Where to Find FREE E-Books During COVID-19

Because we love a good bargain, regardless of circumstance.

Libby and TumbleBooks

I mentioned Libby in my April events roundup; it’s a great app for checking out library e-books, audiobooks, and magazines on any device. You can sort by genre and filter by what’s available. And if you want to place a hold, they even tell you how many people are in front of you and how long you can expect to wait. Holds automatically come to your device when ready, and when your book is due, it auto-returns. Couldn’t be easier!

Some Collin County libraries also use TumbleBooks, which is a curated database of children’s e-books at every age level, accessible with your library card. If your library doesn’t participate, you may find that your school district does (i.e. Plano ISD).

If you didn’t have a current library card before all this went down, don’t fret. Libraries are allowing online sign-ups.

Audible

For as long as schools are closed, Audible will provide free access to a collection of kids audiobooks across six different languages. You can sort by age group or browse their collections of classic literature and folk & fairy tales.

Kindle Unlimited

Right now, you can get 2 months of Kindle Unlimited for free. You don’t need a Kindle to take advantage, just download the Kindle app to any device. You’ll get unlimited reading on over a million books, plus popular magazines and thousands of audiobooks (through Audible). FYI, after the 2 months, it renews at $9.99 per month.

Don’t forget! If you’re a Prime Member, they have a Prime Reading section with a collection of titles that are always free.

Barnes and Noble

You can also get the Nook app on any device, which gives you access to millions of e-books and magazines. They make our list today because, yes, there is a FREE section. You can also sort by genre and see what’s free within each category – here are the free kid’s e-books.

Noggin

Noggin, the learning app from Nick Jr., is currently offering a 60-day free trial subscription. The app consists of learning activities and videos for ages 2 and up, plus a collection of digital books featuring stories from PAW Patrol, Bubble Guppies, Peppa, and more. There’s a “read-aloud” mode to make things more hands-off for you if you need it. After the free trial, billing resumes at $7.99 per month unless you cancel.

Story Online

This resource is for read-alouds only. You can stream free videos of actors reading children’s books accompanied by creatively produced illustrations. As you browse the collection, you’ll see the run time for each video, suggested age level, and the name of the celebrity reader.

Brightly

One last read-aloud option. Brightly Storytime is very well done, and they have an archive of free videos to explore. Stories are posted in the following categories: Baby & Toddler, PreK, and/or Growing Reader. Brightly is also a great resource if you’re looking for children’s book ideas!

Katie Lewis
Katie grew up in Dallas, went to SMU, and spent 10 post-college years in Austin, where she and her husband Mick welcomed Gemma in 2011 and Ryker in 2013. They all moved to central Fort Worth almost 4 years ago and have found it to be quite fun and a great place for kids. Katie is horrible at social media but will admit to a preference for her Twitter timeline these days. Favorite uses for her phone: reading library books and listening to comedy podcasts. Least favorite uses: making and receiving calls. She's forever down to watch any show that's British, supernatural, or on The CW. If you can quote Death Becomes Her, Big Business, or the 1987 Shelley Long flop Hello Again, please get in touch because you are most certainly kindred spirits.

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