FreE-books: Are They Worth It?

Does anyone ever see something for free and go, naaahhhh I don’t need it. And know with 100% certainty that you have a 0% chance of not walking away with that free item?


Maybe you’re an iBook dweller like myself and have an enormous e-book library of every single free e-book that has caught your eye. iBooks in particular is pretty great for picking up these books – they feature one book weekly that you can download for free and it’s often a great book! But there’s a huge selection of other free e-books that I find myself downloading but hardly every reading (don’t even get me started on NetGalley) – because they’re free so why would I not download them? Maybe it’ll be raining and the electricity goes out, I run out of chocolate, and my bookshelf gets stollen by goblins – that would be a very good point to whip out my e-reader and comfort myself with the endless stories that I’ve stuffed it full of.


So, I wanted to take some time to work out whether it’s worth having all these extra books and I also wanted to share some of these books that I’ve really enjoyed and some hidden gems.

Firstly, if you’re a book lover and someone is offering you a book for free then your brain will automatically go YES, I NEED IT. Because clearly you don’t have enough books already. And if it’s free then what harm is it doing, right? For the most part I think it’s fine to hoard all these books because e-books don’t take up any space. That’s got to be one of THE biggest pros to e-books. All you need is one device and BOOM you could literally have an infinite number of whatever books you want and you don’t need to worry about space or weight or anything. E-readers are the answer to travel plans for book lovers.


BUT. Then you end up with a huge amount of books that you know you probably won’t read. And this is where all our mighty plans fall down: we stress. I find having so many books (even though I haven’t bought them) can sometimes feel like a pressure hanging over me – I want to read them, I do, something in the back of my mind is urging me that there might be something MAGNIFICENT hiding amongst that virtual clutter. Argh, the dilemma. In any case, amongst my confused ramblings you may find this post handy dandy in discovering some different books that you can enjoy and read for free!

So maybe let’s break this down.

The Pros

  • They’re free. We’re not wasting any money here. We just click a button and tah dahh! Someone’s hard work of many pages is sitting nice and snug on your e-shelf. No resources need, no money needed, just a free book.
  • They take up no space. Unless you’re paranoid about e-space (and if you are, maybe seek help?) e-books are wicked for not taking up space. You don’t have to risk your life by stacking them up in precarious places and you don’t have to keep buying new and bigger book cases. Wonderful.
  • In-built dictionaries & note-taking stuff. E-books are your secret weapon for expanding that already enormous vocabulary of yours. This is probably one of my favourites things about them, the fact that if you come across a particularly pompous word you can just highlight it and Google/Dictionary will tell you what it means. And if the book is a hidden gem it’s easy to make a note in the book for later constructing the ultimate review.
  • It makes your e-collection look impressive and sophisticated. Which is a win, yeah? If someone happens to scroll through your e-shelf they’ll be like whoah, this chick has good taste and lots of money! Whereas, in reality, 80% of those books are free and probably 2-starers.

The Cons

  • You have far too many books. Any reasonable human being would take what they wanted and not the entire digital library. E-books are for hoarding not reading . . . right?
  • They take up no space. Yes, this is the same point as before because if you’re anything like me then you love looking at your books. It’s really not that satisfying to look at a virtual cover. I want to be able to stroke it and sniff it and frolic about in a daisy field whilst spinning it around. Ahem. Free physical books are much more rewarding.
  • You want to purchase physical copies of the books you like. And that’s not solving anyone’s problems. You get a free book, you read said free book, you like said free book, and then you BUY said free book – because who needs money.
  • E-books are uninspiring. Their content isn’t, but there’s literally nothing exciting or sensual about picking up an e-reader and tapping a screen.
  • Not wanting to read them. For whatever reason I find it a lot harder to pick up and read an e-book, they’re just so bleh to read. Why is this?!
  • You can’t drop them in puddles. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Spontaneous downpours, unexpected puddles, or spilt drinks will be the end of your e-reader. Books, on the other hand, are somewhat more forgiving . . . if you can live with the permanent scars they then have.
  • They make for disappointing sniffing experiences. Let’s face it, 40% of the joy of a book is it’s smell. Because we’re all highly creepy people and non-book lovers must be scared of us. Is it just me, or can anyone else identify which bookstore a book is from by its smell … ? (My favourite smell is Waterstones #creepy).
  • You are now STRESSED. Because you have HUNDREDS of unread books. Which is silly because they were free and might be great reads – but you don’t really care about them and each becomes another book floating around your subconscious that you’ll probably never read. Don’t even ask me about my copy of People of the Book.
  • You confirm the fact that when you say yeah I’ll read this right away, you don’t. Ever. Which just feeds your family and friends accusations when they’re all like: you don’t need to buy that – how many books do you already have?! I ALWAYS NEED MORE.

