How to Read Preparedness & Homesteading Books for Free


As I started building my “Preparedness Library” I was gobbling up books left and right, and finding so may were just not working for me. Many ebooks seemed to just be avenues for affliate links, and other books were just touching the minimum of what I wanted to learn or had nothing of value to offer.

How to Try Out Books on Self-Reliance & Preparedness for Free

Public Library

This always the best way. You can check out many books on preparedness, gardening, canning, dehydrating, etc. to give it a try. Many even carry the books in e-book formats now! If you’re library doesn’t carry a particular book you’ve been wanting to read, ask them to purchase it for you (might take awhile, but if if it is like ours, they’ll contact you as soon as it’s in to let you borrow it first), or ask for an inter-library loan request to borrow from another library in the system. And remember, if your city has more than one branch, they can usually get a book from another branch for you delivered to your branch in a few days!

Free e-books

This is a more than just try it before you buy it, but with some authors, they have smaller titles that are available for free, or might put the first book of a series for free. It’s  good way to try out their writing style and the inforation they share before heading further into their libraries to purchase more. Amazon lists thousands on a daily basis. Just do a quick search for Free Kindle Books or Free e-books. You might be able to get them from publishers and other retailers like Barnes & Noble.

Kindle Lending/Borrowing

Did you know that you can borrow and loan books to your friends through your Kindle accounts? You won’t be able to read the book you lend out as it will be in their possession, but that’s okay- you’ve got others stocked up in there, right?

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Visit the Kindle Store from yoru computer, and locate the title of the book you’d like to loan.
  2. On the product detail page, click LOAN THIS BOOK.
  3. Enter your friend’s email-address (NOT their Kindle email address). You can even leave them a message.

They’ve then got seven days to accept the loan, and up to two weeks to read it, so you might be without that book for up to three weeks while they read it. But that’s okay – you’ve got a bunch more loaded up to read anyway, right?

The other great thing about this is that you don’t really have to have a Kindle in order to particpiate. Just have an account with amazon and use their Kindle app for your computer or reading device.  is  a great concept in borrowing Kindle books as if you were going to borrow them from the library, only in e-book formats and all from the comfort of your home! It’s a service that lists hunderds of book titles (not all will be lendable), and allows you to browse and borrow books. You can follow people who have similar tastes to yours so you can get ideas for new titles to borrow and read.

Here’s how works:

  1. Sign up for an account. (You can use my referral code to let them know I sent you: U1TMCCAV
  2. Use your Amazon account to get the list of books that you’ve purchased, and enter them into the database. With the first book that you add, you’ll be given 2 free borrow requests. Then the more you add, the more borrow requests you’ll receive. It takes a little while to enter things in, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it. For every five books you input into your library, you receive 1 free borrow request.
  3. Lend your books! Occasionally you’ll receive a request to lend another menber a book through This is a great way to stock up borrow requests in your account. You just click through a couple of pages to make the book eligible to lend. You do NOT have to lend if you have a request, and someone may beat you to it (but you do get a partial credit for trying to lend).  The person then gets a few days to confirm, and then can read the book for up to two weeks (similar to the Amazon program with your friends). Then the book is returned to your library to read again (but it’s not eligible to be lent again as Amazon allows only 1 lending period per book title).
  4. Borrow books – you have a vast list of titles you may borrow. There will be some titles listed that are not eligible for borrowing because the publisher has designated it as such, but there are so many titles avaialble,  you could read forever (as long as you have borrow requests available!).

I’ve used Lendle for years and have loved it, especially if I wasn’t sure I was going to love a book, or wanted to give it a look before purchasing. Feel free to follow me there (and use my referral doe if you’d like U1TMCCAV) and let’s see what each other is reading!

Open Library

This is a unique program where you can borrow an ebook in .pdf or epub formats (then convert them with Calibre for your readers if you prefer). The books are available to borrrow for two weeks and work in a number of ways to borrow. Read more  on how to borrow books via Open Library.

Borrow a book

  1. The easiest way is to borrow a book from a friend. But please please follow proper etiqutte.
  2. Put a notecard on the inside to remind yourself from whom you have borrowed it and when.
  3. Return it in a timely fashion in the same condition you received it in (or buy them a replacement if something happened).
  4. Take notes on your own paper, not in the margins of the borrowed title.

Skip the Prime Shipping

If you’re a Prime member and not a part of the new Prime Ebook group) you can checkout and earn free ebooks! Don’t choose one-click check-out, but instead go through a regular check-out process, and choose the slower shipping option. You’ll get a $1 credit towards ebook purchases. If you’re in no hurry at Christmas, choose that option, do your shopping, and you’ll rack up a quick credit balance to use towards those ebook purchases!

Use Your Library Card with

Inexpensive Options

Be sure to check out local garage/tag sales, used bookstores like Half Price Books or others in your area, library used book sales (this is a great bonanza for all kinds of titles!),, and more! This past week I just picked up quite a few of the Foxfire Books for $4.50 each! It’s worth having a list of books that you want and stopping by the stores often to see if they have what you need!

When you hit the jackpot at the used bookstore! #foxfire #homesteading

A photo posted by Mom with a Prep (@jane_momwithaprep) on

Read Reviews of Books I’ve read

My Prepper Library

Your thoughts: Do you prefer real books to ebooks or are you, like me, happy with either option as long as it’s in my hand and I’m reading it?

Mom with a PREP >> Have you ever picked up a book or looked at one online and thought, "Hmm...I'd sure like a chance to read it first...". There are ways to do that!!! #books #kindle #prepare

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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

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