Free Kindle books? Yup. And not just poorly-edited YA fantasy, either.
So when I first got into the whole idea of e-books, I was reading on a 7″ Dell tablet that came free with the computer I bought. Having previously made heavy use of my local library, used books on Amazon and thrift shops, mostly, for book acquisition, the idea of having this small, lightweight, space-saving device was exciting, and also kind of negated by the idea that suddenly, I’d have to pay more to read. You can’t “buy” a used Kindle book, but as it turns out, there are high-quality, free Kindle books available everywhere.
What kinda stuff you lookin’ for?
What do I read on my Kindle? I love reading fiction on it, because, while it’s not exactly disposable, fiction winds up taking up a lot of space in our tiny home. Chances are, once I’m done with a fiction novel, unless it’s written and autographed by someone I know, it gets passed on when I’m through. Rare is the day I read a book a second time anymore. My actual, physical bookshelf is mainly reference guides and an extensive collection of quirky hippie books from the 70s (it’s a thing, yes). Fiction and my Kindle are perfect companions. I do love my chances to escape and imagine.
Sure, there are a lot of well-known resources out there for getting free books to read, but mostly I found a lot of poorly-edited, self-published books that just didn’t make the cut when it came to enjoyable reading — I felt like I was reading the equivalent of a soap opera and I ain’t got time for that, (yet as terrible as it is, I don’t always want to read the classics anymore, either). Editors, they’re a thing for a reason, and they still have massive purpose in this world. I read not only because I enjoy the escape of it, but also because I learn from a finely-written and finely-edited work. Because the quality was often lacking, my interest in things like Smashwords and Kindle Buffet came to a close fairly quickly and now, here’s how I get what I need:
Stating the obvious here, for sure, and I know Amazon is a monster for many — but I’m doing this because there are freebies within! I know, there are other options, like Kindle Unlimited, which gives you unlimited books for a low monthly fee. I don’t really have time for “unlimited books” for $9.99 a month since I can maybe read two a month, but my Amazon Prime membership for $12.99/month gives me 2-day delivery on orders, lots of music and movie streaming, a bunch of crap I haven’t even explored yet, and “borrowing rights” via Prime Reading, which allows me to check out up to 10 books or magazines* at a time and return them once I’m done — for free. It doesn’t give me access to every book on the site, but there generally seems to be something of interest whenever I check.
Right now that means I’m reading The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, and it’s enchanting — the man got his prose down, damn. Wifey and I also share the Prime “Household & Family Library”, so we both have free access to any books one of us might buy for our own Kindles, too. She has been reading The Gospel of Hip-Hop, KRS-1’s genius bit of gnosis.
I discovered this one reading reviews about The Queen of the Night on Goodreads. I signed up and was approved as an Amazon/Goodreads reviewer quickly. NetGalley gives you access to books that aren’t published yet, and in return you promise to read them and offer feedback and reviews. I’ve already got my first book queued up.
As an blogger or consumer (Amazon/Goodreads) reviewer I’m sure you don’t get access to every book available on the site like you would if you were a traditional or book trade reviewer, but I was able to find 3–4 right away that looked promising and within minutes it was sent right to my Kindle. I review everything I read anyway (find me here on Goodreads), so being a “Professional Reader” for NetGalley is a great fit for me.
Between these two resources, I have all the quality reading I can handle for the time being! And if, like me, your reading time generally gets squeezed in while your daughter’s in her ballet class or you’ve cut the dogs loose to run at the lake, I think you’ll find exactly what you need for your escapist reading pleasure here, too.