Whether you’re living in your RV full-time or for vacation, there isn’t room for an extensive library. But there are many options to keep reading aside from going to a bookstore. These are just four of the ways you can find free or cheap books to curl up with while you’re traveling.
1. Little Free Libraries
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free exchange program started by a non-profit organization of the same name. These libraries can be found in residential and business neighborhoods in towns and cities all across the country and internationally.
Donated books for these libraries are housed in unique and personally designed weatherproof boxes that resemble a cross between an oversized mailbox and a birdhouse.
Book lovers are encouraged to take books to read or donate books that are no longer wanted. Registered Little Free Libraries can be found on a map on the organization’s website. There are also similar free libraries that aren’t registered with the Little Free Library organization. But you’re still welcome to grab a book or two from those locations.
2. Digital library collections
Many local libraries now have digital collections that users can browse online and read on electronic devices. All you need to access these digital libraries is a library card.
If you live on the road full-time, make sure to sign up for a card at your hometown library before hitting the road. Once you’ve set up your account using your library number, thousands of books, magazines, and audiobooks are available to you.
Books that you’ve checked out can be read on the Kindle or Overdrive app, whether on your computer, cell phone or a dedicated e-reader like the Kindle or Nook.
3. Non-resident library card
An actual library card is invaluable to have if you prefer reading from a hard copy book but don’t want to spend money purchasing them. While most public libraries require cardholders to be residents of the county, there are more and more libraries that offer a non-resident library card.
These types of cards allow visitors to have full access to the library and check out books, DVDs and CDs. The New York Public Library, Salt Lake County Public Libraries in Utah, and several public libraries in Florida are some examples of locations that offer a visitor card. But non-resident library cards aren’t free, they range from $15 to $25 for 3 months of access. Some libraries also offer 6 months or a year-long visitor library card.
4. Used books
There’s almost always a used book section in thrift stores like Goodwill and the books are usually on sale for only a few dollars. Lots of libraries also go through periods where they thin out their collection to make room for new books.
These older books then go on a “For Sale” shelf that’s typically in the foyer area and cost a dollar or two. You can donate books purchased at these locations to other secondhand stores, or drop them off in a Little Free Library.