8 Ways To Read More Without Spending A Lot of Money

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So you’re a reader or you want to be a reader, but you don’t want to break the bank. Well your wallet can go sigh in relief because I have some simple tips on how you can read more, without spending more money. 

We’ll start with the completely free options, all the way to the (probably) most expensive options.

Free to Low Cost Options

  • Utilize your library!

Seriously, I’ve stepped foot into my local library only once. That was to get my library card, where I promptly returned home, signed up for Libby by Overdrive and Hoopla.

Although I do also advocate for actually checking books and other media out of your local library if you love the feel of reading a physical copy. 

Your local library will also have far less wait times for books when using apps like Libby, compared to using a larger library where you do not need to be a resident to acquire a library card. 

But if that is you, I hope your hold comes in early!

  • Find a Little Free Library!

Little Free Library’s have been popping up everywhere! The town I work in, has at least 5 I know of within walking distance. I absolutely love to bring a book with me and on my lunch break, peruse the books in the little tiny houses, and if I find one I like, leave my book and grab the one I’m interested in!

I don’t do this too often. Most times they don’t have any books I am interested in but it’s a super fun way to get to know other bookworms when they stop by as well to discover new books. 

Who knows, you might even end up find your next fave read from a Little Free Library!

  • Join a book swap group or find a book buddy

This one might be tricker and I do not have firsthand experience here, but with social media there are now so many easy ways to connect with others. 

Connect with friends you know like to read, or even find a local group that engages in book swaps.

Always be safe and bring someone you trust the first time you go anywhere, but this can be another fun way to not only read more, but also make some friends along the way. 

  • Take advantage of free trials

Alright this one isn’t really as fun or solid as the above, but when in doubt, sign up for a free trial! 

Most apps like Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, and Audible offer 30 to 60 day free trials. If you’re okay with just checking out the apps and reading a couple of books during your trial period and then moving on, this could be a good option for you. 

  • Try for Early Access Books

I am a big fan of Netgalley. I am pretty new to Netgalley and have only received ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) for a couple of books, but I am hoping to snap copies of books I am waiting to read as I read and review more books.

The downside with a platform like Netgalley is that you have to be okay with rejections. My first three book requests were rejected. But once you start reviewing books and building a catalogue of reviews, you can become auto-approved by some publishers!

So while this one isn’t the greatest for finding exactly what you’re looking for, its a great way to get early copies of books by authors you’re interested in or checking out some new genres/authors. 

Paid Options (Least to Most)

  • Buy Used

The problem with free books, is that they aren’t always “what you want” books. The next best solution? Buy used!

This can be from your local bookstore, an app like Pangobooks from other readers, or an online used bookstore like Thriftbooks. 

Buying used can help prevent books from being thrown out when they are perfectly fine. Buying used also helps your money go further. You can generally get 2-3x as many used books for the price of new books. 

  • Try a Book Subscription

I used to subscribe to Book of the Month for $10 a month. Each month I would pick out a hard copy and I loved it! 

However, I quickly learned I do not like reading hard copies and I didn’t really like the price increase with Book of the Month, and so I cancelled it in favor of Kindle Unlimited. 

I love Kindle Unlimited because I can read with the Kindle App, support indie authors, and save money buying books! 

My Kindle Unlimited subscription has definitely paid for itself and saved me money. 

There are so many book subscriptions out there, do a little research and see if any fit your needs and budget. 

  • Buy an e-reader

This is probably by far the most expensive but interesting option. 

I fought the urge to buy a Kindle for the longest time. But realized it would only benefit me in the long run and so I went and dropped $150 for my Kindle Paperwhite. 

Will it end up paying for itself over time with all the money I will be saving by not buying books?

Absolutely. 

Is this totally girl math? 

Also, absolutely. 

But like subscriptions, there are different options for e-readers now too! 

Amazon has the Kindle line, Barnes & Noble has the Kobo and Glowlight, but there is also reading on your phone and iPad. 

I’ve seen a lot of people online using iPad mini’s as e-readers! 

But for the price point (iPad mini $399 vs. Kindle Paperwhite $149) it didn’t really make sense to go that route personally. 


At the end of the day, reading can be viewed as a luxurious hobby. Seeing other people’s gorgeous bookshelves filled with all sorts of books and book accessory items, it can be super easy to feel left out. 

And with book hauls and book shopping vlogs being so popular, it can be hard to resist the pull to go buy coffee and 12 books. 

But it’s also important to remember that it isn’t always necessary and you shouldn’t go broke because you love/want to read. 

Lately I have been loving being a digital reader. I primarily borrow audiobooks and ebooks from my library, as well as read books through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

I also no longer buy books I have not read first. This helps me from spending money on books I either will never get around to reading or worse, a book I end up disliking.

At the end of the day, you just have to find what works for you.

I hope this list was helpful, happy reading! 


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