Reading for LESS

Let’s face it: a reading addiction can be a pricey thing.

But there are a ton of options for readers who have tight pocket strings and eReading is one of the best options! Whether it’s getting free books or reducing the cost, the possibilities are endless when it comes to eReading.

Since I began eReading about 4 years ago, I’ve learned a few tricks to help save money (being a broke student with a reading addiction can be very taxing on your bank account) and ways that I keep my expenses down so I can get more for less!**

**Please note that I am not endorsing these services on behalf of the respective companies. I am simply sharing tips/sites/services that I have come across and have found very useful over the last few years.

 Free Reading  |  Reduced Cost


Because who doesn’t love free things?

1) Don’t have an eReader? No Problem?

Many eReading companies like Kindle, Nook and Kobo have apps for your phone, tablets and computers so you can still create your very own eBook library and read it! The best part is these apps are FREE and most use a cloud system so you can read across multiple platforms and never lose your spot!

There are also many times throughout the year that eReading devices go on sale or have packaged deals. Mother’s and Father’s day are always popular ones, as are Christmas, Boxing Day, Black Friday and some other holidays.

>Read about my tips for buying an eReader here!

>Read about my experience using my tablet for reading here!

2) Kindle/Kobo/Nook Freebies

Although I am a Kobo User, I have to give it to Kindle in terms of the best freebies. Their selection surpasses Kobo (though they sometimes have the same books listed as FREE on Kobo) and they do a much better job of helping you find the freebies with their Kindle Bestsellers List. The Kindle Bestsellers List (the Canadian one can be found here) has an overall freebie list plus genre lists so you can find that perfect read without much effort. Though it is important to note that there are a ton more freebies on the site that aren’t on this list!

I personally check the list once a day (sometimes twice a day on weekends) because the list is constantly changing and updating. There are also many apps available for tablets, etc. that are dedicated to listing new Freebies everyday.

Kobo and Nook also list freebies (and Nook has a few exclusive ones but as I am Canadian I don’t have access to them) but not as easy to navigate as Kindle’s (and by that I mean it’s hard to find the list directly on their website). View Kobo’s here; and view Nook’s here.

  • I read Kindle books that I get for free on my tablet but I could also do so on my computer or phone
  • I find most books that hover around the $1.00 mark usually become a freebie for a limited time in the future (though not always)
  • Goodreads has many lists of Amazon Kindle Freebies so you can browse that, get reviews and then decide if you want it
  • A lot of these Freebies are from self-publishing authors or up and coming authors so the editing might be rough

3) Public Libraries

I am a huge endorser of public libraries! I read a vast majority of my books from the library and if I didn’t use the library, I would be spending an unprecedented amount of money on books. Most libraries nowadays have their regular books as well as an eBook catalogue (whether it is their own or one they share with other local libraries). This eBook catalogue will have a lot more of the exclusive eBooks, an easier to navigate genre lists and is updated more often.

The best part of eReading from your library is no late fees and you can use it on vacation. You also don’t have to worry about damaging the books because they are just files. One downside is that once your loan time is up with the book, you won’t get to read it anymore due to the Digital Rights Act but most places (at least from the ones I have available to me) now have a renew option (however, if you decide to renew the eBook, you will have to re-download the new file with the longer permission time).

You don’t need an eReader to read these books. Again, their are apps for your computer, phone and tablets that let you read eBooks anytime you want.

>Read about my experience using my tablet for reading here!

4) (Click here to follow my referral link and get 150 Swagbucks! [My Username is Speedyt33 if they ask!])

Swagbucks is a rewards website that allows users to gather “swagbucks” for completing various tasks. Then these rewards can then be used to purchase giftcards–including Starbucks, Facebook, Paypal and many more. What’s even better though is that you can get Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards in dominations from $5+. And you can do this for absolutely FREE (no credit card information needed & many countries have access)! Based on my personal research, Swagbucks is the most recommended free giftcard website currently available.

To earn swagbucks you can do a variety of different things. Smaller amounts of swagbucks can be earned by watching videos on their site, playing games, answering daily polls, using their search engine and looking at special offers. You can earn higher amounts of swagbucks by completing surveys, entering “swagstakes”, using their links to buy from select online retailers and following their blog/twitter/facebook for “swagcodes”.

By doing a variety of tasks, most people are able to earn a $5 Amazon gift card in 2 weeks. There are a ton of blogs about how to use swagbucks to the max so there is help along the way!

Although there aren’t any Kobo gifts card (I hope maybe in the future…), I can collect swagbucks for every dollar I spend on Kobo Books. I plan to use these swagbucks from my Kobo purchases to get Amazon gift cards to buy some Kindle exclusive books–so more free books for me! I’m also saving up swagbucks to buy myself a Kindle (just so I don’t have to use my tablet–I still love and prefer my Kobo!)

