follow us:

{Read for Free} Part Three: Secret Libraries




I often feel like a bottomless pit when it comes to books. There are never enough. At this point in my life, I know there will never be enough books- I will never be all done and move on to something else entirely.

I must have books.

Only once or twice have I been stranded without adequate reading and let me tell you, it was painful. I felt my chest tighten up and my breathing got pinched. What am I going to read? My eyes darted around looking for something, anything. It’s the worst feeling in the world. So I make sure I always have reading available.

At a certain point, it became quite clear that my desire to buy and read books would not be financially sustainable unless I won the lottery. So, I’ve had to come up with creative ways to read for free. If you haven’t read part one or two of this series of posts, do check them out. There are more tips in there to get you to free reading in no time.

Today we are on tip #3: Secret Libraries.

Now this isn’t a 100% free library, but it does come as an added benefit to a service many people have already: Amazon Prime.

[Tweet “Did you know that there is a free Kindle lending library on Amazon?”] Yep- 100% free books, if you have prime.

The fine print: each Prime membership account- so if you share it with a roommate, spouse, or partner then this counts as one account, not two people- can check out one book for free each calendar month.

But how do I find these books?

Good question! Here’s the slightly tricky answer:

You can only find this content on your Kindle or another amazon device. So if you don’t have one, this feature won’t work for you. If you do, then this helpful tutorial should have you all set up in no time.

Hey now, I don’t have a Kindle. Got any tips for me?

Yes! One of my favorite ways to read free books is the Little Free Library. I have long wanted to put one up in front of my house. We are set way back from the street- UPS and the mailman and the NY Times delivery are forever lost on the way to our house, so I am considering collaborating with my neighbor on the street.

Little free libraries are adorable little book structures out on the street that allow you to take a book and leave one behind, if you’d like. I love this process- it has often been seen in hotels overseas, which l loved. Just recently, I spotted one in the cafe Daily Dose in downtown L.A.:

read for free

I love that it’s an experiment and that it’s such a huge shelf of books.  I hope it goes well. Next time I’m down there, perhaps I’ll drop off some of the books we have languishing in the garage.

Keep your eyes open- these free bookshelves will start popping up if you’re looking for them. It’s a bit like mushroom hunting, I suppose.

I’ll be back soon with part 4 of the series… Let me know if you have other tips on how to read for free in the comments. I’m always looking for new reading resources.

Get FootnotesLetters to your writing self

As a writer, it's so important to stay inspired and motivated by reading supportive content that reminds you how possible it is to finish your project. When writing feels hard, turn to a new issue of Footnotes in your inbox. These weekly letters contain inspiration, resources and stories of others who kept going and wrote something wonderful.

Over the past twenty years, I've studied psychology with an emphasis on the creative process, worked in bookshops, as an editor, proofreader, and a writer. I'm full of stories and resources to share that will keep you coming back to the page. You don't have to do this alone.

Sign up for Footnotes below, and you'll get a letter most weeks with a story and at least one resource that will bring you back to the page. Let's get writing.

Sign up for Footnotes now >

“I can’t tell you how helpful and illuminating this is to me. Reading your email today has made a significant impact. THANK YOU!!! Just feeling all kinds of sparkly gratefulness over here.”

SONJa, Subscriber

Calle Londres 247 Col. Del Carmen, Coyoacan
Mexico City 04100, Mexico