How I Read 100 Books For FREE

How to gain free books and increase your reading

Over the last five years I have embarked on the personal journey to read the BBC The Big Read top 100

To add to this challenge I have also spent nothing on reading the books. Yes, that’s right it cost me nothing to read 100 books.

Don’t worry I’m not going to go through all 100 books none of us has the patience for that. I am going to point out a few surprises, highs and lows. As well as showing you how you can read 100 books for FREE.

How I did this

This was easy once I got into it. With some books, I swapped them with other book lovers. There are many swap sites on the internet if you are interested. There are also many swap groups on Facebook. I have to say apart from 2 occasions in the 10 years I have been using these sites I have had a good experience every time. Later on, I will point you in the direction of these sites if you are interested. Getting rid of an old book and then getting a new is every bookworm’s dream.

I had a few bought for me as presents but only a few and the rest I borrowed from the library. 100 books for Free.

What I have discovered on my journey

A love of the classics. Not all the classics but the majority of them I love. As a teenager, I would shy away from Charles Dickens novels.  Since doing this challenge I have found a love of his work. My writing has improved having reading books with such descriptions.  My favourites from the classic section of books are Wuthering Heights and Rebecca.

The list also has some Terry Pratchett books.  So you can pepper your reading between the classic and quicker more humorous reads.

Top 5 Highs From the 100

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  2. 1984 – George Orwell
  3. The Stand – Stephen King
  4. Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
  5. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Top 5 Lows From the 100

  1. Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake
  2. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  3. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
  4. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  5. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

I found the lows to be much easier to quantify compared to the highs. There were so many good reads on the list and few I didn’t enjoy.

As with all book charts, this is completely subjective to the reader. I am sure there will be those amongst you who agree and disagree with some of my selections.

Book Swap Sites

As promised here is a list of the swap sites I used on this quest.

Initially, I used two main internet swap sites. The first was Read it Swap it.  This was a site where you listed your used books and then swapped them for someone else’s used books. Unfortunately, it stopped about a year ago.

The second I use is Bookmooch here you earn points for sending unwanted books to people. You then use these points to buy books from other users. This is a brilliant site although I find it more for America users than the UK.

After the close of Read it Swap it I started my own group on Facebook.  Book Swap UK works on exactly the same principles as Read it Swap it. Feel free to come and join us.

I have greatly enjoyed my quest to read the 100 Great reads.

How many have you read?

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