From Fifty Shades of Grey (I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to know what all the fuss is about) to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (which I will get round to reading one day) – there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. And it’s even better when the book is free.
Now I know the Kindle craze may have swept the nation — I’ll put my hands up and say I have one too — but sometimes it’s nice to flick through the pages of a well-thumbed paperback. And I’ve recently stumbled on a great scheme where you can get books for free. Yes, really.
The charity Healthy Planet’s Books for Free initiative rescues unwanted books otherwise destined for landfill or pulping, and redistributes them for nothing via its Books for Free centres throughout England and Wales.
One of its centres has recently opened near MSE Towers in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, and I, along with other MSE team members, have spent many a lunch time browsing its shelves.
In our local centre there’s a range of books from novels for adults and children, to non-fiction such as travel and cookbooks. You’re allowed to take up to three books at a time, and the idea is once you’ve finished a book you can bring it back (if you want to) for others to read.
All the books are secondhand and have probably been out for a while, rather than just published – but you never know what you might find, so it’s worth having a look.
Check this map to see if there’s a centre near you.
Where else can I get cheap or free books?
From personal experience I’d suggest checking out your local library. Mine was free to join, and while I haven’t been in a while, you used to be able to take out up to 20 books for free.
Charity shops are also great for cheap finds, with books tending to range in price from 50p to £1.50.
For Kindle or Kobo users, free e-books are available from a whole load of websites, including Amazon and the Kobo site.
So with such a wide variety of resources out there, you shouldn’t need to pay over the odds for a book again.
Have you tried out the Books For Free scheme? Share your stories in the comments section below or in the MSE Forum.