How I Made $293 in 24 hours with a Library Card

CatcherInTheRyeBooks are perhaps the greatest deal on the planet. For ten to twenty dollars you might receive more knowledge, life-changing insights and epiphanies than any university course will give you. It’s a small price to pay to broaden the mind.

I love books. I bought a $99 Amazon Prime subscription to buy books and have them at the door within two days. It’s so easy.

But, there’s a cost for simplicity. Spending about $20 per month on books adds up to $339 for the year.

That price can be significantly less; it can be free.

Plus, books take up a lot of space. And the goal is to accumulate knowledge, not bills and stuff.

Thus, here’s 7 things I’ve done to read for free, free up space, and free up some funds:

1. Cancel Amazon Prime: +$99

I cancelled a few days after the subscription renewed and overdraft my account. Oops! Lesson learned. Amazon automatically issued a full refund of the $99 subscription since I hadn’t used the service. Score.

Go ahead, end your prime subscription, stop accumulating things and starting gaining back space, time, and money by ending prime:

2. Cancel Audible: +$179.40

After the 30 day free trial, $14.95 per month gets you one audio book per month, and access to Audible’s extensive store. But, that’s quite a price to pay when there is a free alternative that also fits into your smart phone.

With the subscriptions canceled, it’s time to set yourself up to receive free books, ebooks, and audio books.

3. Get a library card: Free

This is a 5 step no-brainer:

  1. Do a Google search for “Library near me”.
  2. Gather your ID and proof of current address, then
  3. Walk, bike, bus, or drive to that library. FFS, please don’t Uber there.
  4. Sign up for a library card.
  5. Check out physical books

And if you prefer ebooks, or enjoy audiobooks as much as I do, then:

4. Sign up for Overdrive: Free

OverDrive is the best legal alternative to Audible that I know of. If you know of any others, I’d love to hear!

With your new library card in hand, go to OverDrive and create an account >here<

Once you’re signed up, download the OverDrive mobile app at iTunes or Google Play. Then, start checking-out audio books from your public library. Like a boss. Thanks, taxes!

I’m currently listening to Linchpin by Seth Godin. What are you listening to?

Now that the space and monetary cost of owning a book is eliminated, what can one do about that stack of previously read, unread, or uninteresting books accumulating old skin cells?

5. Become an Amazon Seller

Rather than giving away your valuable books to a used book store only to watch them turn around and profit from your babies, why not actually make some of that money back?

How? By switching from an Amazon consumer, to an Amazon Seller.

Within 48 hours of becoming an Amazon Seller I sold 2 books. The first book sold within 12 hours!



Even if the amounts are relatively small, it’s rewarding to see credits from hit your bank account.

Head over to to get started.

6. The Little Free Library

“Give a book. Take a book.” If you’re not familiar with little free libraries, it’s a movement spreading in neighborhoods around the world. Walk down a sidewalk and eventually you might see a red birdhouse-looking stand full of books.

This is a good opportunity to give your neighborhood the gift of literacy. And who knows, maybe someone will find themselves in that book you wanted to toss away?

Check out this map to find one near you:

If there isn’t a little free library near you, you can build your own and add it to the map!

The most recent book I checked-out from a little free library was Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. Get after it!

7. Gifts

Finally, I’ve found that mindfully gifting books to people who might benefit from its message to be the most beneficial form of offloading books. But, I gift the book only if the potential recipient is willing to do the work.

I’d rather do any of the steps above with a cherished book than banish its message to a dusty shelf.

I’m also of the opinion that no one, probably not even a hoarder, likes to be dumped on. Be respectful, and that’s all for now.

What other apps, methods, or ideas have you used to share or download knowledge?

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