How to Get eBooks for Free (Legally!)

An e-reader sitting with coffee and glasses

Free eBooks?

My mom has taught me more than I can ever list, but it seems like all the most important lessons she has taught me are about saving money. She’s a huge reader, and when she got her first e-reader, she naturally turned to her favorite place to get books–the library. What you may not know is that your local library probably has a method of checking out ebooks directly from your device, whether it be a kindle, nook, iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, or even your desktop or laptop. Even smaller cities are partnering with apps like Overdrive to offer digital borrowing to their patrons.


Both my hometown library system and the library system in my current city use Overdrive to lend out digital audiobooks and ebooks. Overdrive is incredibly easy, and all you have to have is a library card! (Side note: if you don’t have a library card with your library system yet, I do recommend you get one. Libraries have all kinds of free or nearly free resources such as community events, printing services, and free books and movies. How much do you spend on books and movies that you only read or watch once? Exactly.)

Check with your librarian for what methods they use to distribute digital borrowing. Most librarians will even help you set it up if you bring your device, they’re there to help! A lot of library systems use simple apps where all you have to do is plug in your library card number, search for a book, and you’re reading within minutes.


This can also work for audiobooks, which can be easier if you have long drives (like I do), listen to books while you work out, while you do chores, or even at work. I know Overdrive has an audiobook section that is super easy to use, and I’ve used it many many times myself.

Basically, checking out books through your library–whether physical, digital, or audio–can help you save tons on money if you’re a big book buyer. Plus, you’re supporting your local library by being a patron. What’s not to love?

What’s your favorite method of reading or listening to books?

How to get ebooks for free