Reading Resources Roundup

Here in California, we’re now starting our third week of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order. It’s rough, and I’m eating WAY too many peanut butter cups and using too much alliteration in my blog post titles. But I know I have it easy compared to some others–I’m looking at you, parents who suddenly find yourselves thrust into the roles of teachers. Who are on around the clock. With no help. While possibly also trying to work another full-time job. I feel for you.

Books are here to help! Reading is not only a great way for kids to bridge the learning gap while they’re out of school, but it might just be a way for parents to buy a few moments of peace and quiet as well. As an educator and writer, I’ve rounded up some great spots where you can get free or discounted books for this moment. I’m touched by all the ways that publishers, authors, and booksellers have shown up to make literacy accessible to all in this time. So sail away with a book from these sources!

  1. Check your library’s website for ebooks and audiobooks you can borrow for free!

2. Audible.com is offering a selection of audiobooks free during this time! The books are grouped for different ages, from preschool through teens, but the list also includes a number of classics that are great listens for any age.

3. Many classic books are available as free Kindle downloads on Amazon.

4. Bookbub.com offers a weekly roundup of ebooks you can get for free or at a steep discount. You choose the genres you’re interested in, and they’ll send you a selection of deals by email every week.

5. Smashwords.com offers a huge selection of ebooks at a wide range of prices. Right now they’re running a sale called “Authors Give Back,” in which many authors have discounted their titles through April 20 (The Illuminator’s Gift is only $2)!

6. Looking for paper copies? Local stores are closed, but independent booksellers like Books Inc. are still fulfilling online orders (with free shipping)!

7. And let’s finish out with some fun! The first 10 people to send me a Facebook message will get a free promo code for one of my audiobooks! Just tell me something fun you’ve been doing to stay sane while sheltering in place, and which audiobook you’d like. Choose from The Illuminator’s Gift (#1), The Illuminator’s Test (#2), or The Illuminator Rising (#3)!

Books not only fill the time; they also teach us how to live and cope in the midst of the stress and boredom and cabin fever. I hope these resources bring you some joyful reading in these crazy days!

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