16 Ways To Get Cheap (Or Free) Books

My love of reading came back in 2020. I came across a 'bookstagrammer' by accident and suddenly I was hooked on books. My book collection went from about five books to two IKEA Billy bookcases full of books in about a year.

It's quite an expensive habit collecting books so I managed to find a few ways to keep the costs down, and that is what I will be sharing with you in this post - 16 ways to get cheap or FREE books.

I consume books in all formats; physical books, e-books and audiobooks so I will be talking about each format separately. Feel free to skip to the section relevant for you.

This article contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you use my links, at no extra cost to you.

Where to find cheap or FREE paperback books


This is my go to place to buy books. Amazon is hands down one of the cheapest places to buy physical books, especially paperbacks. They often discount their paperbacks, sometimes under £5!

I add books I want to a Wishlist, then check it periodically. It will tell you which ones have decreased in price since you added them to the Wishlist.

Amazon also do 2 for £7 deals, a lot of these are children books but occasionally something good pops up in these deals.

I do have a post summarising paperback book deals under £5 which I update every now and then, if you want to check that out.


I can't remember how I stumbled on this website, but it is fantastic for book box sets. There are sooo many to choose from and you can often find them at a really reasonable price.

It does say they sell children's books but don't be fooled, if you look under  'books by age' you will see they also have young adult and adult books.

Make sure to sign up for their reward programme as you get 10 book points for every £1 spent. These points can be redeemed on your next order, either as a free shipping coupon (400 points) or as an order discount (every 100 points = £1 discount).

You can also use my referral link for a £5 off coupon.

The Works

The Works is a discount store in the UK which sells stationery, toys, art supplies and of course books.

It used to sell 3 for £5 books but it seems they have recently changed the deal to 3 for £6 books, which is still a pretty good deal if you can find books you are interested in.

You can get the deal both online and in stores. I definitely used this deal to stock up my bookshelves a bit when I started my book collection.

66 Book Club

66 Book Club is a book wholesaler offering books at 70-80% off their RRP.

They open their warehouse in Hemel Hempstead once a month to the general public, so if you can get yourself down there you can grab some absolute bargains.

I've been once myself and it was a book lovers dream. There are rows and rows of books on two floors to browse so you can spend many an hour here. I came away with a whole box of books!

Just remember this is a warehouse not a shop, and it does get busy since it gained traction on social media, so you should go early.

You can see their general public opening days on their website.


Ok so HMV isn't the first place you think to buy books but they do actually sell them. They have a good selection of books on offer for 2 for £7 on their website which I have definitely utilised myself a few times.

Local Library

This may be an obvious one, but a lot of people forget they can actually read books for FREE through their local library. You can usually sign up for the library and reserve books online, then just pop in to collect and return them.


This is a website where you can 'swap' books with other users.

You list any books you wish to 'swap' and when someone orders one of your books you get an ordering point, which you can then use to purchase a book yourself.

Its not free, a single order will cost you 1 ordering point, a swap fee (£1.19) and the postage cost (£2.99) so £4.18 in total. But that could of course be a bargain, depending on the book you are ordering.

You can get your first book for free by using this link.


Never search for coupon codes again!

Honey is a browser extension powered by PayPal which searches for and automatically applies discount codes to your cart when you shop online.

This can be a great way to save money when shopping for books online, if Honey can find you a discount code. The added bonus is that it works on all online retail sites, so it won't just save you money on books.

Check it out and sign up for honey here.

Charity Shops

Charity shops can be an absolute goldmine for cheap books!

My local charity shop sell paperbacks for as little as 50p each, so I've picked up lots of great deals over the past couple of years.

Where to find cheap or FREE ebooks

Amazon Kindle ebook deals

E-books aren't necessarily cheaper than physical books now, which is a bit of a shame. But you can often get great deals on Amazon, either from their daily kindle deals or their monthly kindle deals.

I summarise the monthly deals down to the best 100-150 books in my own kindle deals post every month to make it easier for you, as otherwise there are literally thousands of them to go through!

You don't even need a kindle to read these books as you can download the kindle app for free on most devices.

If you are interested in a kindle this is the one I have. I got the version without adverts as I just prefer not to have adverts on my kindle Lock Screen, but if you don't mind them then the advert version is slightly cheaper.

Prime Reading

If you have Amazon Prime it does actually include a selection of e-books and magazines which you can borrow and read for FREE each month. Check them out here.

You can sign up for a 30 day FREE trial of Amazon Prime if you don't have it already.

Amazon First Reads

This is another lesser known perk of being an Amazon Prime member.

Each month you get to pick a FREE kindle book from the six Editors' picks, or you can order a paperback version for just £3.99 if you prefer.

If you don't have Prime you can still take part in First Reads but it is 99p for one kindle book from the selection.

Check out Amazon First Reads.

Kindle Unlimited

Signing up to Kindle Unlimited will give you access to millions of free kindle e-books, selected magazines and thousands of books with Audible narration for just £7.99 a month.

It works like a library where you can 'borrow' up to 10 titles at a time and return them when you are finished. I am personally a member of Kindle Unlimited and I do love it. If you are worried about value for money you will probably need to read at least 2 books a month to make it worth the subscription cost.

You can get a 30 day FREE trial of Kindle Unlimited to see if it's something that would work for you. 

At the end of the 30 days membership will automatically start at £7.99 a month unless you cancel by adjusting the membership settings in your account.


With BorrowBox you can borrow e-books and audiobooks for free using your local library membership.

All you need to do is sign up with your local library if you aren't a member already (I did this online). Then download the app and register using your library membership number.

It works the same as the library, you 'borrow' the book for a certain length of time, I think it's 21 days but you can renew once if you need more time finish it. 

If a book is especially popular you may have to reserve the book, which means you have to wait for other peoples loans to finish before it becomes available to you.

Check out BorrowBox on their website.

Some libraries use alternative apps, so just check out your library website first to make sure you download the correct one.


NetGalley is a website which allows book reviewers early access to proof copies of books before they are published, in exchange for honest reviews.

If you do a lot of reading and write reviews already then this might be an option for you to get access to FREE books.

All you need to do is signup on the NetGalley website, fill in your details on where you review books etc and start requesting books to review from publishers. 

Ultimately its down to the publishers to accept or reject your application for books, you will not get approved for every book you request so don't be disappointed. 

Where to find cheap or FREE audiobooks


A subscription to Audible gives you one credit a month to be used on any audiobook which you then keep in your library forever.

It also gives you unlimited listening to thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks at no extra cost.

I am an Audible member myself and yes I love it. Since they expanded the membership to include certain audiobooks, podcasts etc included in the £7.99 subscription price it's become much better value for money.

You can even pause your subscription if you need to or cancel at any time, so I really love the flexibility.

Try a 30 day FREE trial of audible now. (£7.99 per month when trial ends or cancel anytime)


With the BorrowBox library app which I mentioned above you can also access FREE audiobooks.

The only limitation is that you are restricted to audiobooks which your local library chooses to stock, but otherwise this is a great option.

16 Ways to Get Cheap or FREE books - conclusion

I hope you found this post useful, let me know if you used any of my suggestions. If you have any suggestions to add please let me know in the comments.


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