I think in the end, when it comes to it, I love collecting books in both physical and digital formats. Although I have almost zero need to hoard so many books on my iPad, which is my e-reader platform, I see no reason not to and some of the books I’ve read were fantastic.

It’s a great way to come across lesser known books that are still really good and the convenience of an e-reader means I often find myself using it in situations where I just wouldn’t bother with a physical book. So as much as I am totally on the side of paperbacks and hardbacks, I think e-books deserve a pat on the back every now and then.

I would be eternally devastated, however, if the production of physical books were to stop in favour of going digital. Because that’s just silly. You could write a dystopian book based on that alone – THE END IS NIGH THE BOOKS HAVE GONE. Terrifying horror story in the making right there.

What I’ve Discovered

On the occasion when I actually decide to read one of my freE-books I have stumbled across some fantastic gems. So I thought I’d share some of those with you so that you can stuff your virtual library with these books because WHY NOT. I’m not sure if these books are still free, but they were at the time when I purchased them. I feel like all these books justify the concept of downloading and stressing for the sake of maybe finding something amazing – because damn, some of these are just plain awesome. And this makes me feel better for hoarding them. Kirstie therapy 101. So, let’s do this.


Poison by Bridget Zinn


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Bridget Zinn
Published: March 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 180 {e-book} [276 print-length]

My rating: 4/5 STARS

This book is ridiculously good. It’s all about a girl who trained as a potions master but got expelled from her little group for trying to assassinate the princess of the kingdom. She has a mission to fulfil, the details of which the reader is unsure of for a while, and to complete it she requires the company of a magical pig that will guide her. Everything about this book is hilarious and I HIGHLY recommend reading it. This is one of those books that I will probably buy an actual copy of in the future.

My review


Anathema by Meg Jensen


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Megg Jensen
Published: March 2011
Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 206 {paperback}

My rating: 5/5 STARS

I’ve been dying to continue this series for so long, but I’m literally too stingy to bring myself to purchase the e-book sequel. I can’t get my hands on a physical copy of the second book so basically I’ve just been waiting for the last couple of years for an opportunity to crop up. This series is all about a girl who has a special power – one that she must keep secret from the king who would (and has sort of secretly been doing so anyway) abuse her powers. She escapes from her enslavement to the king and groups up with ‘rebels’ who are planning to over throw the regime so that those with magic can live freely again. It’s an awesome book and so worth the read. I highly recommend this.

My review


Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: C. Greenwood
Published: December 2012
Publisher: C. Greenwood
Pages: 123 {e-book} [182 print-length]

My rating: 3/5 STARS

I started reading this book on a whim and I really quite enjoyed it. It’s not mind-blowing but it was definitely enjoyable. Again, following the theme of magic, we follow Ilan (girl) who has a powerful gift but becomes orphaned because of the dangers of her lifestyle. She ends up being ‘taken in’ by Rideon who’s a bandit and learns to survive amongst the bad guys whilst trying to master her skills. It’s a really fun read and a whole bunch of stuff happens. I’d be curious to continue reading this series. I recommend giving this one a go.

My review


Planet Urth by Jennifer & Christopher Martucci


Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi (Dystopia)
Author: Jennifer & Christopher Marticcui
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 284 {e-book}

My rating: 3/5 STARS

This book was really quite unique to read. It follows the story of two girls who are left to fend for themselves in a post-apocalyptic world. They’re running out of food to hunt and there’s some super crazy and interesting animals as well. They have to remain in their secure cave at night as well because there are creatures that come out when the sun goes down that would kill them. It made for a very compelling read and I do really want to continue the series. I recommend picking this up if you’re looking for a quick and different read.

My review


The Medium by C. J. Archer


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy (paranormal)
Author: C. J. Archer
Published: July 2012 {1st. pub. Jun. 2012}
Publisher: Oz Books
Pages: 260 {e-book}

My rating: 4/5 STARS

This took a little while to get going for me but I loved it once I got into it. The story follows a young girl who is a medium. She holds séances for people who wish to contact the dead and to try and ‘settle’ ghosts. However, she ends up getting stuck with one particular ghost and they sort of team up to solve a mystery. This ghost hasn’t been able to ‘cross over’ and he doesn’t know why – it’s up to Emily to try and help him. This all felt very similar to the movie starring Ricky Gervais, Ghost Town, and it’s fantastic.

