If you time it right, you can read newly issued hardcover fiction for free or nearly free. Here’s how:
When the book has been out a couple weeks, check auction sites like eBay and Amazon. Someone who has read it and wants to pass it on will be selling it for less than the retail price. There will be several listings; keep looking until you find one with a low price.
Buy it, read it, and put it back up for auction again. If you do this before the interest in it wanes, you may get your original cost back. Save the packaging it came in to reuse when you ship it back out again.
I did this with a Janet Evanovich book a few years ago. My net cost for a $28 book was only the shipping to have it delivered to my door. If I had been quicker to relist it, I might even have made a profit.
My book, My Writer’s Sampler: Exercises in Learning to Write Fiction, is a semi-finalist in the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award contest! Now it’s in the second round of judging. I don’t know how long it’ll be before I hear whether it will be a finalist.
I have a book a day habit. When I looked around for additional sources of free books besides the public library I learned that any device can function as a Kindle. Amazon.com gives away the Kindle reader app for free and you can download it to any computer, tablet or smart phone. Go to http://www.amazon.com and type ‘free Kindle app for pc’ (or tablet or whatever you have) in the search box.
Once your device has the Kindle app on it you can download and enjoy hundreds of free Kindle books from Amazon in many genres. They offer current fiction, mysteries, romances, historical fiction and more. They have all the classics, books that are out of copyright like Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol and hundreds more. There is quite a lot of free non-fiction too.
In addition to all the free content the Kindle section has current fiction and non-fiction, some by well-know authors, at less than half the cost of a physical book. A friend of mine just paid $40 for the electronic form of a textbook that costs $130 in physical form. My library now lends Kindle books online also.
I really love the freedom and expansion created by electronic technologies.