Yep! You read that right! This blog post is how you can read books for free.
What, free and legal? I hear you cry.
Oh yes, my friends. I recently discovered two sources where you can legally read (and listen!) to books for free!
We all know I love a bargain, as evidenced by my charity shop book investments, so I’m always on the lookout for way to read without having to fork out cash while still supporting authors!
Just a quick note that I’m not being paid or sponsored by either of these apps (although I wish I was important enough to!) – I just want to share these treasures with the book community. As someone on a self-imposed year long book ban, I know it can be tough trying to find new reads without breaking the bank!
First up, I discovered The Pigeonhole! The Pigeonhole is a fascinating company based in London which runs an online book club!
Now, this isn’t your everyday ‘everyone gather in the living room with a glass of wine and moan about work instead of discussing the book you chose’ club, nor is it a ‘oh, this has that Richard and Judy sticker on it!’ club.
The way they organise their online, worldwide club is very simple; they have a selection of books available and you select which one you are interested in reading. Each one has a start date, as part of The Pigeonhole’s ‘real time reading’ scenario, and you are either emailed or receive on the app the first section of the book called a ‘stave’. Everyone across the globe who has signed up for this book will receive a chunk at the exact same time to ensure that everyone has the same amount of time to read!
The book will be broken into an amount of ‘staves’ which will be emailed to you over a period of time, breaking the book into handy chunks which are perfect if, like me, you tend to rush ahead of your buddy read. It gives you time to properly absorb what you’ve read and react to it if you so wish! There are even special sections you can click on and receive behind-the-scenes comments from the author, explaining more about the plot point, character or development in that part. You won’t find that from Richard and Judy!
The really cool part is that you’re automatically enrolled into a massive community of readers, all reading at the same pace as you across the planet. That just blows my mind! As part of the copy you are sent, there is a comments system so you can highlight something you think and readers who are also on that section can respond to you – you can have an entire discussion if you so wish!
Whats more, the books are often new releases, or books published within the last year or so, so to get them for free is a real bargain. I’ve signed up for the Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin staves which begin on March 25th and I’m so excited because it is a Bollywood inspired Pride & Prejudice retelling!
Don’t fancy a massive gang of strangers seeing your thoughts on a novel? That’s cool too! The Pigeonhole also has a selection of books to choose from which you can either share with friends by creating your own private book club, or read solo! This shelf is a mixture of classics, like Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein, and new releases such as my current audiobook fave In At The Deep End which came out last month.
You pick how often you are sent staves, so you can time your reading along with your friends, or it’s great if you’re having a busy week and know you can only dedicate so much time to reading everyday!
The other is the Readercoin app (and its sister app Podcoin!).
This app features a bunch of audiobooks – it doesn’t have a huge library but it does feature a load of classics (so if you’ve been putting off that Jane Austen – here ya go!!) and supports a lot of self-published writers too! Some books I’ve saved to listen to include Alice in Wonderland, Sense and Sensibility and The Secret Garden.
The premise is this: for every ten minutes you listen to an audiobook (or podcast on their other app), you get one point. Those points build up and you have two options – 1) you can save them then put them towards prizes like vouchers for Amazon and Starbucks, or headphones and kindles, or 2) you can donate to charity!
There are a variety of causes such as AIDS treatment, animal shelters and food for communities rebuilding after disasters. You can donate anything from 0.1 point to everything you have; at the end of the month, Readercoin and Podcoin count up the amount of points their listeners have donated to each cause and make a relevant monetary donation to a charity that relates to it!
Personally, I’m saving some points and donating others so I can do a little of both.
They also have bonus books and podcasts where you can earn a few more points for your listening, as well as extra offers such as saving a certain amount of books, or listening to your first ten minutes and getting extra amounts of points for it!
Again, I’m not sponsored by Readercoin or Podcoin, but if you do fancy signing up (for free!) for either you can use my referral code: Esmeeb8a and we’ll both get 150 points to start you off on your listening journey!
Also, if you’re a writer it is worth checking out their website because they are always looking for authors to turn their books into audiobooks and you can earn money from it too!
So there you have it – my two newest favourite sources for reading for free! Do let me know if you use or are now planning to use them in the comments!