Records and Books
If a book's copyright has expired, there's a pretty decent chance it can be found at Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive or even Wikisource/Wikibooks. Books still enslaved by copyright can be freed by looking through Usenet, Bittorrent tracker sites, and peer to peer downloading networks like Gnutella and EMule. These can be read on a PDA or laptop saving a tree, although they may need to be cracked with c-lit, a free program which cracks Microsoft .lit files. With a little formatting and a spell check these are ready for printing.
Internet Archive (Texts): http://www.archive.org/details/texts
Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org
The Free eBooks page for the mobile read wiki, http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Free_eBooks, is the single best list of legally free eBooks available on the net.
Scribd is described as "the place where you publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents." Just about whatever you can think of is probably here:
If you're looking for audiobooks of Public Domain writings, a great source is LibriVox, an all-volunteer project. http://librivox.org/
For the college students, 4shared's repository of textbooks can be a great money saver. http://www.4shared.com/
Never buy music or books from Borders or Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks at the mall. These are the perfect example of conglomerate monopolies. Considering this is a book we're dealing with, it's especially important to stress this fact. The only thing you should be doing at one of these stores is spilling their coffee on the bookshelves.
If you're stealing books from the corporate chain stores, the RFID tag can often be found and disposed of by grabbing hold of both of the covers, and shaking it until a little paper-covered square falls out.
Frequent local bookstores, used book and record stores, and sidewalk vendors. If you become friendly with these owners and they know what you like, you're more likely to get first dibs on any new material that comes in. In local and used record stores, you can also often find promotional CDs for good prices. And these used bookstores are great, once you get friendly with the staff, for setting out your own chapbooks or artwork, either for sale or just up for grabs.
Local libraries often have book sales. In some cases, libraries have annual events where they sell old books. Sometimes, libraries have a room set aside as a used bookstore on a permanent basis. While it takes some time to shuffle through the endless supply of bad romance paperbacks, you can usually find good reference material and other nonfiction books which have a relatively low circulation (but are of great interest to revolutionaries). Besides, buying books from libraries is good kharma. In some parts of the USA, budget cuts have caused public libraries to cut back hours and services, if not shut down completely, so every penny helps. (Don't even think of stealing library books or other resources! They have enough trouble staying open as it is! Borrow a book then scan it or photocopy it like hell, but always bring it back!)
Libraries frequently discard books for various reasons. Dumpster diving is a great way to get free books, and library trash rarely includes the organic materials that make dumpster diving unpleasant.
Big schools, aside from having libraries, tend to have a closet somewhere with piles of old class sets of books. They're either textbooks that don't have classes anymore or novels that aren't taught (for various reasons). A high school had about thirty copies of Maus and Slaughterhouse Five, and some really interesting sociology textbooks. One of our writers received these textbooks that were given to her by the psych teacher who was just thrilled someone was interested. It's one of those things she found out in senior year that she wished she known all along. It is better than the school selling them by the ton to a paper recycler.
The CD is a terrible music distribution format, the disks are fragile and large, the players are an awkward shape and also fragile and prone to skipping. Many of us believe the CD is just a way to get the music home before you rip it to ogg or mp3 file formats and play it on a digital music player or computer. Except for the fact that they are a digital format easily transferred to a computer many hold the old cassette tape was a better format.
These days, if you have a computer, it is very easy to get free music with limited chance of legal reprisal. Downloading entire albums and individual songs simple if you use P2P technology, specially torrents; see Free
Software (http://wiki.stealthiswiki.org/wiki/Free-Software#Bittorrent) for more information.
CDs can be borrowed from a library or friend and ripped onto a hard drive, making an essentially perfect copy.
It is actually quite easy to steal CDs, as well as DVDs, videogames and other small electronic items from various electronic stores like Best Buy. If you want to try, check out the Shoplifting: Techniques page.
For legal free music, just use the words "free music download" in a search engine. There's a wide number of websites offering either public domain, Share-Alike or Creative Commons recordings in a variety of categories. Just be certain they don't want you to sign up for some paid subscription service.
Email, call or write to small record labels and ask if they give away free sampler or promo CDs or records. If they do, sign up for their mailing list and get some. When you've got cash, be sure to repay the good folks by considering buying some of their music.
You could also try contacting bands directly, perhaps through their MySpace page. Ask them for demos or promo cds. Often they'll be happy to send you something, even if it is just a one song demo and sticker.
Another easy way to join up with a college radio station. Bring a laptop in and rip all the Kelly Clarkson and Metallica you can get your hands on via the CD library.
Original Records and Books
If you have access to a few addresses, you can get all kinds of records and books from clubs on introductory offers. Since the cards you mail back are not signed there is no legal way you can be held for the bill. You get all sorts of threatening mail, which, by the way, also comes free.
If you have a friend who is a member of a record club, ask him to submit your name as a free member. He gets 4 free records for getting you signed up. A soon as you get the letter saying how lucky you are to be a member, quit. Your friend's free records have already been shipped. We used to have at least 10 different names and addresses working on all the record and book companies. Every other day we would ride around collecting the big packages. To cap it off, we opened a credit account at a large department store and used to return most of the records and books to the store saying that they were gifts and we wanted something else. Since we had an account at the store, they always took the merchandise and gave credit for future purchases.
You can always use the public libraries. Find out when they do their yearly housecleaning. Every library discards thousands of books on this day. Just show up and ask if you can take some.
Almost anything you might want to know from plans for constructing a sundial to a complete blueprint for building a house may be obtained free from the Government Printing Office. Write: to Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402. Most publication are free. Those that are not are dirt cheap. Ask to be put on the list to receive the free biweekly list of Selected U.S. Government Publications.
One of the best ways to receive records and books free is to invest twenty dollars and print up some stationery with an artistic logo for some non-existent publication. Write to all the public relations departments of record companies, publishing houses, and movie studios. Say you are a newspaper with a large youth readership and have regular reviews of books, or records, or movies, and would like to be placed on their mailing list. Say that you would be glad to send them any reviews of their records that appear in the paper. That adds a note of authenticity to the letter. After a month or so you'll be receiving more records and books than you can use. Most record labels and publishers will ask you for a copy of this publication, though...which will likely leave you shit out of luck.
If you really want a book badly enough, follow the title of this one-Dig!