Full disclosure: My original plan was to create a “3 best places to find free e-books, music and movies” column in which I found three different but excellent sites for you.
Then I discovered that one great site in particular stood out as having the best overall mix of everything. So, I figured instead of sending you all over the internet for all your free content needs, I could just direct you to one convenient destination instead.
You and I are both busy people, so let’s get straight to it, okay?
This is the site: Houpla. What’s the catch? There are three.
First, you will need a library card. This part is not that difficult. Second, your library must be a Hoopla Partner. It doesn’t seem super difficult either. I live in a small town and our library works with Hoopla.
You can verify this card to see if your library is on board. Do this before creating an account.
As you can see on the map, there is a ground of libraries on board.
And finally, the third catch – and that’s right – is that Hoopla acts as a library, which means you “borrow” content for a set number of days. Unlike a real library, however, you don’t have to worry about returning the things you’ve borrowed on time. It will expire on its own and will not be available to you unless you re-borrow it.
It depends on the publisher, but most movies and TV shows are available for three days. Most music is available for seven days. Most books, including audiobooks, eBooks, and comics, are available for 21 days.
Now your local library will also decide how many items you can borrow at a time. Mine has a limit of 10.
Your library will also decide whether to allow renewals. If so, you’ll receive a message 24 hours before your content’s due date asking if you’d like to borrow it again.
How is the content?
Is it the same as subscribing to Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Peacock and HBO Max at the same time? No, this is not the case. However, Hoopla is also not a mere repository for old public domain books and underperforming independent films. There are real content here.
So there is a little something for everyone and plenty to do. You have the Encanto soundtrack, the Harry Potter series, Hot in Cleveland with the late and awesome Betty White, and of course the excellent coming-of-age success 13 Continue 30. There are also a lot of duds, but free is free.