Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: How Does She Read For Free

Friday, December 13, 2013

How Does She Read For Free

Relax This Christmas and Read Bestseller Novels For Free  

I’m Laura of Waiting to Be Read. I'’m an unabashed book worm, lover of sunshiny Colorado hikes with my husband and two dogs, and I work as a civil litigation paralegal while scheming to live life cheaply, but to its fullest. Waiting to Be Read is three-second book reviews with actors cast as the main characters. Thanks, Danielle, for letting me share frugal tricks to indulge yourself this Christmas season! Stress goes hand in hand with the Christmas season and its busier schedule, tighter budgets, and increased obligations. Many women love to relax by reading....this is my favorite way to unwind! But it’s hard to feel ok about splurging on a $25 book when you’'re already strapped for cash! It’s even harder when you’'re a reader like me and devour around six books a month. That simple $25 quickly spirals into $150+! How do you solve this problem, yet still live frugally? Let me introduce my favorite way to read bestsellers and hardback novels for free. It’s easy, but does require an ounce of patience. Enter the library’'s fabulous option to put holds on books. In just three quick steps, you’ll be reading bestsellers and hardback novels for free. Most libraries have online websites. Usually this website address is listed on the back of your library card. Keep your card out, – you’ll need it again in a minute. 


1. Navigate to your library’s website and click on the My Account button. Usually, this is near the top of the page. If you’'ve never logged in to your account online, take a minute to set up your account using your library card number. 

Waiting To Be Read picture 1 

2. Now comes the fun part. Near the top of the page will be a Search or Search Catalog box. 

Waiting To Be Read picture 2 

3. Type in the book title you want to read. For example, Divergent (the first book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth – so good!). Hit enter and watch the search populates. 
Waiting To Be Read picture 3

 4. Scroll down until you find the format you want your book in. 

5. Click Place Hold or Request. 

6. Click through the prompts to finalize your hold, including what library branch you want to pick your book up at. 
Waiting To Be Read picture 4        

 7. Don’t panic by the amount of people on the hold list! The wait time will go quicker than you think. 

 8. In a few short days or weeks – depending on how many people are before you on the wait list – you’ll get an email notification that your book is available. 

9. Head over to the library and check out your free bestseller!  

Tips to Minimize Waiting:
  1. Put a hold on a book as soon as possible. These lists can fill up quickly. But if you’re fast, you’ll score a number three or five position on the list.
  2.  Put holds on dozens of books you’re interested in. This way you’ll continuously have a spot in a hold list. Think of it like Netflix – only for books and free!
  3. If you can, get library cards to several nearby counties’ libraries. For example, I have cards to Arapahoe, Douglas, and Denver County libraries. This way you can minimize your wait time by putting holds on your Must Read Now books in all those counties’ libraries. Then simply check out the first book that’s available from those hold lists!
  4. Be conscious of your due date. A free bestseller can rapidly start costing money when the book is late. Typically, you can renew your book through your online library account if someone hasn’t already requested it.
But what if you prefer reading books in an electronic format? You don’t have to fork over lots of cash for e-books!  

You have three options available:
  1. Library: select e-book format as your preferred book format and follow above instruction for placing hold.
  2. Amazon Kindle: lots of e-books are a mere $1-7 per book and you can download instantly to your phone.
  3. OnKindle: Amazon’s new book subscription. Popular books auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle for $0.99/month. Warning: I haven’t used this and it was rated 2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Perhaps this is not the best option!
  4. Oyster Books: a new book-lovers app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. An online library of over 100,000 titles with more being added each day! Try it free for a month, then continue for a small fee of $9.95/month. Read unlimited books -- and juggle more than one at a time! – all on your device. Even better, the books you download are available offline, perfect for those times you’re stuck waiting for a delayed flight.
P.S. I took OysterBooks for a free month trial and really liked how clear the type was on my phone screen. Plus tons of newly released books were available! Full disclosure: I discontinued the service only because I love the feel of a book in my hands and that intoxicating ink smell. May the road of reading rise up to greet you and may it always be free. Happy (stress-free) holidays!


Thanks so much L! I do the same thing at my library! Saves me tons! Don't forget to check out Laura on her blog.

XO Danielle


  1. Kindle is not the only ereader or ebook store.
    While I do buy "kindle"books, I also regularly buy from kobo, barnes & noble, sony, and diesel-ebooks.
    -Kobo regularly has coupon codes for X% off. They can't be used for all titles (it depends on the publisher), it's always worth seeing if an ebook is available and couponable.
    -diesel-ebooks doesn't have the biggest selection, but they have very good and competitive prices - again, worth a look before making a purchase.
    -B&N and Sony don't always have the greatest prices, but, again, it's worth a look.

    The point: this is ALL online so there is no point in limiting yourself to one store for ebooks because it only takes a minute to check the prices on all of them. With calibre, you can convert your titles to the format of your choice.

  2. I applaud you for your post. We could all save a lot of money By utilizing our libraries. I use mine and I use two different sites to download free and discounted ebooks. One is called BookBub and the other One hundred free books☺

  3. Do you know about Inter-Library Loan? It's a good way to get rare books from across the country for little to nothing.

    BEST SITE EVER!! All free & can direct you to local library sites. For those with only smart phones & not e-readers, there are options!
    I read a minimum of 6 books a month...just on lunch breaks & before bedtime...both a blessing & a curse being able to read quickly.


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