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E-Books for Free at the Marlborough Public Library and Online

FInd out where you can borrow or download e-books for free in this week's Frugal Family.

My friends and I love to talk about the books we are reading. If you have an e-reader, you already know how convenient they are for downloading and reading books. But if you find you are spending too much on e-books, here are some ways to read for free.

1. Borrow e-books from the CW/MARS digital catalog. This collection of free e-books and audio books that is shared among all of the libraries in the C/W MARS network. If you have a library card from the , you can download books that you can read on many different e-readers and electronic devices, including the Kindle or Nook e-readers. Follow the directions on the digital catalog website to find and reserve e-books. You may need to wait a bit, but soon you will receive an email letting you know that your selection is available to download to your reader or electronic device. The book will stay on your e-reader for two weeks. If you'd like a tutorial on how to borrow e-books, contact the library's Reference Department or call 508-624-6992 to set up a time with a reference librarian for help in using your reader to download e-books.

2. The Boston Public Library (BPL) also has a digital catalog of e-books. If you are a Massachusetts resident you can get an E-card which is a library card that allows you to borrow e-books from the BPL. The borrowing process is very similar to that of the C/W MARS digital catalog. For more information on the BPL digital catalog, visit their Digital Media Home page.

3. Free Books: In the United States, there are thousands of copyright-free e-books available free of charge. The following are some websites and applications to help you find these books. You can find classic works from authors such as Shakespeare, Dickens, and Austin. From time to time publishers will offer new books for free for a limited time. These offers don’t last long, so if you see it, grab it. You might find the first book of a series to be free or reduced in price, so you can try a book by a new author.

  • Pixel of Ink is a great website with lots of information on how to find free and bargain e-books. If you are new to e-readers, this is a great place to learn about how to take advantage of the free books that are out there. Sign up for their email newsletter to learn about limited time free or discounted e-book offers from Amazon.com
  • Project Gutenberg has over 38,000 free ebooks. Download them to a reader or read them online.
  • Amazon.com: You can download pre-1923 copyright-free books to your Kindle e-reader for free, or to other electronic devices with the free Kindle application.
  • Free Books Application for Apple electronic devices. This application is available for free on the Apple App Store. It has a great look and feel, with the appearance of a library book display. Books are grouped into categories such as Banned Books, English 101, Ghost Stories, Westerns, and more.

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