10 Ways to Find Free or Cheap E-Books

Find Digital Books for Free or Reduced Prices

Woman reading e-book in the subway
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E-books have become more and more popular, but it's sometimes difficult to find the books you want to read (especially at a price you can afford). However, there are cheaper (sometimes even free) ways to rent, borrow, trade, or loan books. Take a look at these resources.

Note: Please, carefully read the terms and conditions before you subscribe, register for, or use any of these e-book services.

On Overdrive, you can search local libraries and bookstores for audiobooks, e-books, music, video! It's a free search, and it features various formats (which allows you to find the format you need for your device/reading preference).

Norton eBooks allow you to access books from W.W. Norton. With these e-book editions, you can highlight, take notes, print chapters, and search the text — it's perfect for any literature student/lover.

Note: These e-books are Flash-based. If your device does not support Flash, e-book titles can be purchased from CourseSmart.

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BookBub sends you email alerts when there's a great deal on books that match your interests: bestsellers, mysteries and thrillers, romance, science fiction and fantasy, literary fiction, teen and young adult, business, religious and inspirational, historical fiction, biographies and memoirs, cooking, advice, and how-to. The alerts are also based on where you buy your e-books: Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks), Kobo Books, Smashwords, or other. You can also access the updates via Facebook and Twitter.

eReaderIQ.com monitors your titles and lets you know when they are available in Kindle format. If there's a classic you'd like to add to your e-book collection (but it's not yet available in electronic format, you can add it to your "My Watch List." You can also take a look at titles that other readers are looking for (in e-book format), as well as "Free Kindle Books" and "Price Drops." This service offers Daily "Deals and Freebies" via email subscription, an RSS feed, and mobile access (optimized for Kindle and iPad). It's a great way to track what you need.

At the internet archive, you can access free fiction, popular books, children’s books, historical texts and academic books. There are some restrictions on bulk re-use and commercial use. Please see the collection or the sponsor of a book for more information regarding electronic use/re-use of e-books.

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On eCampus.com, you can rent, buy and sell electronic versions of your literature textbooks. You can access the site via subscription for 360 days. eCampus.com features more than 1,000 frequently used titles, including many works of literature e-books: adventure, anthologies, drama, essays and reference, fiction classics, literary books, short stories, and much more. 

LendingEbooks.com is a free service that allows you to share your Kindle and Nook e-books with other readers. The site features a blog that lists new books, a Book Club, and chat (which enables you to chat with other readers, as well as some authors).

Subscribe to the newsletter for Hundred Zeros — the website that features e-books that are available for free on Amazon.com. Subject categories include arts and entertainment, biographies and memoirs, classics, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reference, and much more.

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Your Local Library

More and more libraries across the country are making e-books free to rent for library card-holders. Check your library's online catalog or ask a librarian to see if this benefit is available in your region.  

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This online service is free to join—you can "fling" any Kindle or Nook book at other readers connected with the site, and "catch" the titles you want to read. When you lend the books in your collection, you receive credits, which allow you to borrow books for free. If you don't have the online credit with eBookFling, the service charges a fee to borrow a book. The lending/borrowing period is: 14 days (your book is returned at that time).