Bookworms, rejoice: Nine websites that offer cheap books

Who says you have to spend so much money on books? Here are nine websites where you can buy or borrow books for much less.

Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor/File
Customers browse through an extensive book collection at Elliott Bay Book Co. in downtown Seattle, WA. You can find many titles, from classics to popular YA novels, online for cheap or even for free.

I read a lot. And being the crazy, routine-loving person that I am, I also have certain times that I like to read certain things. It sounds intense, but it works for me. 

I like to read newer, trending books (think The Goldfinch or Divergent) when I wake up in the morning. I prefer to read motivational stuff (#GIRLBOSS) before bed and I like to try new authors that I haven't heard of when I go on vacation or have a relaxing weekend at home. I'll usually tough it out and pay the normal Kindle price for newer, popular books, but I never shell out more than a dollar for my vacation and weekend reads.

I used to get sucked into the $2 book craze on Amazon and buy six at a time, but I never got past the first chapter on most of them because they couldn't hold my interest. So I started trying to be more thoughtful about my book purchases: now I stick to books that are $0.99 or free, and I only pay more for things I've heard of with really good reviews.

It took some time, but I've found a few websites that actually offer some decent titles for free or very cheap.


This is definitely my favorite book site out there right now. You can sign up and select your favorite categories and your reading device and each day BookBub will send you an email with sale books from your selected categories. I'd been eyeing The Life of Henrietta Lacks for $11.99 at Walgreens for months, but I was patient and it recently appeared in my BookBub email for $1.99!


OverDrive is an easy and simple way to borrow eBooks from your local library, without even having to step outside! My fiance used to download eBooks from the library for me when I worked at Starbucks and was 1. really broke and 2. really bored and at the time I thought he was a magician. Turns out, anyone can do this! All you need is library card and a local library with your eBook available. No magic necessary.

Amazon Lending Library

If you already own a Kindle and are a member of Amazon Prime, you probably have access to more free books than you think. All Prime members are eligible for one book rental per month. On your Kindle device, you'll view the Lending Library and choose from over 800,000 titles available to borrow (including all seven Harry Potter books)!


For those of you that never seem to find the time to read, DailyLit sends you short sections of your desired book so that you can read as much as you have time for and not feel overwhelmed. If you have 15 minutes on the bus each morning, but always wanted to make it through War and Peace, this is the site for you. They break each book down into short installments and you can pause installments if you need a break or read several in one day if you're feeling extra ambitious. Plus, a lot of them are free!


The best part of this website is its tracking tools and alerts. You can add books you want to read a book or import your Amazon Wish List, set them to alert you when the book drops by whatever dollar amount you want, and you'll be notified when it's on sale for a price you want to pay. They do all the work and you get the deal. Sounds pretty similar to another website that I love (hint: It's Brad's Deals).

Hundred Zeros

This site has a huge list of genres with lots of books to choose from in each. Their menu is easy to navigate and they have graphic novels, cookbooks and a category just for children's books. If you're looking for a favorite author, they will show you books by that author, but they will probably cost money. I do wish they'd show similar author's with books available for free like some of the other sites do.


Another site with books from lesser known authors in a wide variety of genres. Use the search feature on this website to find author's similar to your favorites. I typed in 'Jodi Picoult' and got a free copy of Riversong by Tess Thompson. I may find a new favorite author, or I may end up hating it after the first page. Either way, it was a freebie to add to my weekend collection and worth a shot.

Project Gutenberg

A volunteer-based website, people who used this site often help by adding, proofreading and editing books when they're added to the site. There are over 49,000 free books on Project Gutenberg, and many are free because they are no longer under U.S. copyright laws. The books on the site that are still under copyright have given Project Gutenberg permission to distribute them to their users.

You're not going to find many classics on this website. Most books on this site are self-published and uploaded by the author. If you're looking for unknown titles by authors you haven't heard of yet for some vacation reading, this site is worth a look.

This article first appeared on Brad's Deals

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