Resources for Free Reading Material During Quarantine [Updated: 3/31]

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Obviously, a global pandemic has always been a threat, but COVID-19 seems to have just caught everyone off-guard with how terrible it’s been. It’s scary, and people are struggling with being laid-off or losing their jobs, being quarantined, having to homeschool their children and deal with so many other stressful situations right now.

One of the ways I’ve been dealing with anxiety is through binge-reading. I wanted to put together this list of resources to help you guys find some books and magazines to get your mind off of things.

If you know of any other apps or websites that I haven’t listed, please let me know in the comments or email me at readyourselfhappy@gmail.com so that I can add them to this list.


Your Local Library

While a lot of libraries are closing their doors to their physical collections, many are still offering all of their digital resources. Libraries differ between branches but check the website of your local library to see what resources they provide. My area’s library offers free online access to tons of magazines, the New York Times, and language learning programs.


Overdrive/Libby & Hoopla

If you have a library card, you have access to a ton of ebooks, audiobooks, comic books, movies, music, and tv shows through these two apps. They’re absolutely free and you just log in using your library card information.


Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly has temporarily opened up their digital issues to everyone. Out of all these resources, this is probably the one that I’ll be taking the advantage of the most since I’ve always wanted a subscription to Publishers Weekly but can’t afford it on my budget.


Scribd

Scribd is letting people sign up and have access to all of their ebooks, audiobooks, sheet music, and more for 30 days. Scribd is a great resource that I personally use every single day, so if you’re not already a subscriber, definitely take them up on this!


Tor.com

Tor.com is a publishing house that offers tons of short stories on their website. Here’s a link to all of their available fiction. Tor.com is one of my favorite publishers and they put out some amazing science fiction stories.


Podcasts

If you want stuff to listen to, podcasts are a great free resource. There are a ton of different ways to find and subscribe to them, such as through Spotify, the Apple Podcast App (or any podcast app for that matter), iTunes, and Scribd are examples. There are tons of podcasts for every taste. My personal favorite right now is Working Classless.


Project Gutenberg, Open Library, & Internet Archive

These are three great resources for reading classic literature or any books that are in the public domain, and they’re all entirely free.


Audible

Amazon’s Audible is offering some content for free. All of the content is hand-picked for children ages 0-18.


Neil Gaiman

One of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, is offering a ton of free content on his website, such as short stories, essays, audio content, and more.


StorylineOnline

This YouTube channel features a ton of videos of celebrities reading children’s stories. It’s the perfect way to entertain your kids while school is closed.


Goodnight with Dolly

Starting April 2nd, Dolly Parton is going to be reading bedtime stories via YouTube as part of her Imagination Library.


Kirkus

For book news and reviews, you’ve probably heard of Kirkus. They have made of all their digital issues free.



I’m sure that I’m missing a lot of resources, but I wanted to get this list out as quickly as I could. As I come across new resources or hear about them from you guys, I’ll update this post.

Again, I hope all of you are taking care of yourselves. Hang in there. We’re all in this together.




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Linwood Barclay, Laurie Gwen Shapiro, & Amanda Stern – Kindle Daily Deals, 11/19/19

Kindle Daily Deals

Every day Amazon has incredible ebook deals, and here are twenty-five of the best for today.

All of these ebooks are under $5, and most of them are under $3. If you see something you want, snatch it up – many of these deals are one day only.

Don’t have a Kindle? There are a ton of models available at a variety of prices.

I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means that anything you purchase through the links provided below helps to keep Read Yourself Happy running, at no additional cost to you.



Have you read any of these books? If so, let me know what you thought of them in the comments!




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Jenny Lawson, Omar El Akkad, & Laini Taylor – Kindle Deals, 9/27/19

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All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!






Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Laura Kinsale, Robin Perini, & Loretta Nyhan – Kindle Deals, 9/23/19

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All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!



 




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Heidi Heilig, Tamra Baumann, & Emily B. Martin – Kindle Deals, 9/21/19

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All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.



 




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Rebekah Crane, John Glynn, & Sue Burke – Kindle Deals, 9/20/19

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All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.






Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Marieke Nijkamp, Sarah St.Vincent, & Brittany Gibbons – Kindle Deals, 9/13/19

Kindle Daily Deals.png


All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.






Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Philip Pullman, Maggie Stiefvater, & Laura E. Weymouth – Kindle Deals, 9/9/19

Kindle Daily Deals.png


All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.



 




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Sarah J. Maas, Helena Hunting, & Gloria Chao – Kindle Deals, 9/6/19

Kindle Daily Deals.png


All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.



 




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Christine Lynn Herman, Natalie C. Parker, & Renee Watson – Kindle Deals, 9/3/19

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A couple of weeks ago I posted a survey about what people wanted more or less of on the blog and the majority of people who participated voted to bring back Kindle Daily Deals. So, here are the Kindle deals for today! I doubt I’ll be able to go back to posting these deals every single day as I used to, but I’ll share them as often as I can!


All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.



 




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

George Saunders, Zadie Smith, & Maureen Johnson, – Kindle Deals, 9/2/19

Kindle Daily Deals.png


A couple of weeks ago I posted a survey about what people wanted more or less of on the blog and the majority of people who participated voted to bring back Kindle Daily Deals. So, here are the Kindle deals for today! I doubt I’ll be able to go back to posting these deals every single day as I used to, but I’ll share them as often as I can!


All of the Amazon Kindle ebooks listed below are under $5, and most of them are under $3. Some of the deals are for one day only, so if you see something you really want, don’t wait!

