You don’t have to be a total bookworm to embrace the concept of free books, and when you can get free books by mail, you can up your reading game without ever leaving the house.
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As someone who loves receiving all kinds of free stuff, books are always welcome in our home.
If you’re a fellow book lover and would to know how to get free books—whether they’re print books for adults, for kids, or ebooks—make sure to bookmark this page as I add and update these resources.
6 Places That Send Free Books by Mail for Kids
1. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – From Award-winning country music singer Dolly Parton, this non-profit organization has been promoting literacy in kids since 1995. It originated in Sevier County, Tennessee, then spread all over the country. Any child from birth to age 5 in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland can join the program and receive 1 book per month completely FREE. As of August 2021, the org announced that it has gifted 165 million free books by mail since its launch.
2. PJ Library – This website offers free Jewish books for kids up to 12 years old. They accept both donations and requests, so make sure to check their Facebook page for new titles.
3. Natural Inquirer Coloring Book – Right now, the Natural Inquirer’s “The Bee A Scientist Coloring Book,” made through the collaboration of the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretative Association and the Forest Service, is up for grabs in both printed and digital formats in English and Spanish. The 16-page book is a cool, educational coloring book for kids in kindergarten up to the second grade.
4. American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults: Braille Books Program – This program has been giving blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children’s reading series since 1997. To enroll, each applicant must be blind or have low vision, be a Braille reader, and have successfully filled out the Braille Books Program online application.
5. Read Conmigo – If you want to learn Spanish with your kids or partner and you live in California, Florida, or Texas, you can get free English-Spanish books for children from preschool through fifth grade send directly to your home. If you don’t reside in these states but would like some resources, there are free ebooks available for you.
Note: As of Summer 2021, the website is under renovation but is expected to be back up within the year.
6. National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) — The EPA, through the NSCEP, gives out free books by mail to kids, aiming to promote environmental awareness. A couple are also in Spanish.
BONUS: Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program – Aimed at kids, this program is technically not one that sends free books by mail. But it’s still an awesome program that promotes literacy among children of all ages. Throughout the summer, a child or teen must keep a reading journal and list down 8 books they’ve finished. Once the journal is completed, they could bring their journal to a store near them and collect their free book.
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12 Places That Send Free Books by Mail for All Ages
7. BookBoon – College students or anyone looking for educational textbooks or business books can request one of over 1000 free textbooks written by professors of top universities.
8. Reader Service – With this program, anyone who registers is sent two free books mailed to your home, no questions asked. However, since it is subscription-based, only the first month (a pair of books) is actually free. You’ll be charged a “members-only discount price” on your second month. Cancel then if you don’t want to pay for more books.
9. LibraryThing – New authors who want to get feedback from real readers list their books on this website, where volunteers gladly accept the books and review them in exchange for the free books.
10. FreeCycle – This isn’t like any other online bookstores or organizations on this list. This is actually a classified ad/ buy & sell website, where you can find people giving away different things (books included). Directions on how to be the recipient of a certain book vary, but they are usually included in the listing.
11. Fresh Fiction – You have to apply to become a book reviewer via this form. Once you’re accepted, you will be allowed to select the books (and how many of them) you’ll be sent for review.
12. GoodReads – Join GoodReads and check out the giveaway page where authors and publishers list down new titles that are up for grabs. Not only are you able to receive totally free books, you actually get first dibs if you’re lucky to be chosen.
13. Hillsdale College‘s Freebie Book (one-time) – If you need a copy of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence and don’t want to shell out cash, you can have a pocket-sized version sent to you for free by Hillsdale College.
14. Bibles of America – Get a free religious Christian book when you sign up and look for the “order for free” button. There’s no credit card required, but you’d have to fill up the form with your mailing address.
15. Baker Publishing Group – If you’re interested in other religious books, this company gives away free books to bloggers, YouTubers, and other online influencers whose niche focuses on Christian fiction and non-fiction.
16. Enchanted Book Promotions – Are you always open to reading new authors and titles? If you’re an Amazon affiliate and a blogger, you can just fill in the form and request to review one of the books listed on the Review page. You do need to have time to read the book quickly since reviewers should be able to post their feedback within 30 days after receiving any of the books.
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17. Jiffy Mix — If you’re in the continental US and use Jiffy Mix, you’re in luck. You can request a copy of their recipe book for free.
18. My Reader Rewards Club — This is a rewards program and a “get paid to” site that earns you points for shopping at Tyndale.com or NavPress.com, signing up for newsletter, taking user surveys, referring users, and many more small tasks. The points you earn can then be redeemed for free books sent by mail.
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23 Sites that Offer Free eBooks
For those who want something to read but can’t physically go to the library, swap books with other book lovers, or take advantage of the other methods of receiving free books as I pointed out above, the next best thing would be ebooks.
And if you don’t know it yet, you have plenty of options when it comes to ebooks.
