Free Kindle Books and Time Banks

Although in my title I say you can get “Free Kindle Books,” this isn’t quite right. It is more accurate to say that there is another way to get Kindle books than by paying for them, at least with money that is. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon to offer the potatoes you grew in exchange for your neighbor’s help digging a new outhouse. There was no need for cold hard cash; however, today we are so used to plopping down our credit cards that we forget there may be options.

Ithaca HOURS

For example, I was reading the Freakonomics Blog, and they pointed out that in New York city there is a restaurant that gives you lunch in exchange for a half-hour of your time. This “alternative economy” was set up by artists, and is part of a larger movement called TimeBanks USA which focuses on the principle of reciprocity. The goal of TimeBanks USA is to help people shift from thinking: “How can I help you?” to “How can we help each other build the world we both will live in?”

As a Christian I can stand behind this kind of philosophy. So now onto the point of this post. There are two services I use that give me free Kindle books in exchange for reviewing their books on my blog (and another commercial web page like Amazon). Its easy to sign up, and they carry quite a variety.

The first one I want to tell you about is my favorite. Its called Net Galley and provides a variety of books from a diverse group of publishers. With this service, you have to set up your profile before you request books to review. When you request a book the publisher makes the decision whether they will let you review their books. So far it has been easy for me to get access to the books I am interested in. Two books I have been able to get are:

The Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann

The Commands of Christ: What It Really Means to Follow Jesus – Tom Blackaby

The second service I have used is called Book Sneeze. I like the layout of Book Sneeze better, but it has less selection. From this service I have enjoyed access to:

With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God – Skye Jethani”"

Afraid to Believe in Free Will: The Human Tendency to Avoid Responsibility for Free Choices

So for your next book, instead of handing Amazon your credit card try exchanging an hour or two instead!


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