Residents of Bethesda Gardens in Terra Haute have numerous options for reading free books. The assisted living community has its own library, where residents are free to browse books and check out items to enjoy in their own apartments.
The Vigo County Public Library system also offers residents access to thousands of books, along with movies and other materials. Anyone who lives in the county can obtain a card. You simply need to complete a registration form and show a photo idea. Seniors can get help from public library staff in registering for a card.
Once you have a library card, you can check out books, magazines, DVDs, audio books and music CDs for 28 days at a time. And you can check out up to 20 movies and up to 100 books or other items at a time. This is fantastic news for residents of Bethesda Gardens. Whether you can get to the library yourself anytime or need to wait until transportation is arranged, you can check out plenty of materials and keep them for a month (or more, if you renew them online or via phone).
But what if you want to score books you can keep forever? One way to land free reads is to foster an ebook habit. Here's what seniors need to know.
Ebooks are books delivered in electronic format. You can read them on a computer, smartphone, tablet (like an iPad) or an e-reading device such as a Kindle or Nook. Many mass-market hardback and paperback books today are also sold in digital versions, and the content of those books are the same as the regular versions.
Some books are only available in ebook format. Many independent authors publish in ebook format only because it's less expensive for both them and the reader.
Many library systems offer ebook borrowing options. You may need an e-reader, tablet or smartphone to access digital copies of these books. You can talk to your librarian to find out if your local branch supports ebooks.
But you can also get free or super low-cost books on Amazon. You can read Amazon eBooks on your Kindle, computer or mobile device. Here are two ways to score free or low-cost reads on Amazon.
Join Kindle Unlimited. This is a subscription service that costs $9.99 a month and allows unlimited access to any ebooks in the Kindle Unlimited program. Publishers and independent authors regularly make their books part of this program, and they receive a portion of royalties when people read their books through Kindle Unlimited. You can access up to 10 books at a time via this program; once you're done with a book, you "return" it (it is removed from your device), and you can access more. If you read two to three books a month, this program easily pays for itself. If you're a heavy reader, you can save a lot of money with this subscription.
Look for free book deals. Many publishers and authors run promotional events when their ebook is free on Amazon for a limited time. You can "purchase" the ebook for free during those periods. Seniors who want to score as many free books as possible can sign up for Book Bub, a service that sends you emails about free ebooks in niches you're interested in.