The 21 sites below are some of the most reliable, most popular ebook resources out there. From a simple Google search, you’ll be able to find thousands of similar sites, but you have to start somewhere and I’m positive these first 14 will keep you busy for the next several months or even years.
1. Project Gutenberg — Project Gutenberg is home to over 60,000 free ebooks from the public domain. You can read, download, and even redistribute any of the ebooks posted here without having to pay for them. This should be your go-to if you’re interested in exploring classic books at no cost.
2. Internet Archive — This non-profit site is one of the oldest libraries around with ebooks, videos, audio, and other files stored in different formats. The site itself isn’t fancy, but there are thousands of ebooks available via search.
3. Open Library — This is also a resource of public domain books, so don’t expect modern titles here. The cool thing about this website is that you can join the community and contribute by organizing titles.
4. ManyBooks — Offers both free and heavily discounted ebooks in different formats for different reading platforms like eReaders, Kindle, iPads, and Nooks.
5. Free-eBooks.net — Not the most unique name for a website, but it does live up to its name. There are hundreds of ebooks in categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi, business, romance, self-help, business, and a whole lot more. They also carry audiobooks. Become a member of the site using your email address and you can download up to 5 free ebooks a month.
6. FreeTechBooks — Ideal for college students, this website has mostly textbooks, lecture notes, whitepapers, and other resources in tech subjects like computer science, engineering, and programming.
7. BookBoon — This is another resource for more than a thousand free textbooks written by professors from the world’s top universities. There are also free business ebooks here, but these are on a subscription model (€5.99 per month).
8. FreeBookSpot — The difference between this “spot” and others is that it offers free ebooks in over 90 categories. So whatever your interests are, you’re sure to find a free ebook for you.
9. GetFreeEBooks — Explore more fiction books in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and other genres on this site. They also have a blog with articles containing plenty of book recommendations.
10. Freebooksy — Freebooksy prides itself on making it quick and easy to find free ebooks in a whole variety of genres and platforms.
11. Harlequin Online Reads — Download the Book Breaks app on your Android or iOS device and read free serialized stories by Harlequin authors on the go. This is perfect for romance lovers.
12. KnowFree — This is the go-to resource for information technology professionals in need of ebooks, case studies, research papers, magazines, etc.
13. Issuu — Issuu is a content creation and distribution platform. What’s awesome about this site is that there are over 20,000 ebooks uploaded here daily, since Issuu allows anyone from around the world to upload and distribute their publications free of charge.
14. BookBub — BookBub works with all major book retailers and leading publishers and authors to promote their books to BookBub members so they get ebooks for free or for heavily discounted prices.
15. eBookBetty — This is another site that has plenty of free and discounted ebooks for their members. eBookBetty features fewer genres, mostly focusing on mystery, action/adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, and romance.
16. Google Play Books — Yes, even Google Play Books has free ebooks from many different categories. You just have to check back regularly for updates on the catalogs.
17. Kindle App — You don’t need to have a Kindle ebook reader to be able to get free ebooks from Amazon. Just download the Kindle app on your smartphone or computer and see what’s available.
18. Barnes & Noble Nook Store — If Amazon has Kindle, Barnes & Noble has Nook. They also have an online bookstore where you can download free titles. You can buy a Nook ereader, or you can download the Nook app on your smartphone or laptop.
19. Smashwords — Smashwords is a distributor specializing in indie ebooks. If you’re the adventurous type who likes exploring new books and authors, there’s plenty to discover here.
20. The Online Books Page — Founded and edited by John Mark Ockerbloom of the University of Pennsylvania, it lists over 3 million free books online.
21. NetGalley — NetGalley works with publishers and authors worldwide to promote their books and help them succeed. Get free, advance copies of books in exchange for your honest reviews and feedback.
22. BDK America — BDK America is the US-based branch of Bukky? Dend? Ky?kai, which is an organization that aims to promote better understanding of Buddhism. If this sounds interesting, you can download their free books.
23. Official sites of local public libraries — Visit the official website of your community’s public library. In most cases, they’ll let you access their ebooks for free, as long as you log into the site using your library card details. And since you don’t have to physically “return the book,” you won’t be fined with any late fees ever again.
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Free Books Galore
Did you know that more and more local libraries are creating programs that mail books you need straight to your house, especially if you’re homeschooling?
Some reading programs are only available for one state. For example, the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation sends Tennessee-based kids (up to 5 years old) one book a month at NO cost.
You can also trade books with other individuals online via PaperbackSwap, BookCrossing, BookMooch, and book-swapping groups on Facebook. If you’re lucky and you find a group dedicated to your city or state, then you could even swap books in person and meet new people in the process.
If you’re a fan of audiobooks, make sure to check out this list of free audiobooks for all your hands-free reading.
Do you know any other sources of free books by mail? Share them in the comments! I’d love to hear some of your recommendations.