Sidenote: the girl’s eyebrows on this cover ANNOY ME SO MUCH. Please do an alternate cover. Pleeeease.

My review


Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction (fantasy)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Published: March 2013
Publisher: HMH Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 528 {e-book} [549 print-length]

My rating: 5/5 STARS

This was one of the free books of the week that iBooks does and I am so glad I read it. This quickly became one of my all time favourite books and I’ve purchased the rest of the series in paperback format. It’s all about three girls who have been raised in a convent that worship the ‘god’ death – they serve Him as assassins and it’s wonderful and kickass. I loved how unique the story line is and I highly, highly recommend reading it.


Otherkin by Nina Berry


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy (paranormal)
Author: Nina Berry
Published: July 2012
Publisher: K Teen
Pages: 320 {e-book}

My rating: 4/5 STARS

I was curious about this book going into it but wow – it blew me away. I wasn’t overly happy with the series’ overall outcome, if I remember rightly, but the story of the book throughout the trilogy was awesome. It revolves around this select group of people who can shift into animals – depending on which group you belong to depends on which animal you can transform into. It’s a little hard to explain but trust me, it’s good. I just really wish they’d re-do the covers.


Confessions of a Hostie by Danielle Hugh


Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Travel
Author: Danielle Hugh
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Monsoon Books
Pages: 149 {e-books}

My rating: 4/5 STARS

I don’t know exactly what compelled me to read this – but I’m glad I did. It’s a really funny book all about Danielle’s experience as a hostess on aeroplanes. If you want to know the inglorious truth of what such a career involves then this is a must read! It’s super funny and really insightful.

My review

And that’s just a selection of the goodness that came from my galavanting through e-books that are free! I don’t think I’ll ever stop downloading the freE-books they have on offer because I have zero self control when it comes to the word free. So I shall sweep my stress of a very large e-TBR away under the rug and pick and choose from my almighty collection whenever I please.

Surely this can’t just be me – it’s like my outlet for my crazy book buying needs. I know some of you must have this affinity for collecting ebooks and telling yourselves you won’t will read them.

I feel like this is a discussion that’s moot – because if it’s free then why not? . . . right? Well, if anything else maybe you discovered a book you hadn’t heard of before. Win!

What do you think? Do you download copious amounts of freE-books that you probably won’t read?


Let me know in the comments below!

 End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

7 thoughts on “FreE-books: Are They Worth It?

  1. Oh, man. Netgalley. I used to use that site a lot… but it was just so HARD to keep up with everything, and after awhile I just stopped requesting: I mean, these are books for REVIEW, so I felt terrible for not reading them. As for free books — again, I used to download them a lot, but don’t anymore. I just don’t have the time! (And besides… my TBR is literally toppling over, so I reallllllllyyyy don’t need new books.) Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I was doing so well until recently with NetGalley – I was slowly but surely catching up on my first clicking spree on that dangerous site and THEN just the other day I was like oooh I’ll just have a look. -.-

      I’m just going to keep telling myself all is well and I’m sure that’ll work 🙂


  2. I am literally always using my e-reader, it’s what I take with me to work so I can read on the train and not worry about my paperback books getting damaged in my bag. Plus I’m a very private person so I like the fact that people sitting next to/near me in the train can’t see what I’m reading 🙂
    I tend to be kind of so-so on free e-books. One of my favourite series was a book I got for free from Amazon. I read the first one and loved it so I brought the second, third and fourth; for my Kindle and in paperback But there are plenty others that I’ve read that I haven’t enjoyed as much, or at all really. I guess it just depends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can’t deny how handy dandy e-readers can be! I could make my life a lot easier if I just took mine with me instead of an actual book but nope – I even carried all 800 pages of A Game of Thrones around other me whilst I read that! I totally agree though, it’s a bit like a lottery with whether the book is worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, my e-reader goes everywhere, and it’s so handy for holidays as well. I have like 100 or so books on my reader and I wouldn’t be able to fit the actual paperback copies in my suitcase or anything 🙂
        Oh wow, Game Of Thrones is a series I definitely read in my Kindle my bag is already heavy enough without adding an 800 page book to the mix 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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