I've been trying to read more lately. Between the headlines and my over-stimulated brain, I think I need a break. I figure the holiday season is a great time to just that. It's been awhile since I've allowed myself to sink into a book and escape for a little while.

I love and will always love paper books. There's a textural quality and calm I get from reading the analog tomes. However, I can't deny the easy accessibility of e-books. I'm the type of person who could literally take five to ten books on a vacation. Problem with that? They're kinda heavy. You could have a hundred or book e-books, though, tucked away digitally in your little device. Love that.

However, being able to access Amazon or Apple to purchase e-books is all too easy and can add up very, very quickly. If you've been wanting to read more but aren't flush with cash right now, there are several places you can find e-books for free:

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Google Play Bookstore. They've got tons of books for sale, sure. However the Consumer Reports experts scavenged about and for at least 200 free ones, too.

Have you ever heard of Project Gutenberg? Yeah, like the Gutenberg press upon which theologian Martin Luther pressed out his world-changing thoughts. I love this site because you can find over 60,000 works for free. If you're interested in older books, this is a great resource. This one is just accessed on a web browser--no app.

When's the last time you checked your local library's websites? Very often, they'll team up with online groups to give you access to books AND audio books, if you're into that kind of thing. You'll still need a library card. But, you won't have to worry about making sure you return the books on time.

My go-to tends to be the Apple Books app. No particular reason. It's just the one with which I started. I've found lots of free options there in the "free" category--both e-books and audio books.

Of course, the Amazon Kindle store. Cuz Amazon, though. ;) Peruse many, many free e-books and enjoy them on a Fire tablet, the Kindle e-reader (which you can download on an Apple phone, too), and most of the other tables and/or phones, as well.

If you've never tried, give it a go. I wasn't sure at first how I felt about audio books but now, I enjoy them. I can "read" while doing other things around the house, working, etc. Right now especially, I've noticed there are many free options--for kids' too.

I guess I better get to reading. With all of these options, I have no more excuses.

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