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Reading is one of the most popular and most productive pastimes that we can engage in. It provides the opportunity for escapism while broadening our horizons, learning about new people and places, and developing our imaginations, vocabulary, and language skills.
Whether you’re looking to help your child to become an inquisitive and curious learner; you’re hoping to learn a new language or master a new topic, or you simply want to indulge in some excellent writing and engross yourself in a new world for a few hours; reading is an excellent way of doing this.
Reading also provides a welcome break from the screens on which many of our daily lives are spent. The average US citizen is thought to spend more than three hours on their smartphones each day (source). While smartphones absolutely have their many uses and have enhanced our lives in many ways, it’s also great for your brain, eyes, and mental health to take a break every now and then, and books provide the perfect escape.
The issue, of course, is that books can be expensive. You might also be reluctant to spend your hard-earned money on books if you’re new to reading or to that specific genre, and are unsure whether you will enjoy it. This is where free books can be your saving grace.
With so many free books available out there, there is no reason to be putting off reading any longer! In this article, you will find details of how to get free books by mail, delivered directly to your door. It really could not be any easier!
How To Get Free Books By Mail
There are a number of ways you could receive books completely free of charge, sent directly to you in the mail. From free subscription services, children’s learning programs, free recipe books, and review-to-receive programs for those looking to improve their reading and writing skills; there is something out there for all readers.
Listed below are twenty different websites, companies, and organizations offering free books to people across the United States. By signing up for one or more of these services, you could soon find yourself with some new literature to dive into, at no cost to you!
If you’re an avid reader, chances are you’ve come across Goodreads at some point. If you haven’t – it is well worth checking out! Goodreads is an online website and app with a range of benefits for readers, and it’s completely free to use.
The site offers a huge range of tools including book recommendations based on your current reading habits or preferences; information on new and upcoming releases; recommended reading lists; and a place to collate your entire reading history, rate the books you have read and compile a ‘want-to-read’ list.
As well as all of this, Goodreads also offers users the opportunity to receive free books in the mail. Authors and Publishers regularly give away limited numbers of free books in exchange for reviews. The best way to hear about these offers is by following your favorite authors on the site and keeping an eye on their feeds.
Enchanted Book Promotions is a review-to-receive site offering free books in exchange for online reviews.
Books can be requested through the Enchanted Books website. You will be added to a list and then readers will be chosen at random to receive the book in exchange for a review.
The books available through Enchanted Book Promotions are not the most widely-popular and they tend to have quite a limited list of books available at any one time. However, it’s still a good place to check if you’re looking for some free literature.
Many of the books are in the children or young-adult fiction genre, so it’s a good resource for parents or carers of young children.
Lola’s Blog Tours operates very similarly to Enchanted Book Promotions, although it appears that Lola’s Blog Tours offers a slightly wider selection of books available for review.
Again, all you need to do is sign up to the Lola’s Blog Tours site and sign up to the request lists for the books that interest you. If you are selected to receive the book, you will need to agree to leave a review in exchange for this.
Lola’s Blog Tours and Enchanted Book Promotions might not offer the best range of books and you’re not guaranteed to receive free books with either of the sites, but it’s good to check them out every once in a while to see if there is anything that interests you and maximize your chances of receiving free books through the mail.
Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program is famous for providing children of all ages across the United States with new books to read for free.
To receive a free book, you will need to download the Barnes & Noble Reading Journal from their company website. Your child will need to read eight books and fill out the journal with a short excerpt on their experience with each book. This could be a brief outline of the story, some feelings they got from the book, or their favorite part of the book – really anything your child feels is relevant. Once they have completed eight books, take the journal into your local Barnes & Noble store, where your child will be able to choose a free book from their current reading list.
The program only runs throughout the summer and aims to encourage children to read for fun outside of the school semester. Reading journals will need to be submitted before August to qualify for a free book.
ReaderService.com offers a subscription service that allows members to receive books in the mail. The website states that all members are eligible to receive two books completely free of charge, once they have signed up to the subscription service.
