Free Book Sites

I have been an avid reader most of my life. I enjoy immersing myself in stories that are bigger than myself. For a number of years, I liked reading about the past, stories about people who lived in a world without my modern conveniences as they tried to find their way through the world. Later, I found myself drawn to stories set in foreign places. Reading about different cultures and sceneries expanded my world view. Recently, I have found myself reading for so many different reasons, that I have happily acquainted myself with a variety of authors and stories. That being said, a book a day habit can get expensive. So, I have been exploring several sources for free (or ‘free-ish’) books. The ones I use most frequently are my local library, BookBub, NetGalley, Kindle Unlimited, and BookSirens.

I love using the library! In the past year, I have moved, so I have a new library system, but the basics remain the same: I walk into a library and I have thousands of titles and covers enticing me with the promise of a new adventure. I have not availed myself of additional services in the physical library, but I do enjoy seeing the variety of authors holding events and social opportunities offered. Many Sundays when I visit, I can hear live local music playing in an anteroom and it makes my husband and I smile. I like to go into the library with a list of books I want to locate, but often find myself wandering the stacks looking for anything that may catch my attention. When I am in need of a new book, I will often utilize my library’s online services. I have access to Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla through my library system, and find I can access an appropriate title almost anytime.

Bookbub has offered me access to more free e-books and inexpensive bestsellers. I like the curated list of 10-12 titles that I can peruse everyday, add to my list, and then read when the mood strikes. I have not found the perfect way to maintain my list from this site and find a lot of duplicates, but I have increased my Kindle library in a big way!

NetGalley and BookSirens each offer free advanced reader copies of not-yet-published and soon-to-be-published books in exchange for an honest review. I have started using these services as a reader, but have not perfected my use of either of them. My favorite things about belonging to these two sites are reading books I may have to wait for at the library and being contacted about titles I may enjoy. Spending more time with these sites may increase my enjoyment.

Kindle Unlimited is not free, but it feels like a paid library to me. I read several books a month offered through KU, and feel I get my money’s worth. This is especially true if I am participating in certain reading challenges. KU offers a mixed bag of established authors and newbie authors, both highly polished and unedited. I will continue to use KU, but I find myself more and more using other resources.

How about you? What sites do you use to get free-ish books? Do you have a favorite ARC for review site? Are you lucky enough to have a used bookstore in your area that still accepts books for credit?

2019: A Mysterious Year!

Happy New Year! Ok, maybe I am a little bit late, but it’s still January, still a new year. As is so often the case, weather, holidays, school schedules conspired to encourage me to postpone my goal-setting. (Yes, I will blame it on some combination of the previous rather than my own postponing ways.) But, here I am, ready to take on a new year with some slightly different goals for my reading life.

My first goal and my overall theme for the year, will be a shift to the mystery genre. I have always been a fan of a good mystery and am looking to further hone this fascination. I wish I could remember where I read it so I could properly give the author credit, but mysteries are usually stories in which good triumphs over evil. Regardless of the medium, mysteries disrupt normal life, send us on an adventure and concludes is a (slightly) better world than the one in which we started. So, I guess it is no surprise I like mystery stories. My quest this year will to further explore the genre as a whole, as well as visiting sub-genres to help cement my preferences for myself.

My second goal is to continue reviewing books for NetGalley. I signed up for NetGalley not so long ago and have reviewed a handful of books. The holidays distracted me a bit and I moved away from these books briefly. I have cleared out my backlog at this point, and am pretty excited about a few new titles.

My third goal is related to my blog. My aim this year is to participate more in the community and to offer more posts than book reviews. For example, I read a lot about books and would certainly like to record more of my thoughts regarding various articles and interviews I read. This goal is to encourage me to post more often and more diversified.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2019 and would love to hear about goals other people have set. Looking forward to a mysterious year of reading!