It’s time to face facts. It is now December. It is going to snow. And you need to be prepared to dig your way out of whatever icy mayhem this winter offers. Sure, you can toil away in the elements with a shovel, or you can upgrade to a snow blower and handle feet upon feet of snow with ease. This helpful guide will have you tossing snow like a pro in no time.
Not to brag, but I’m a pretty awesome speed-reader. One of my proudest accomplishments is that I read the seventh Harry Potter book in just one night. In other words, I go through books like Honey Boo Boo goes through butter.
Since getting a brand-spanking-new Kindle Fire for Christmas, I’ve spent even more time reading. Unfortunately, my affinity for good books is kind of busting my budget. I’m spending about five to ten dollars a week on e-books. It might not sound like much, but $40 a month for pleasure reading is a little bit insane for a college student. Add that to the fact that I could probably get most of these books cheaper as paperbacks, and it’s pretty hard to justify the expense.
I know that e-books aren’t necessarily the most frugal option, but the convenience makes it worthwhile. So if you’re like me and you insist on reading electronically, here are a few ways you can snag some cheap e-books – and maybe even some free ones!
Download them from your library
Check with your library to see if they have e-books. My library has a website where you can download e-books by logging on with your library card information. Unfortunately, this method does have a few downsides. The limited selection is the biggest turnoff. There are quite a few books available, but I can never seem to find what I’m looking for, and the popular titles usually have long waiting lists. Don’t let me talk you out of using your library resources though; if you’re more patient than I am, the library can be a great way to read on your Kindle for free.
Take advantage of daily and monthly deals
Amazon’s Kindle Store has two online deal sections that present you with limited-time offers on popular books. This is the first place I go when I’m looking for new reading material. The Kindle Daily Deal offers a choice of about ten books, and they usually cost less than five dollars, with most of them priced at $1.99 or cheaper. The Monthly Deals Section offers a much more extensive choice of titles that all cost less than $3.99. Make a practice of checking these sections daily, because once the deal ends, you’ve missed your chance!
Share books with friends
Believe it or not, you can lend e-books straight from your Kindle. However, there are a few restrictions:
- You can’t lend every book that you buy. Find out if a book is lend-able by checking out the product details page.
- You can only lend a book once. Once you’ve lent a title to someone, you won’t be able to lend it ever again.
- You can’t lend periodicals. Magazines, newspapers and other periodical content can’t be shared.
Find a friend with similar reading interests and share books with each other. While the lending program does have its limitations, it can still save you a few bucks.
Search free books
Finding a free Kindle Book is as easy as typing “0.00” in the search bar. There are literally thousands of free e-books out there, and some of them are worth a download. The electronic editions of most public domain books are completely free. Last year, I went through a brief Edith Wharton obsession, and luckily, all of her books are free on Amazon. This can be a great opportunity to get familiar with literary classics!
Check out one of these websites
There are approximately 29 million websites devoted to helping you find free and cheap e-books. I might be exaggerating a little, but you don’t have to look far to find one. EReaderIQ is a site that watches e-book prices to let you know when the price drops or the book becomes free. FreeBooksy watches the Internet for free e-books and features daily freebies so that you don’t have to search forever to find a good, free book. I also highly recommend Hundred Zeros, a frequently updated catalog of free bestsellers.
Watch it ‘til it drops
I have a rule that I don’t buy any e-book more expensive than $4.99. While there are thousands of e-books that fall right in my price range, I sometimes want to read popular bestsellers or other books that I’ve heard about. Since I can’t stomach plunking down $12.99 just for one story, I simply add it to my Amazon Wish List and check the price daily. Kindle e-book prices change on a dime, so if there’s a book you’re interested in, a little bit of persistence and price-watching will help you snag it when the price is right.
You don’t need a big budget to read books on your Kindle. Using one of these methods can help you get a great price on a variety of literature. If you’ve got any other e-book hacks, shoot me an email or let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!