Reading for free: resources and recs

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.

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๐ŸŽง 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!
๐Ÿ“š 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.
๐Ÿ“˜ 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.

๐Ÿ“š There are also a few stories on B&N SFF originals, where I found one of my recent favorite short stories, If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho.

๐Ÿ“— 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).
๐Ÿ“• 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.!!!)
๐Ÿ“˜ 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.
๐Ÿ“• 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.

๐Ÿ“š 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.
๐Ÿ“˜ 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.

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I really hope this post was useful! Please let me know if you know of more resources to read for free, or tell me if you use / have used any of these in the past! Stay healthy everyone and remember to lose yourself in fiction for a while when everything is too much.

11 thoughts on “Reading for free: resources and recs

  1. This is a great list! Iโ€™ve checked our Rivetedโ€™s books and they have a good selection! Can we only read those online, though? Or is there a way to send them to our ereaders?
    Thanks again for the list! Gonna check more of these out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post was incredibly useful, Silvia! I didnโ€™t know about most of these resources, and Spotify having audiobooks ๐Ÿ˜ฎ?? Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello! This is a great list! I would like to add two suggestions for older (but free) books as well! The first is Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/) for free books. The other is Librivox (https://librivox.org/) which is free audiobooks. Both deal with works in the public domain but I love them both. Btw, with Librivox, ymmv but Iโ€™ve found some good works there! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks again and have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I knew about Project Gutenberg but it’s unfortunately not available in my location because of some weird copyright law! I didn’t know about the other one, I’ll make sure to check it out because I love audiobooks! Thank you so much!

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