It’s never a bad idea to put down your laptops and smartphones and pull out some old reading material to get your brain moving. There are many outreach services and most allow you to check out books for free.
With so many online services available, let’s take a look at the best places to get free books by mail for your home library.
Reading: Free books by mail
The best places to get free books by mail
1. dolly parton’s library of imagination
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is one of the best-known organizations that sends free books by mail. Created in 1995, the library has shipped more than 133 million free books to children from birth to school start each month.
More than 1.5 million children are registered to receive free books, which come with no strings attached. dolly parton isn’t known for being a librarian, but she definitely could be!
The program has received the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Best Practices Award and the Well Maintained Seal of Approval.
Parents can enroll their children in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland through the library’s website.
2. good reads
goodreads is a great site if you are an avid book reader. in fact, if you don’t have an account, we highly recommend creating a free one so you can participate in discussions and reviews of millions of old and new books. the site offers you to compare book prices on various websites.
Authors often give away books on the site in exchange for a free review. Although reviews aren’t normally necessary to order free books, it creates a community of peer-to-peer literary communications.
goodreads is also giving away free books in pre-launch giveaways, which you can access here.
3. bibles of america
american bibles is an easy way to get free christian ebooks in addition to a free bible. all you have to do to register is go to this link, register with your details and they will send you a free bible. that means you don’t need to enter any credit card number.
Certain free e-books that are available are titled The All-Inclusive Christ, The Basics of the Christian Life, and God’s Economy.
Your only request is that you order the bible for yourself and not on behalf of someone else.
librarything is similar to the goodreads program in which authors give away free books for review by a certain number of people who request a review copy. on the site, you can see how many reviews the author requests and how many people have filled out the request form to get a free review copy of the book.
There are also member giveaways that work in a similar way but are free e-books. With tons of free stuff to choose from, there’s no limit to the genres you can request books from.
However, there are a large number of requests, so there is no guarantee that you will get all the books you want. however, the more free books you request, the more likely you are to get specific books.
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5. free cycle
freecycle’s goal becomes quite obvious when you realize that the name is a pun on recycling. It works as a classifieds service, similar to websites like craigslist, but everything on the site is free.
Typically, the free books available through the service are not the most sought after. but, they are still free books. The best free stuff and free books go to the first worms, so be sure to search their site often to find your collection’s golden goose. you never know what you’ll find!
6. natural investigator
the natural inquirer is an organization that seeks to distribute educational readings to children from preschool to grade 12. they always have a free coloring book available for children, which is currently about a bee who is a scientist.
directly from their website, it says, “the coloring pages feature the natural inquisitive bee engaging in different types of science. for example, there is a natural inquisitive bee looking through binoculars to see birds. the text reads : “scientists study birds.”
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The free book usually sells out quickly, so act fast! it is available in both hard copy and downloadable, and is also available in different languages. you can find information about the book here.
read me, which translates directly to read with me in English, aims to help families work on bilingual skills in both English and Spanish. By completing the free registration form here, families gain access to 50 free eBooks with their online library, plus free eBook downloads every two months.
Although you can’t seem to order free print books, Read Me is a great resource for families with children through fifth grade who are looking to work on bilingual literacy skills.
8. barn and noble
barnes and noble has a great summer reading activity for your kids. Have your child read any of the eight books, record what they’ve read in their reading journal that can be accessed from the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading website, and then take that journal anywhere in Barnes and Noble. noble at the end of August.
In exchange, your child will be able to select a free book from the list in their journals. the company also has select free e-books available for download.
9. value magazines
Magazines are not books in their natural form, but reading is still reading!
If free magazine subscriptions are your thing, valuemags will be an amazing resource for you. offers deeply discounted subscriptions to magazine subscriptions to services like Sports Illustrated, but free magazines are also available on the service.
popular science and entertainment weekly are two magazine subscriptions that have been awarded through the website. all you need to do is sign up for an account and provide shipping information to receive free magazines in the mail.
The good old craigslist still exists and can be a great resource for free books. the quality of free books and the number of them varies greatly by area and day, and it can be a bit sketchy dealing with unknown people through classifieds.
craigslist used to be the king of classifieds and online marketplaces before platforms like facebook market came along to take over. You can still find some great titles and other items on craigslist, but proceed at your own risk!
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11. network galley
netgalley is another website where users can sign up for an account and then receive free previously published books in exchange for a review. reviews are required to deliver print books, and you can receive most titles via e-book or free physical copy.
Perhaps the best part about netgalley and what sets it apart from most other review and hosting sites is that it is available in more languages than English. it is also available in French, German and Japanese.
12. haunted book reviews
haunted book reviews also provides free books on the basis that recipients will review them. There’s only a small number of free books they’re giving away for review at any given time, so check back often for new titles.
You must have a blog or amazon account to review the books. while sites like goodreads let you review the book for free on their site, this company is different in that regard.
