How to access free books during the lockdown

With the government ordering folks to quarantine themselves, there needs to be a way to battle the boredom while cooping oneself at home.

Are you bored and on budget during lockdown?


If you’re already tired of bingeing on your favourite TV shows on streaming services, reading can help you stay sane during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Even if you’re a staunchly real-thing bookworm and book-sniffing addict, you may want to consider giving tech a shot.


And here’s why: Several streaming services and eBook stores are giving away scores of free titles right now. You can stock up your phone, tablet, or even your PC with a free library that can easily carry you through these uncertain times, and well into whatever the world looks like once we’re on the other side of it all.


Scribd, a reading subscription service is offering free access to all the reading material you could want, right from your couch.

Scribd has been described as “the world’s largest library.” The platform normally charges a $9.99 a month subscription after a free trial.

“So, for the next month, we will be making Scribd’s library — which includes millions of eBooks, audiobooks, magazine articles, and more — available to anyone, free, for 30 days,” Trip Adler, founder and CEO of Scribd, announced in a statement last week.

Apple Books

Apple has released audiobooks and eBooks for free to relieve boredom during coronavirus lockdown

The digital content will be available via Apple Books for a limited time. Just make sure you’re using the latest version and click on “Book Store”.

You can access books via the app on your iOS devices – your phone, tablet, desktop or laptop.

This offer appears to be available in a few countries at the moment, but if you can’t find yourself on the whitelist, fret not: many others are on your rescue.


For as long as schools are closed, the Amazon-owned Audible is throwing parents a lifeline, offering unlimited streaming of hundreds of titles for kids and families, for free.

Audible usually charges monthly subscription fees ranging from $14.95 to $22.95 to access their library of more than 525,000 titles.

The collection offers a mix of education, entertainment, and general-interest titles, from the classic to the contemporary.

Listeners can access the site from their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones and enjoy selections in six languages – English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese.

To ensure this opportunity is user friendly and accessible to all, Audible has eliminated all log-in or sign-up requirements. No credit card, email, or password is needed to participate – just visit and start listening.


Even if the Kindle app has clinged to its $10 a month for unlimited subscribers, it has plenty of free titles in its eBook store.

Sure, it’s not technically “free”, but if you’ve never used the service before, you can get 30 days free, which should (hopefully) be enough to see you through the current crisis. Kindle books are available on Android, iOS, and PC.

Google Play

Google has several free eBook titles in the Play Store as well. While many of them are public domain titles you can get just about anywhere, it’s a simple way to read classics right on your Android device.

Google is also giving away many of the same educational books as Apple for free right now.

Comixology and Viz Media

More of a graphic novel and manga person? Comixology and Viz Media are going to be your best bet for finding free issues of your favourite comics and manga.

Both apps have a selection of free issues from a wide variety of publishers/creators, but you can also unlock massive libraries of free-to-check-out titles for just a few dollars a month.

Comixology is available on Android, iOS, and Kindle, while Viz Media is available on Android and iOS.


Want to go “completely” free and simple anytime and anywhere – no trial, no subscription, no limit? Anybooks app says it all with its name: you can browse for “literally” any book in the app’s cross-age-and-genre shelves.

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