card, so if you for whatever reason don’t have one, find your local public library and see if you can sign up online!)

Libby is a free app that makes digital books available to you through your local public library.  There are thousands of your library’s most popular books available to you FOR FREE through this app (available on Android and iPhone.)  Many are also available as audiobooks for those that prefer to consume their literature through their ears.  Sign up through your local library today and get reading!

According to the Literacy Project Foundation’s website, half of all American adults cannot read above an eighth-grade level, and 47% of college graduates don’t pick up another book (for fun) after graduation.  Let’s change that statistic this year!  Find your genre and the books you enjoy and make a reading goal for each year.

With these three sites, you should have enough reading to last you a few weeks – at least!  Remember to stay tuned tomorrow as we look as my personal book recommendations in different genres.  Who knows?  You might find a new favorite series!

Do you know of any sites for cheap or free books?  Let us know down below!

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All The Rambler Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    terrijakephillipsApr 16, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    If you have a Fort Worth Library card, they have thousands of ebooks available, usually a 4 week access, which is renewable.

    • T

      theramblertwuApr 17, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing!

Activate Search
Reading Books and Changing the World: Where to Find Free or Cheap Books!