More Ways To Read On A Budget

Over a year ago I wrote a post on how to save money on books. It included things like Netgalley and Book Depository but over the year, I’ve come up with a few more ways to read on a budget.


Somehow, this didn’t even cross my mind in the original post. Surprise! The library is free! I know not everyone has access to a great library, but if you do, use it. Even better, libraries are catching’ up with the times. Many libraries are now linked to various apps where you can check out eBooks and audiobooks right from the comfort of your home! 

If you are going to start using your library, or if you already do, I recommend checking out if yours is connected to any app (like OverDrive or CloudLibrary). Also, install the Chrome extension Library Extension. This helps when it comes to avoiding purchasing books. When you’re on Amazon or Goodreads, there will be a little box that tells you if the book you’re looking at is available at your library! I’ve avoided a few purchases because of this. Instead, I just add the book to a shelf on GR titled “at my library”.


I’ve traded books a few times with some lovely women in this community. While I technically have to pay for shipping, it’s nice to get a book I don’t want in someone else’s hands and a book I do want for $5.00 or less in shipping. I’ve posted in my story on Instagram about books I’m getting rid of and used the #booksfortrade on Twitter. #booksfortrade is a little more difficult because so many people are looking for some rare books when I’m just simply trying to get rid of some backlist/ read ones. However, give it a shot! I’ve successfully traded at least 10 times already.


Amazon has a few ways you can save on books.

Amazon Lending – You can actually lend or borrow books from your friends. The only issue is that a book can only be lent out once. Once you lend or borrow a book, no one else can borrow that same book from you or your friend. However, it’s still a great way to share!

Free eBooks – Amazon has thousands of free eBooks! There’s really nothing else to explain here. Free books = saving money.

Kindle Unlimited/Prime Reading – Kindle Unlimited is a monthly subscription through Amazon. You pay about $10.00 – $15.00 per month and can read hundreds of books. Prime Reading is included with your Prime membership but has a more limited selection of books compared to Kindle Unlimited.

Personally, I love Kindle Unlimited. There are so many books and some that I was surprised to find there! Books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Bone Season, Ms. Marvel, almost every book published by Oftomes Publishing, The Hundredth Queen, Unicorn Tracks, and so much more!


I don’t mean your faves (although I am subscribed to their newsletters), I’m talking about the indies, self-pubbed, and micro press authors. I’ve subscribed to a few over the past year – mainly from giveaway entries I’ve done – and they’ve proven to be really beneficial when it comes to free books! Several of them include free book alerts for other author’s books, deals on their own books, or when their books are free.

For example, 154 of them just took part in a Scavenger Hunt. It started with ONE email then you visited all 154 websites to find the “hidden word” to enter the grand prize giveaway. But nearly all of them had their own giveaways and freebies! I received many free ebooks through this, discovered tons of new authors, and entered a bunch of giveaways (we’ll see if any of them prove fruitful).

So, if you’re into reading indie and the like, these can be so great for saving money on books!

If you want more ways to save, check out my post Save $$$ On Books! I didn’t want to include all of those in this post since I’ve already gone into detail about them!

How do you save on books?
Do you already use some of these tips? 

Comments are the best! Let's chat!

17 thoughts on “More Ways To Read On A Budget

  1. Definitely great options for people looking to save money! I use my library all the time and it has saved me so much money. Sharing books with other readers is also a great idea, especially if it’s something you can’t get from your own library but really want to read.

    1. Yes, that is true! I’m lucky to have a library that basically has any book I want to read, but some aren’t as good so sharing is a big help

  2. I really need to use my library more because reading on a budget is definitely something I need to do. That extension for Chrome is awesome! and I will be downloading immediately. Thanks for this post!

  3. I liked KU when I subscribed, but I found I would keep borrowing books, and was neglecting all the books I owned. But, it was a great way to find new authors, and no waits like with Overdrive. My library allows borrows through Hoopla too. They have a really good audio selection, but not so much for ebooks. They do get Disney titles though. Great tips!
    Sam @ WLABB

    1. That is true! (about neglecting your books haha). I like to have it as an option because sometimes I just really don’t want to read ANY of the books I own lol

    1. Okay, I don’t know why I didn’t reply to this sooner???? I’m in the middle of some blog changes, so it looks like I missed a few comments. But yes! My library uses CloudLibrary now instead of Overdrive, but its the same concept. It’s amazing 🙂

  4. As a library employee, I also want to stress that many libraries (if not all) offer an interlibrary loan service, often for free or for a low cost ($1 or $2 per book). This allows libraries to borrow from other systems for books you want that your local library doesn’t have! Make sure to ask your library about your options if they don’t have a book you want. 🙂

    1. I’m sorry I missed this comment! I love that libraries now offer all these mobile features. It’s amazing! I went through all my old books that I kept saying I was going to read but never got to and checked if there was an ebook available from my library. If there was, I got rid of the physical copy. Made so much shelf space haha

  5. Love it, there are some excellent tips here. I am guilty of buying way too many books and really need to learn to be better about budgeting with these things so this will help. It is possible to read well on a budget and it is way too easy to convince yourself it’s impossible.

  6. Libraries are officially one of the best things in the world. My local one is especially amazing just because it’s so big – I love studying in there and I’m so prone to impromptu trips that I’ve been known to carry my library card around with me everywhere.


    I’ve heard a lot about Kindle Unlimited, and it sounds like a great service, but I always steered clear because some bloggers raise concerns about authors not being properly paid. Do you know anything about whether this is true?

    Thanks for the great post, Molly!

    1. My local library is big too so I really should use it more often! But the ebook service is SO helpful!

      I actually talked to one of my friends who is self-published and asked her about the KU thing. She said she gets paid no matter what because they technically have to pay for the copy of the book someone is reading. So, you should be fine! I mean, she seems like a reliable source, being an author with her book available on Kindle Unlimited haha

      1. That’s really reassuring! Thanks for going to all that effort to find out as well.