How to Read for Free

For the final part of this three-part series, today I’m talking about free resources where you can read for free. I will not be talking about libraries, because we all know about those, and unfortunately some people do not have local ones with big selections. Instead, this post is about online resources.

Table of contents

For Classics Readers

These are just two examples of where to find classics. Since many of them are public domain, you can find them in many different pages, but these are the ones I use regularly.

1. Project Gutenberg

This site is your friend if you’re in the lookout for classics. There are over 60000 books to read for free, sometimes available in different languages. I totally recommend checking it out before buying any classic, as you might find it here.

2. Elejandría

Another public domain catalogue of classics, this time for Spanish speakers.

For YA Lovers

1. Riveted

This site is amazing, as every month it will have a selection of YA books you can read for free during that month. It’s very easy to use and the titles they choose are really varied.

For Those Who Love ARCs

I have a feeling some people wouldn’t list ARC (advanced reader copy) requesting sites here, because we often think of them as sites for bloggers, booktubers, or someone with a platform, but the truth is that although, yeah, sometimes it can be hard to be approved for requests, there are books that are available to read instantly, without having to request them.

1. NetGalley

Possibly the most used of the two because of its user-friendly interface. The downside is that some ARCs might be inaccessible depending on your country.

2. Edelweiss+

It has a huge list of titles to request, but it can be harder to get approved. I would urge you to try, because you never know if a publisher will give you access to your most highly anticipated book.

For People with a Platform

Although I’ve titled this “for people with a platform”, the truth is that said platform doesn’t have to be that big, so I’d advice checking these out even if you think you don’t meet the requirements. I’m talking about the ones I’m a part of but there are plenty more of these types of programs—for more, go check the posts I linked at the end.

1. Libro.fm ALC Program

This is for educators, librarians, booksellers, media/reviewers, and influencers. You can sign up and you will be able to read free audiobooks! You will be sent a selection of about nine novels monthly.

2. Hachette Audio Influencer Program

I don’t think there’s a form open at the moment, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for. This works similarly to Libro.fm’s but with a bigger selection of books.

For Audiobook Listeners

So, here is the oldest trick in the book of listening to audiobooks for free: free trials are your best friends. I wrote an entire blog post about where to listen to audiobooks a while back, so I recommend reading that. But just know that almost all audiobook sites offer free trials, which you should 100% make use of.

1. Spotify

This is the one resource that offers free audiobooks without need of a free trial. It has more audiobooks that one might expect, so checking it out is totally worth it.

Other posts to check out relating to these topics:

Have you used any of these? Do you know about any other sites to read for free?

See you next time, Maria

39 thoughts on “How to Read for Free

  1. Lol, I have a post like this in my drafts, great minds think alike. All the people trying to promote piracy on twitter made me want to write about legal ways to get books online but turns out I don’t know many options besides Project Gutenberg and Libby! I didn’t even know Spotify had audiobooks! Thanks for the recs

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, does Libby only work in the US? I haven’t researched that part about it but it’s what I usually use to get books with my library card, I’m not sure whether it is available internationally but I know you need a library card to use it if your library is on it. I wonder if there are other similar library apps, I’ll have to look into that

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Again, this is such a helpful list! Project Gutenberg was a savior during my university time – the mere thought of finding and having to pay for physical copies of all the obscure 16th and 17th century plays I had to read is a nightmare! 😱

    I personally don’t use Spotify much for anything other than music, though (I’m too stingy to pay for the premium version and don’t want adds every half an hour 😅) – especially since discovering Scribd. In my opinion, that subscription has paid itself off time and time again, but these seem like some super useful alternatives if you do want to save money!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. great list!! as i dive more into classics i’m definitely going to take advantage of project gutenberg :] another great resource for adult sff books is signing up for the tor dot com ebook of the month club to download a free tor ebook each month!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list Maria! There’s also this site- Z-library, and it has all sorts of e-books, and for free! That’s my go-to website for downloading ebooks, and it hasn’t failed for me (yet). There are only released books on there, though- no ARCs.

    Will definitely check these other websites out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could help! Are you entirely sure you can’t sign up for their ALC Program? I’m from Spain and while I can’t use the site as a regular user, there are no issues being on the ALC Program. If you haven’t checked it out I’d highly encourage you do!


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