To request free books, you must fill in your information for each book and they will respond to you as soon as possible. In addition, you must write a review within 30 days of receiving the books, and if you do not do it three times, you will no longer be part of the program.
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13. free braille books
the american action fund for blind children and adults runs a program in which they translate written books into accessible braille books. they say their goal is to choose books that were written in the last few years and that both boys and girls will enjoy.
The program was created in 1997 and can be applied through this link.
14. free lego magazine
another magazine that can be mailed is lego life magazine. It’s sent out four times a year to kids ages 5-9, and all you have to do is sign up on the lego site.
This is the perfect free magazine for your child’s creative mind. They can even have their Lego creations featured in the magazine! Being completely free, this is a no-brainer.
15. sun maid recipe booklet
sun-maid, owner of food brands for raisins, yogurt, organics and more, has an extra trick for her cooks. For registering on their website, they will send you a free recipe book using their products to create healthy and delicious treats!
all you have to do is register with your name and address. you can download the cookbook in pdf format or have a free physical copy sent to your home.
According to sun-maid, “Raisins are a high-energy food that provides the natural sugars, potassium, fiber, and tartaric acid needed to keep digestive systems healthy.” So why not get healthy and get this free cookbook?
16. tours of lola’s blog
This website is very similar to Enchanted Book Reviews, but has a larger collection of books for teens, young adults, and all ages at the time of this writing. lola’s blog tours has reading for everyone from children to adult fiction.
all you have to do is register the book you want to read, look at the author requests, and then review the book after you finish reading it. It’s the way most of these sites work, but it’s effective. all the different sites may have different books available to check out, and you never know what you’ll find.
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17. fresh fiction
fresh fiction is offering 250 books to review in exchange for free copies. While there are many more options than the websites listed above, there is more influence over who can review them.
Each potential reviewer must fill out an application to see if they qualify. Not everyone will qualify either, but once accepted, the genres and age ranges of the books are highlighted here.
the harlequin reading service is a book club that sends its members the best rated books as ranked by the new york times and uses today several times a year. you get two free books just by signing up.
If you choose to stay in the club, you’ll get discounted books off the price of admission and receive additional privileges. this is geared as a group of women’s books with romantic, suspenseful, and inspirational titles being the most prevalent. do your homework if you think you might want to be a sponsor in the future!
19. check your local library & summer reading programs
Not all libraries have a mail service that sends you a book every month, but some do, more likely in metropolitan areas. We strongly encourage everyone to contact their local library, a county library, or a regional library to see if they offer free reading programs, as they may not advertise them well! be sure to ask a librarian for help to check your databases and if you offer your patrons that library service.
Many public libraries also offer a summer reading program for children, and it’s a good idea to get your children a free library card, which allows them to borrow! Libraries are obviously places you can go to borrow books, and while you can be fined for overdue books if you don’t renew them by the due date, you’ll have just as many titles at your disposal.
in the library, resources include the availability of audiobooks, dvds, e-books via overdrive, cds, internet access and more at a public, county or state library. if the books are already on loan, the alternative is the library’s interlibrary loan system, in which libraries lend books to each other.
In general, the public library is a great place to look up just about anything, not just library books! so don’t miss out on going there, even if it’s just to get work done or help with homework, because library services are plentiful.
20. free children’s activity books through the epa
Sometimes the best kinds of free books to read with your kids are the ones that teach them about the world around them. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, in the United States offers select books free of charge for parents to read to their children. the free books come in multiple languages and are shipped through the post office.
Free books currently available deal with providing water and protecting the planet. who knows, maybe reading these books to your kids will spark a future career in the environment.
other ways to earn free books
convert free reward points
- rakuten: get a $10 reward just for signing up! rakuten gives you up to 12% cash back on purchases you make.
- earn rewards: scan your receipts from anywhere and earn rewards points that can be redeemed for gift cards. use those gift cards to buy books!
get rid of your trash
- decluttr: sell your old electronics, video games or dvd’s and use the cash to buy new books.
- cardpool: sell your unused or unwanted gift cards. This is an easy way to turn your gift cards into cash for books!
change your opinion for books
- swagbucks: get $5 just for signing up! Take surveys, watch videos, and more to earn free gift cards!
- Survey Junkie: Similar to Swagbucks, this app lets you take surveys in exchange for gift cards.
It’s time to start reading!
By now you should know how many ways there are to get free books by mail and magazine subscriptions by mail. you can even get free digital eBooks from many sources.
There’s never a bad time to put your visual brain to the test by reading fiction or non-fiction books, and plenty of kids’ reading materials will help them get started on interesting hobbies or even become little librarians.
It’s time to open up those free books by mail and take a look! There’s nothing like sitting down to read a physical book.
what is your favorite book of all time? Have you ever received free books in the mail? tell us in the comments!