Tag Archives: free reading

Get Your OverDrive!

I buy a lot of books. Some of the books I buy are by traditionally published authors whose books sell up to three and four times what I get for one of mine.

I often resort to borrowing books from the library, especially if it’s a popular series and each book is more than $10. If I like the book, then I feel confident about buying the rest of the series.

I use a sweet little app called OverDrive to borrow library books. You can download the app from the Google Play Store, your Apple store, your Kindle App store, etc. 


To use OverDrive, you must have a library card from a public library: any public library in the USA that is listed in the OverDrive directory. I believe that just about every public library is listed.

You add your library to the Overdrive App, log in, and search for the author you want or the book you want. Some books may be signed out, but you can put a hold on the ones you want, and as soon as a book is available, the library notifies you by email.

There are audio books also available. When you borrow the book, you can choose Epub or Kindle. If you use Kindle or Kindle App, you can download the book easily by choosing Kindle.

The book appears normally in your Kindle Library. When the borrow expires, Kindle returns it automatically. The books are checked out to you for 21 days, and you can check out multiple titles at the same time. There is no charge.


There are bestsellers and novels by popular authors available. You are limited only by what the library has. If the book you want is not on the list, you can use OverDrive to recommend to the library that it acquires the title.


Are there negatives? The only one I see is that the latest releases are grabbed quickly, and you usually must wait a few weeks to get them. If you are willing to wait, you can read them for FREE! Really for FREE with no strings attached.


Also, you need to have a library card. Library cards are specific to individual libraries. Libraries only issue free cards to their area residents. You borrow from the one library which issued your card. Your catalog of books available depends on what your library has.

I don’t live in the USA mainland. I live in a USA territory whose libraries are limited to the school system. I am lucky my adult children live in Florida, and I spend months there every year. My daughter-in-law was able to procure a free library card for me. I treasure my card.  

You can, if you are willing to pay, get a library card from a library outside your area of residence. However, these cards can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 a year, and the libraries which have such programs are few.

Click on the link below to visit the OverDrive site. OverDrive also offers Libby as a reading alternative. Both do the same thing, but Libby has a different look.

Link to OverDrive

Kindle Unlimited: A Good Deal or Not?

I am almost done with my trial FREE Month membership of Kindle Unlimited. I had been fighting the urge to try it for a long time.  It only amounts to pennies a day, and Amazon claims you can read all you want for free. That is truly not correct. You can read all you want for $9.99 a month. To an avid reader like me, this could turn out to be a great deal.
Before trying the service, I took inventory of my reading expenditures. In the last six months, I spent $150.69 in paid books. That averages out to $25.12 a month (the amount does not include taxes). Compare that to $9.99 for KU, and KU seems like a great deal. However, a little analysis is necessary.
Of my total expenditure, $131.79 was for books by authors who are not offering their books on KU. Most of those authors are published by traditional publishing houses, but some are self-published authors too.
My entire collection of Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody Mysteries is not available on KU. I paid for Game of Thrones, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger books, etc. In fact, only $18.90 of the $150.69 would have been covered in KU. That’s less than $3.15 a month.
This month I have borrowed ten of J.R. Rain’s Vampire for Hire (at 4.99 each), four of Mark Dawson’s John Milton series (at 3.99 each), three of Alex Lidell’s Power of Five series (4.99 each), and five of Auryn Hadley’s Rise of the Iliri books (3.99 each).
Total read is $100.87. Subtract $9.99 monthly charge, and I had a savings of $90.88. The savings is slightly more because I did not include sales tax. I think I like the savings very much! Keep in mind that I can read a book in a day, depending on its length and how much time I can spare for reading.
If your favorite authors are self-published, you may be getting a very good deal from Kindle Unlimited. Do keep in mind that many self-published authors are not offering their books on KU. KU requires us to keep our books exclusive to Amazon. Many authors are unwilling to miss out on Apple and other online sales outlets. My own books are not available on KU at the present time. That may change from time to time.
An interesting point to mention is that because of the cost advantage of KU, I discovered two new authors I am really enjoying. Auryn Hadley and Alex Lidell are authors I’d never read before, but because I could read them without buying the books outright, I gave them a try. I loved both of them.
On March 7, I examined Amazon’s paid best-selling fifty books. (I took the top fifty from the best-selling one hundred).
— Only four appear on the USA Today Bestsellers list. These four are published
      by traditional publishing houses.
— Of the four above, none is available on Kindle Unlimited.
— 34 of the 50 are offered on KU. They are exclusive to Amazon and cannot be found at
      B & N, iBooks, Kobo, etc.
— Of the 34, eight are regularly priced at $0.99 cents.
So, is Kindle Unlimited a good deal? A better question would be, “Is it worth it for you?” Consider the following questions.
— Who are your favorite authors?
— Are they on Kindle Unlimited?
— Are you willing to explore and try new, self-published authors?
— How many books do you read a month?
I realize there are numbers of readers out there who are highly critical of self-published books. They refuse to accept that there are many authors worth reading who are self-publishing. They refuse to try those authors. The rhetoric is often fueled by some traditional authors and publishers who obviously fear the new competition and the way self-publishing has changed how readers buy.
If you are willing to begin exploring on KU, then you might find a great deal. It will depend on your expectations and your discoveries. My advice is that you try the One-Month Trial Membership. It costs nothing and you can quit at any time with a click. At the least, you’ll really get to read for “FREE” for one month! Every month after that, you will pay $9.99 per month, no matter how many books you read.

I will be keeping my Kindle Unlimited membership. For me, it’s a very good deal. Some of my favorite self-published authors such as Rick Mofina and J.R. Rain have multiple-book series which are available on KU.