I talked a little bit about how I use the library to get most of my reading (and listening) material for free from the library in this post. But there’s another way I get books for free that a lot of people don’t know about and I love to share with everyone.
Two of the little-known features of Amazon Prime membership (and who’s not a Prime member?) are Prime Reading and Amazon First Reads.
Prime Reading: Every month, Amazon makes thousands of books and magazines available to Prime members to read for free!
And if, like me, you’re an audiobook lover, they also have some titles available with Audible narration. To access the books, you just need to:
- Be a Prime member (again, who isn’t?). There is literally NOTHING else you have to do. No buttons you have to click, no terms and conditions to sign off on. If you’re a Prime member, you already have access to this feature.
- Go to this page to see which titles are available.
- Browse your little heart out.
- Click this huge “READ FOR FREE” button to have it delivered to your reading device (or if you’re dumb: choose the button underneath to pay for it)
The book selection isn’t outstanding. It’s definitely not a list of current New York Times bestsellers. In my opinion, there are usually 1-5 books I’d consider reading. To me, that’s fine, and sometimes I’ll try something new that I wouldn’t have normally tried.
I think one of the coolest sections of the Prime Reading library, though, is the magazine section. These rotate in and out so I can’t say anything will be there for sure when you look, but I’ve seen a ton of popular magazines on there. Rachael Ray, Food Network, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, People, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Elle, Bloomberg Businessweek, Vogue, W, Martha Stewart — I’ve seen all of those plus so many more. Here’s a direct link to just the magazines section.
I’m a sucker for magazines in the grocery store checkout line and this helps me get my magazine fix without having to pay $5 for something I just end up throwing away. An added bonus is that I don’t have to carry around a magazine – I can literally download a magazine anywhere on my phone. If I’m sitting in a line somewhere bored and don’t have anything I’m currently reading on my phone or Kindle, I have an entire library of magazines at my fingertips.
Amazon First Reads: Every month, Amazon editors curate a very short list of unpublished books for Prime members to read before they’re published.
This differs from Prime Reading in that you get just ONE per month and the list to choose from is much shorter. I think there are fewer than ten each month. It also differs from Prime Reading because you actually own the book after you download it. You’re not just borrowing it like you do with Prime Reading.
To access this feature you need to follow all the steps above except go to this page instead.
I think because this list is so specific there are usually better titles on it. Sometimes there’s nothing that interests me, but other times (like last month), there are multiple titles that pique my interest. Last month I opted for the eating disorder memoir over the female serial killer true crime book. Honestly, the only thing that could’ve made that decision more difficult for me would have been if there was a book about the death penalty thrown into the mix too because eating disorders and serial killers are two of my major interests because I’m sick in the head.
Anyway, I like to pretend that I own Amazon and that they don’t own me (they do though) so I always like to feel like I’m somehow cheating their genius system. I hope this post helps you max out your Prime membership and find some new stuff to read for free!
Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links which means that if you purchase through the link, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. If you found the information helpful and do decide to purchase anything I have mentioned, please do me a solid and buy through the link so I can be compensated for the time I have put into this. I was not paid to recommend these products and all opinions are my own.