ReaderService.com will even cover the postage costs for these two books. The site hosts a huge range of different books and genres, including romance, thriller, sci-fi, adventure and many more. So it’s a great place to get your books.
The catch with ReaderService.com is that once you have received your free books, the subscription service will continue to roll over, at a cost. If you fail to cancel the subscription prior to receiving the next round of books, you will need to return these or risk incurring a charge.
This is a legitimate and good way of receiving two books for free, but if you are likely to forget to cancel the subscription, you might end up paying out much more than you had anticipated.
Every day, thousands of new items are listed on FreeCycle. The platform allows users to post any items they are offering for free. Many of the items listed on the site are books that can be delivered directly to your door.
Given that most of the items listed on FreeCycle are pre-owned, used and no longer wanted, the books are often not the most popular or currently sought-after titles, although you might find the odd gem. Regardless, it’s a great way of bagging yourself some new literature to devour and possibly find some new favorites.
Many of the books offered on FreeCycle are children’s books, so if you’re a parent, teacher, or nursery supervisor, it’s a great place to look for books.
The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults runs the Free Braille Books program that allows readers to access multiple free books throughout the year.
A plethora of book titles are available through this program, covering a wide range of genres and styles, so there is likely to be something to suit everyone.
To qualify for free books, you will need to head to the American Action Fund website and fill out an application form to get access to the list of available books. Alternatively, you could give them a call and enroll that way. All contact details are available on the website.
Since its inception in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has provided more than 130 million free books to children and parents across the world.
The books are available specifically to children of pre-school age, but other than that there are no additional requirements or criteria needed to receive free books through this program.
This is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind, with over 1.5 million children signed up to the site and regularly receiving free books. The Imagination Library has been awarded Best Practices Award from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards.
Parents can sign up online through the Imagination Library website, completely free of charge.
With LibraryThing, enthusiastic readers can request free books from authors in exchange for reviews.
The process is similar to that of Goodreads, in that you will receive the book free-of-charge, given that you agree to post a review on the LibraryThing site within a specified time frame.
This isn’t a guaranteed way of receiving new books, and there is likely to be a lot of competition on the site from other readers, with each author sending out a limited number of books.
To be in with a chance of receiving free books, you will need to create an account with LibraryThing, and then sign up to their request lists. The lists might be for a specific title, author, or genre of book. If you are selected to receive a book in the mail, you will be notified through the site.
10. Fresh Fiction
Fresh Fiction is another review-to-receive site. More than 200 books are listed on the site, offering children’s books, non-fiction and a range of fiction genres. To receive free books in the mail, you will be asked to provide reviews.
Fresh Fiction is not open to everyone; you will need to fill out an application form to become a Fresh Fiction reviewer. If you are accepted, you will be able to request certain titles.
Books are sent out completely free of charge, Fresh Fiction will even cover postage costs. You will need to have excellent writing skills and a good understanding of the English language to qualify for free books with Fresh Fiction.
11. Read Conmigo
Read Conmigo members have immediate access to more than forty free eBooks as well as a number of physical books which can be delivered directly to your door, at no cost to you.
Read Conmigo was created by Infinity Insurance in 2010 and provides families across the United States with free books in English and Spanish. The program is designed to aid parents and children in their language-learning and to help instill a love of reading in all who participate.
More than 160,000 families have benefited from free books provided by Read Conmigo to date.
The service is available to all families with children up to fifth-grade age. To sign up, simply head to the Read Conmigo website and follow the simple application steps.
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Much like many of the aforementioned sites, NetGalley allows readers to receive pre-releases for free in exchange for reviews.
Signing up to NetGalley is completely free. After you’ve created an account, you can receive pre-released work from Authors or Publishers. These are available in e-Book or physical format, and once you have read the book, you will need to post your review to the NetGalley site. After this, you will be able to choose a free book from their available reading list, also available as physical or electronic copies.
