How to Find Books Online—for Free - Student Resources

How to Find Books Online—for Free

Summer is kicking off and we know that you’ll be looking for summer reading books for your children. With everything opening back up slowly but surely, libraries may be accessible but incase you’re not comfortable with that just yet, we have you covered. How can your kids read these great books we’ve recommended without having to step foot in the library? Luckily, we have some suggestions.

Here are four ways you can access books digitally, completely for free!

Your Local Library is Still a Great Resource

You may not be able to visit your local library right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out books. Most libraries allow members to borrow ebooks or audiobooks through apps like Overdrive or Hoopla. You don’t even need a tablet or e-reader to access them! You can read ebooks on any internet-enabled device, including a smartphone or a computer.

There is one caveat for this approach—you need a library card to access these apps. If you don’t already have a card, check with your local library. Many libraries are issuing cards digitally while they’re closed or have limited hours. Libraries are always a fantastic resource, and we’re sure your librarians will be happy to help if you have any trouble accessing these apps.

Your Friends Can Help, Too

Do you already have an e-reader app? Ask around and see if any of your friends have the same one. If they do, you can take advantage of the fact that most apps allow you to share books with your friends. Just make sure to only borrow books that can be read quickly, as borrowed books will be automatically returned to your friend after two weeks. And don’t forget to return the favor! Lending your friends your child’s favorite book can help encourage their kids to develop a reading habit.

Audiobooks are Another Option

Audiobooks are a great way to build your child’s vocabulary, a key pre-reading skill. Listening to books being read fluently can also help beginning readers improve their own oral reading skills. Thankfully, there are several ways to find audiobooks for free right now. Like with ebooks, you can digitally check out audiobooks from your local library. Audible is offering many audiobooks suitable for young kids through teenagers completely for free, at least until schools reopen. You can also find many free audiobooks on the music streaming service, Spotify.

Always-Free Alternatives

Did you know there are many classic books in the public domain? Books that are in the public domain are no longer copyrighted in the United States, and thus can be freely shared for you and your kids to read! You can find these books on sites like Project Gutenberg and Google Books. Many books from Kumon’s Recommended Reading List are in the public domain and can be found on these sites. You can read these books either directly on your computer or on your e-reader of choice.

While ebooks can’t replace the feeling of a physical book in your hands, there are many benefits to being able to read electronically. For one, you can download a new book whenever you feel like reading! You might also discover that your reluctant reader loves to listen to audiobooks, sparking a love for reading. One thing we know for sure, is the more your child reads, the better—no matter what form the book is in.