I’ve recently discovered that there is a PayPal gift card that you can use your swagbucks for and Kobo (in some countries) lets you pay with your PayPal account so I have decided to do this at the moment. I did get the PayPal gift card but the problem was it was in USD not CAD so I couldn’t use it for the Canadian Kobo Store. However, I did use it to buy my blog’s domain name so it wasn’t a waste of time 🙂

They recently changed how they process the orders so you can expect it much quicker than in the past. I got my new card within 2 business days of ordering.

If you would like to join (I can get you a referal swagcode for swagbucks) or have more questions, feel free to contact me using my Request Submission found here or by following this link (

5) Goodreads Contests/Freebies

If you have a Goodreads account (and if you do a lot of reading I recommend that you get one!) you can look under the giveaways section to try and win advance reader copies or special editions of various books. Many popular publishers use Goodreads to give out advanced copies of their books on a regular basis.

Goodreads also has a freebie and sample section on their website as well.

6) is a site that lets you collect credits for downloading free apps to your phone and using them. It’s available for iPhone and Android phones BUT only Americans can use the gift cards for Amazon and iTunes.

On the positive side, regardless of what country you are in, you can download the free apps and use them on your phone. You don’t need to keep the apps, just open them for 30 seconds to collect your credits and delete. If the app requires registration just leave it on that page for 30 seconds and then you will get the credits.



Because not everything can be free 🙁

1) eReading in General

Buying an eReader really was a great investment in the end. The number of books that I have bought and read for my eReader has cost me significantly less money than if I had bought the actual physical copies. The biggest reason I switched to eReading 2 years ago was that it has saved me a ton of shelf space as well.

Since I’ve bought my eReader, I have found that the prices for eBooks have gone up; so the price difference between physical books and eBooks isn’t as much as it once was. However, it does save you a buck or two here and there.

>Read my tips for buying an eReader here!

>Read about my experience using my tablet for reading here!

2) Book Sales

On any long weekend, holiday or once in a blue moon, eBook retailers have a sale. Amazon is really good at having multiple books on sale on a regular, everyday basis while Kobo has a daily deal on one eBook. But with these sales you can expect to save ~30% or more.

Amazon has an awesome feature that when you put items on your wishlist it will track the prices from when you added it to when you check out your list next. You’d be surprised how many books have prices fluctuate and how often once you actually use this feature.

I highly recommend that when you see a book for $1 that you buy it right away because the next day, the price can be back up to full price. I personally I have lost out on my eBooks by waiting 🙁

If physical books are more your thing, check out various online outlet stores. Lots have “scratch and dent” section or sales were you can get books for really, really low prices!

3) Kobo Contests/Promo codes

One of the reasons I love having a Kobo is their 10-day contest periods. Each day you answer a trivia question to ultimately enter a contest to win a Kobo eReader or trip. But when you answer each question, in return you get a promo code for a certain percentage off (10-75%) select eBooks. The highest coupon I ever received was a 65% off, though the majority I get are around 25-35% (Kobo lists the giveaway percentage on their site). You get a coupon code regardless of whether or not you get the trivia answer right; though you need to get the question right to get an entry into the grand prize. From what I understand, the coupon % awarded is random. You must also use the coupon by the end of the contest period (usually you can use it up to 2-3 days after the contest has ended).

Kobo has a nice filter feature that when you search books you can see what books can have promo codes applied to it. They also have a cart option so you can do one mass purchase (which is great for collecting Airmiles or swagbucks) and apply up to 9 or 10 promo codes (so long as the books are eligible).

I’ve saved a lot of money by waiting to buy my books until a contest period and I usually save at least $10 on a bulk purchase (which is like getting 2-3 books for free!).

4) Mailing Lists

I subscribe to three mailing lists that send me emails 3-4 times a week letting me know what eBooks are on sale (often a daily deal) or are free.

Riffle is a social site that is developed for sharing reads with friends and an online community. I don’t actually use it (I’ve started to use it now and enjoy it for a lot of reasons) I subscribe to the mailing list because I can select what genres I want to be mailed about. It’s saved me a couple of dollars every once and awhile.

I also subscribe to Bookperk which is set up by Harpers Collins publishers. Their emails also feature contests but I find a lot of their deals only apply for American consumers so I don’t get to use a lot of them.

I recently signed up for BookBub which is an email and website service that tells you what books are free or on sale. What I really love about this one is that it breaks things down into genres (including New Adult!) and/or freebies and I can browse a website for a full list. Another thing I love it that it tells you what price the book was originally, what price it is now and when the sale is over. Currently, the Canadian portion of the website isn’t fully functional but the plan (from what I gather) is to have deals exclusive to the country you live in. They have also introduced a “follow an author” feature so you will be alerted when an author you read has a book on sale.

**Please note that I am not endorsing these services on behalf of the respective companies. I am simply sharing tips/sites/services that I have come across and have found very useful over the last few years.

(Last updated: April 11, 2015)

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