NetGalley provides literature in multiple languages, including English, German, French and Japanese. This means that NetGalley is a great site for those who are bilingual or trying to learn a new language while also enjoying excellent books and practicing their review-writing skills.
The Environmental Protection Agency provides free children’s activity books to families across the United States. This is not a widely publicized program so many families are unaware that they could receive up to five free educational activity books, depending on the age of their children.
The books focus on environmental education, great for helping children to understand the world they live in and how best to protect it from further climate change. The books are sent out completely free of charge, you don’t even need to input any credit card details.
Simply head over to the EPA website and submit a request for the free activity books.
If cooking is your thing, or you’re looking for ways to improve your culinary skills, the Sun-Maid recipe book is a great place to start. Not to mention, it’s also available completely free from the Sun-Maid website. By signing up and providing postage details, you can receive the recipe book in the mail.
Sun-Maid produces a range of popular, healthy snacks, geared mainly towards children. The recipe book provides a range of excellent cooking and baking ideas which are great for getting the whole family involved, particularly your little ones.
The book is great for helping you to try out new recipes and introducing young children to the joys of cooking.
JIFFY (makers of JIFFY mix) also provides free recipes to those signed up to their website. Their recipe book can be mailed directly to you, or you could opt to use the online version. Both are completely free, however, the online version is said to include a wider range of recipes.
Again, the recipes tend to be family-friendly and are great for getting children involved in the process of cooking.
16. Natural Inquirer
Like the children’s activity books provided by the EPA, Natural Inquirer is a program geared towards educating children about the environment, developed in partnership with the Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association. The program allows children up to second grade age to access a free coloring book.
The book is sent out to families for free, or alternatively, you could download the free PDF version.
If you enjoy reading, but struggle to find the time to commit to a whole book, or simply prefer to read short, digestible articles, magazines might be more suited to you. ValueMags is a great place to find free or heavily discounted magazines that can be delivered straight to your door.
The free subscriptions available through the ValueMags site change periodically, so it’s best to check these out directly through the website.
To qualify for your free magazines, simply create an account with ValueMags and provide your shipping information. Keep an eye on the terms and conditions though, to ensure the subscription won’t roll over and cost you money in the future.
18. Facebook Marketplace/Craigslist
Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are excellent places to look for free books. Each of these sites has a huge number of users worldwide and for many people it’s an easy way of clearing out some of their unwanted items.
Free books are often listed on these kinds of platforms. The books are likely to be pre-owned and used, so they might have some signs of wear and tear, but this is a great way of expanding your reading horizons, and you could potentially uncover a new favorite author or novel, free of charge!
In most cases, you’ll be dealing with people in your local area, so you can arrange a pick up.
19. Check Out Your Local Library
Local libraries often run reading programs through which library members are able to receive books completely free of charge. These programs are most often geared towards children or young readers, but some also offer similar programs for adults.
The best way to find out whether your local library offers this kind of service is by checking out their website, giving them a call, or heading in to the library to find out.
Even if your library doesn’t send out free books, libraries are great places to check out new releases as well as a huge range of other books, from modern classics to best-selling novels, enchanting history books, and everything in-between.
20. Use Coupons and Rewards Points
The cash-savvy among us will probably already know all about the wide range of cashback apps and websites as well as apps that offer rewards for simple daily tasks or purchases.
Many of the reward points you can earn through these sites can be redeemed as Amazon gift cards or other rewards. Amazon is one of the top worldwide book retailers offering the best selection you’ll find anywhere.
Reading is valued highly within our society, this is clear given the number of organizations willing to provide readers with the opportunity to access new literature for free.
Why not look into some of the services listed here and potentially uncover a new favorite hobby, genre, or skill you never knew you had. Reading is engaging, educational, and often inspiring, so what better way to enhance your quality of life and overall wellbeing than by getting lost in a new book for a couple of hours.
Don’t let money or financial strife deter you from reading. Now that you know how to get free books by mail, take advantage of these offers and allow yourself to indulge in the many joys that reading can bring!