Cheap Ways to Read


Cheap Ways to Read

Happy summer break! Summertime means later bedtimes, lazier schedules, relentless sibling arguments and boredom, and hopefully, a little downtime for mom. I know how important it is for my sanity that I carve out a little time for myself each day, even if it’s just 15 minutes before I go to sleep. Sometimes I use my “me” time to exercise, catch up on a Netflix show, or scroll mindlessly on my computer, but most often, you can find me reading any chance I get. Reading is my favorite way to spend downtime. I know many moms who feel the same way, but reading can become an expensive hobby if you let it.

Along the way I’ve found several great options for free or cheap books! I also like to keep my boys reading during summer break, so all of these options are kid friendly as well. I do all of my reading on my Kindle Paperwhite, which is great if you’re not in a stage of life where getting out of the house is easy.

Chattanooga Public Library

The Chattanooga Public Library is a GREAT option for any book lover! I’m a Georgia resident, but for a small fee, I was able to join the library and have all of their awesome services at my fingertips. That makes it a great option for anyone in the greater Chattanooga area. Since I prefer to read on my Kindle, I use their Overdrive option to check out my books. It works just like regular book check out, but it’s all digital! There’s no going to the library to return your books — you just return them on the computer! To make it even easier, I just downloaded their Libby app on my phone. I still like hardback books for my boys though, so we do utilize that part of the library as well. It’s a great place to go on a rainy summer day, and there are many locations all over town!

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is another great option if you like to read ebooks. For $9.99 a month, you have over one million titles available to you. They also offer magazines and audiobooks. Thanks to this service, I was able to fly through the Harry Potter series last year. I know $9.99 a month may seem like an inconvenience, but typically just one new book a month will cost you well over that. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read these books on any device you have with the Kindle app.

Kindle Free Books

Once again, this is a great option for ebooks. They offer tons of free Kindle books and books that are very cheap, like $.99! If you’re into reading the classics, hundreds of them are offered on here for free! There are lots of easy “beach reads” on there as well.


BookBub is a great website to find free and cheap ebooks! I’ve been using it for about a year now. You fill out a questionnaire/profile about what kind of books you like, then it sends you daily book deals. The deals are for $2.99, $1.99, $.99, and free! There are tons of books on there, and you can get really lucky and find some current bestsellers for next to nothing! This isn’t a Kindle or library based option, so anyone can sign up!


Thriftbooks is a great option if you like to have a hardcopy in your hands! You can order new or used books and have them delivered to your door for a fraction of the cost!


The teacher and mom in me LOVES Epic! I used it all year long in my classroom, and I use it at home to keep my boys reading. It’s so user friendly. You can search by age, Lexile measure, or Accelerated Reader range. There are normal books, read-to-me books, and audiobooks. They’re running a deal through the summer, but it’s well worth the normal price all year!


And last, but not least, McKay’s Books. This is a Chattanooga stable and has so much to offer! You can get used books, movies, video games, and CDs for so little! You can also trade in your own used items for store credit or cash. The vast majority of my classroom library at school came from McKay’s!

If you’re a reader like me, I hope these options are helpful! I know as a mom who’s in the trenches, it’s nice to get lost in a different world for a few minutes every day, even if you can still hear your children yelling in the background.


  1. Collegedale Library has a summer membership for $10 for non-Collegedale residents. Their online ebook and audiobook selection is amazing and current. They are in the Tennessee Reads network which is different and larger than the Chattanooga library’s subscriptiom group. The Tennessee Reads is a conglomeration of all the small regional libraries in TN pooling their online resources.

    We play audiobooks while our kids do legos and that kind of play together. It keeps the arguing to a minimum.

    If you like audiobooks,.check out the Chattanooga public library’s hoopla subscription. It’s an app woth lots of auidbooks. It has a lot of kids authors.

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