Monday, September 08, 2008

No-Cost & Low-Cost Books: Online and Abandoned Books

A friend recently gave me a stack of books in excellent condition. The gift — a novel and two memoirs — came with a request. I was told to read the books and give them away. The books, our friend said, could also be "released" at a coffee shop, a public bench or some other location.

The books were gifts through the program, an international program designed to promote the free circulation of books. It is just one of several free or low-cost reading programs. From online vendors to standard bookstores, there are many affordable ways to build a library or to sample best-sellers. Here are a few: From a vast library of free classics, will send you e-mails with bite-sized sections of "Moby Dick," "Pride & Prejudice" and other books. Launched by a former editor of Random House and a former guru at, the "social bookmarking site," delivers books via plain text e-mails in serialized installments. The service also includes a fee-based subscription option for new titles and best-sellers. But books in the public domain are free and include many titles on school reading lists. The service lets you select the frequency of the e-mails. You can even opt to read far more than the daily portion. The database of free books includes more than 700 titles. This free service provides short samples from books via e-mail. This site offers other valuable perks, according to the latest issue of ShopSmart, a Consumer Reports guide. Additional benefits include an online book forum, interactive meet-the-author sessions and information about book tours and other literary events.

• More than 700,000 readers from more than 130 countries participate in this free book service and club. Readers are encouraged to register give-away books on the site and then follow the literary trail as each text is given to friends or left in public spaces. Each registered title has a bookplate in the inside cover with a tracking number and details about the program. The site also has a feature that allows readers to hunt for free books. After finding a book, readers are encouraged to go online and participate in an online journal that follows and records a book's traveling history. Registered readers can also participate in a variety of online literary programs.


Here's how to buy my new book:

@ Barnes & Noble
@ Borders


Dedicated said...

I've been passing free books on for years. I generally let the new owner know they can pass it on after they are done. I only request it back if I have more then one person in mind to read it.

Question: How do you look so beautiful? I look in the mirror and just see old - crows feet and lines everywhere.

Living in NYC said...

I love BookCrossing, I've been a member for almost four years. I also really enjoy BookMooch. There's some cost involved in the form of postage, but when I last tallied out my expenditures it was ~2.27/book. Reasonable in my book, no pun intended.

Mary said... also has classics on their site, which you can download for free. These books can be read on your iPhone, Blackberry or other electronic device.

Anonymous said...

Many avid readers often combine Bookcrossing with Paperbackswap. With Paperbackswap, you mail books to people across the US in echange for a credit that can be used to request a book from their huge database. The only cost is the media mail postage to mail your book.