I love to read. I’m one of those people that you always see carting books around and clutching onto this I-can’t-put-it-down-not-now book at lunchtime. I can disappear into a really good book for hours. I’ve always been an avid reader. But the more books I read, the more books I want to read. So I’m always on the lookout for cheap and free books. If you’re just like me, then this little guide to cheap and free books is for you. Read on!


I love the feel of a brand new book. Who doesn’t? Unfortunately, brand new books in most bookshops are expensive. They probably always have been. Buying a brand new book by a popular author that has just been released can easily set you back R200 to R400.


Quite some time ago, Dan Brown released a new title. I love reading Dan Brown. At the time, the book was only available in hard cover and cost well over R300. As desperate as I was to read the book now, now, now I knew I couldn’t afford to pay that much. So I waited patiently. Not even a year later, I managed to buy a second-hand paperback edition of the same title for R40.


New Books: Readers Warehouse


If you are looking for a brand new book to buy, perhaps as gift or as a treat for yourself, try the Readers Warehouse. It’s a great place to buy new books. You can locate their stores in Cape Town and Johannesburg here. You might also want to check out their Deal of the Week.


Their prices are cheaper although they are on par with other bookshops in South Africa in terms of the selections they have available. You can even shop online if that’s your thing but at their stores they usually have a whole lot of books in their reduced-to-clear bins. I’ve often found some interesting reads in there.




Second-hand Books: SAINT’s Buy the Book


Buying second-hand books is definitely a much cheaper alternative. Try flea markets, charity shops and second-hand bookshops. Search for these online as there are bound to be one or two places hidden away somewhere in your area that you didn’t even know about.


I love to buy second-hand books from the SAINT’s Animal Charity Shop. They are one of my favourite animal welfare charities. You can also join their Facebook Page SAINT’s Buy the Book. Books for sale will come through your news feed and all you have to do is comment on the ones you want, pay and collect.


They always have such a great selection and at very good prices too. If you’re looking for relatively new titles and famous authors, that’s definitely the place to look for second-hand books. All the books I’ve ever bought from them have always been in excellent condition. Give it a try.


Borrow Books from Family and Friends


If you have friends or family members who love to read as much as you do then this is a great way to read books for free. I know that some of us can be a bit hesitant when it comes to lending and borrowing books but if you are sharing books with the people you love and trust then this should be alright.


If you can’t find a Book Club to join, start your own


This is a great way to read even more books for free! If you can’t find a book club to join in your area, why don’t you start one of your own? You can get a book club going at work or with your friends at home. Offer to look after the books once they start ‘coming in’ to the book club library so that you can get things going. Meet once a month to talk about the books you’ve read and to return/add books.


Old Book


Visit your local Library


I think many of us have forgotten all about the library. I know I did for a while. Then I remembered that this is a great place to get free books to read to your heart’s content, even if you have to pay a small fee. If you need help locating a library in your area, do a quick search online or even on Facebook. We have a great library just a couple of minutes away.


Amazon Kindle Ebooks


I resisted getting into Ebooks for a very long time. I love the feel of a book in my hand; I’m just a bit old-fashioned that way. But as Ebooks are becoming more and more popular it’s becoming easier and easier to get Ebooks for free. I don’t have a Kindle (or any other reader) but I do have the free Kindle App installed both on my computer and my phone. You can install it on your tablet if you have one and use it just like you would a Kindle.


The great thing about Amazon Ebooks is that they have a whole lot of Ebooks for you to download for free. This selection changes often so you always have quite a choice. They also have a great deal of books at any one time that are on reduced. And Ebooks are generally much cheaper than printer copies so what’s not to love?


Did you also know that you can share the Kindle Ebooks that are stored in your library? While they’re on loan to a friend or family member you won’t be able to read them for a short period of time but once they’re ‘back’ in your library, you will be able to access them again.


Go to the Amazon website and search for ‘free Kindle ebooks’. Sign up to receive notifications via email when new titles become free or go on sale.


Open Book


Book Bub


Book Bub is another great website that I’ve across just recently and I’m already a fan! You sign up for free, choose your area of interest (thriller, romance, non-fiction, etc.) and you receive notifications via email when they have free or cheap books available in those categories. Follow the link from your email to start browsing through what’s available or simply visit their website and search for deals. You can download Ebooks in a variety of formats.


A lot of their cheap and free Ebooks are on Amazon already so sometimes I feel like I’m just looking at the same selection. I browse anyway as you never know when a book might pop up that’s available at some other website that you don’t even know about.


Project Gutenberg


Project Gutenberg has been around for a very long time, in fact since the 70s. Their collection has grown quite considerably, especially in recent years I think. They offer Ebooks in the ‘public domain’, that is, classics. The great thing about Project Gutenberg is that they offer Ebooks in different languages and also Audio reads in a variety of file formats.


If you’re looking for a great classic read then this is definitely the place to go and enjoy those old-time favourites for free.


If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, please share it with others!

You can also find Frugal in SA

on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.