I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these ebooks through the links provided below, Read Yourself Happy makes a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the website running smoothly.






Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

How to Read Great Books Without Spending Your Entire Paycheck

how to save money; how to find discount books; where to find cheap books; book blog; reading
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Here’s a basic truth that all readers know: books are expensive. With single books costing between $15-$20, sometimes more, catching up on your favorite series can be a pricey endeavor. Goodness knows I spend far too much on books, to the point where my boyfriend has to frequently remind me that we have bills to pay, so maybe I shouldn’t be buying three new books right this second.

Reading doesn’t have to be expensive, though. In fact, there are several ways that you can read what you want for free or extremely cheap! Here are my tips:

Get a Library Card

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Photo by Max Langelott on Unsplash

Hopefully, this is obvious and you already have a card to your local library. If you don’t, go. Right now. Seriously.

The library is my favorite place in the whole world. Every time I’ve moved to a new town, the first thing I do is run to my nearest library branch and sign up for a card. The entire literary world is waiting for you, and if your library doesn’t have a book you want to read, you can request it, usually through their website or a form near the checkout desk.

There are also a ton of other great resources available to you once you have that library card! Every city’s library system is different, but a here are a few cool things I’ve seen:

  • equipment rentals (such as telescopes and 3D printers)
  • free language courses (my own library offers Rosetta Stone for certain languages)
  • magazines and newspapers that you can either read at the library or online
  • digital music, movies, and television shows
  • classes for everything from language to computer skills
  • the ability to reserve study rooms
  • free wi-fi
  • access to select museums

Most libraries these days also offer OverDrive and Hoopla, services that allow you to check out free ebooks, movies, music, comics and more. I use both frequently, and they’re both wonderful.

Online Databases of Free Books

where to find cheap books; what should i read next; book blog; cheap books; free books online

The internet is a wonderful thing. There are so many websites where you can read public domain books or books that publishers are putting online for free. This is particularly helpful for fans of classic literature, as you’ll have plenty to choose from. Here are some of the best:

A Netflix-Style Subscription Service

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There are a couple of services that allows you access to thousands of books in exchange for a monthly fee, usually around $10.

  • Kindle Unlimited – I love Kindle Unlimited. For $9.99 per month, you have access to thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines. I use this service frequently.
  • Audible – Audible is a great service for people that enjoy audiobooks. The service is through Amazon, and once a month you get a credit for a free ebook. They have a very wide selection so you can find any book you have your heart set on.
  • Scribd – This is another service that I adore. I discovered it a couple of months ago while watching a video from A Clockwork Reader, and I use it every day now. While I particularly use it for audiobooks, you also get access to books, magazines, and sheet music, all for $8.99 per month. And if you sign up at this link, you can get two months free!
  • Marvel Unlimited – A wonderful option for fans of comic books, Marvel Unlimited is $9.99 per month, and gives you access to a massive collection of back issues. They don’t have everything yet, but they are adding new issues every week. I’m currently trying to work my way through all of the Doctor Strange series.
  • Comixology Unlimited – This service is very similar to Marvel Unlimited, but it is better for people who enjoy indie comic series. The service is only $5.99 per month, making it the cheapest option on this list, and if you’re a member you also receive 10-15% off digital issues that you purchase.

Find Discounted Books

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If you are planning on buying a book that you cannot find for free, that doesn’t mean you need to pay full price for it. There are several places where you can get discounted books.

  • Ebay – This is probably an obvious one. In most cases, you can find what you’re looking for. In my own experience, Ebay is best for people looking for a specific edition of a book, old books that are currently out of print, or entire book series.
  • Amazon – Amazon offers used books at a discount. When you go to the page of the book you’re looking for, under the normal Amazon buttons, you’ll also see the availability of used books.
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  • Amazon Kindle Deals – Every day, Amazon offers hundreds of ebooks for as low as $0.99. Even if you don’t have a Kindle (which you really should, because they’re very handy), you can download the Kindle app to your phone or computer, and still read these ebooks.
  • Book Outlet – I’m a tiny bit obsessed with Book Outlet, another website I found through my favorite booktube channel, A Clockwork Reader. I’ve mentioned Book Outlet before, but let’s run through the main points again: Book Outlet has a constantly rotating stock of books, so if you see something you really want, you might want to go ahead and get it. The books are heavily discounted – I’ve gotten books for as little as $2! I’ve also heard they do a Black Friday sale, which I very much hope is true.
  • Thrift Books – Much like Book Outlet, this is an online discount bookshop.
  • AbeBooks – I believe it was my father who introduced me to this website originally, but over time I’ve known a few people who used it successfully to get used textbooks.
  • Half Price Books – Yet another discount book website. Hopefully, with this many options, you’ll be able to find that book you really want to read!
  • Humble Bundle – This website offers rotating selections of ebooks and games. The thing that makes this website special is that it is “pay what you want,” with 3 tiers that get you a new set of books. A part of what you buy also goes to charity, so you can do something good while buying books that you want. Right now, they have four book bundles you can choose from:
  • Thrift Shops & Second-hand Bookstores  – I have scored some amazing books at second-hand shops, like this recent haul I got from Goodwill. While it does require a little more work to find the gems, usually in the form of hours of digging through stacks of old books, it’s definitely worth it.
  • Yard, Garage, and Estate Sales – I love going to yard sales, and every time I go I end up with at least an armful of books, if not a whole trunk full. The best part of yard sale shopping is that sometimes you can haggle for a lower price – think an entire box of books for $5.

Those are some of my best ideas for finding cheap or free books. Did I leave anything out? What are your methods for reading cheap?