If you follow this blog it’s likely you don’t really need me to praise books’ power of escapism during tough times. Not just books but fiction in general. I think we all need a little break from reality right now, but things can get expensive pretty quickly if you’re consuming more fiction than you can buy.
Over the years of being a blogger and a reader I’ve come across a few resources to get that sense of escapism for free (and legally), and I thought I’d share them all in this post.
🎧 It seems to be a little known fact that Spotify actually also has audiobooks: this post my friend wrote should guide you through it + it gives you a few audiobook recs!
📚 For reading YA, Riveted has a lot of free books that are available for a certain amount of time. There’s full books and excerpts of newer books published by Simon Teen and they rotate often enough, so even if you don’t find anything you’d like to read right now, you can check again regularly and see what else they have.
📘 If you want to browse a huge range of SFF short stories and novellas, Tor.com is the place to look. You can browse by author’s name and find short stories by your favorites or discover new authors. One story I’ve read recently and that I loved is Water: A History by KJ Kabza.
📗 If you are a reviewer and have a NG account you can read and review a lot of books from the Netgalley read now list. I do recommend only getting the books you think you will read, because you don’t want to be stuck with 100 books that were free to read and realize you have to read and review them all (or forever ruin your chance at getting ARCs you really want because your ratio is too low).
📕 The same goes for the Edelweiss to download list: remember once you get them you have to review them! To make things easier on yourself you can browse the books per category, just like on netgalley. Edelweiss doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, but thankfully my friend once again has a guide! (thanks, E.!!!)
📘 Prose isn’t the only kind of entertainment! If you’re into graphic novels, you must check out the many webcomics (IMO the best type of graphic stories) available for free. Many creators post them on their own sites, but there are apps that let you browse thousands of them, you won’t really know where to begin (thankfully I have recommendations! Check out here and here for my favorite webcomics). The apps are tapas, webtoon, wecomics.
📕 As much as I don’t love helping big corporations, I can’t not mention Amazon’s top 100 free reads list. This probably varies from country to country so make sure to check your own country’s website.
📚 There’s also probably a lot of lists of free books on goodreads: I’m going to link this one with only LGBTQ+ books (which also has a few more linked resources for free queer books), but you can look for more by searching key words on the top right corner of that page.
📘 There’s also many paid services that offer you free trials and you can opt out if you don’t want to continue onto a paid subscription. I’m currently trying Scribd for the first time because they opened up a free trial (without you needing to share your credit card with them) because of the huh, circumstances we’re all under.