The only real thing I had on my Prime Day deals shopping list were a few books I need, as part of research for a screenplay I'm working on (though a great Lego deal caused me to break rank early on in the sales).
Like any literature student, I'm a fan of physical books, but somehow I managed to fill my Amazon Kindle Oasis with eBooks instead. Even weirder? I never actually spent a penny on all these books.
Having used my Kindle religiously for a good while now, and also being pretty poor, I've become something of an expert in saving money while using the ereader. So I'll share my new tactic I used to snag these books, and a few other ones that exist too.
Bear in mind that my 'free books' scheme isn't really going to work for many modern texts. Living authors need to eat and pay rent and all that, so it's worth paying money for their books. No, the free books I'm talking about are classics, or older niche works – though some people choose to release their works on the web for free, too.
The reason I'm writing this article instead of, y'know, actually reading the books I've just snagged, it's because I'm sure loads of people have jumped on the Kindle deals and might want to bask in this advice too (oh, and I'm currently working too, obviously).
- Browse all the latest offers at Amazon (opens in new tab)
- Safe with a 30-day free Amazon Prime trial (opens in new tab)
The Prime of the Ancient Mariner
If you picked up a new Kindle in the Prime Day deals, it means you're an Amazon Prime member. Congratulations, you've already bagged ten free books.
I'm talking about Prime Reading, a benefit of Prime membership that lets you download ten classic texts at a time for free, a bit like a library on your Kindle.
There's loads of classic works out there, as well as selected Amazon Originals and a few other books. You can check out the full list here (opens in new tab).
There are a few other Amazon Kindle subscription services too, like Kindle Unlimited, Audible or ComiXology, but since you'd need to pay extra to get them, I'm not going to discuss them in this 'free books' article.
To Kindle a Mockingbird
The resource that I just used to fill up my Kindle isn't Prime Reading, but one of many sites on the internet offering free eBooks – Project Gutenberg (opens in new tab). This popular website catalogues historical texts in a variety of formats, including Kindle formats.
The books I needed to download were a few older works by Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells, but thanks to the huge library on offer, I managed to find loads of other works by the authors, and related writers, which also could be useful for my research. I'll be honest, I'm probably not going to finish half of these, but it's nice to have the option.
Not many people know this, but you can actually transfer files to a Kindle yourself, not just books you find on Amazon's Kindle store. We've written a guide on how to send PDF files to your Kindle, but this works for loads of file types, not just PDF. Gutenberg's Kindle files also work as .txt and Word documents.
This means you can send works you find around the web to your Kindle to read offline. Lots of popular online writers opt to release their works for free online, relying on fan contributions instead of book sales, and I acquired one of the most important books for my research this way.
There are loads of writers' communities on Reddit that push out their short stories, poems and even novels for free, so that's the best place to look around for brand-new stories.
Also, there are quite a few websites that pop up in Google if you search 'free ebooks'. I don't know how reliable any of these are (save Gutenberg of course), and most list loads of texts I've never heard of, but discovering new books can be loads of fun.
Oh, and finally, I should point out that some books are just free on the Kindle store for whatever reason. I don't know why. I've snagged a few cool works this way, especially classics that weren't on Prime Reading, so if you've got a particular work of art you're looking for, there's no harm in just searching it this way first.
While the various 'free book' strategies I've listed might not nab you the newest and hottest bestsellers without having to spend a penny, the wide world of the internet has enough fantastic works of prose, poetry and script, to last a lifetime.
Amazon Kindle deals
No matter where you live, you'll find all the lowest prices for the Amazon Kindle ereaders from around the web right here, with offers available in your region.