Movies, music, books, TV — the cost of keeping oneself entertained can add up, especially heading into blockbuster-heavy months of the summer. Fear not! We’ve got your budget covered. Check back every day this week for more posts on how to find the best in cheap — and free! — options.
The ultimate (no-cost) online library
Save money and trees. Digital library Project Gutenberg boasts a collection of more than 27,000 eBooks (some offered in several languages) ready and waiting to be downloaded. And were there enough bandwith in the world to download all of them, including Jane Ausetn’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it still wouldn’t cost you one pretty penny. — Kate Ward
The best in classic TV
To go back in TV time, you don’t have to buy the DVD box set. Check out these shows on Hulu:
Quantum Leap This pre-Lost time jumper (1989-93) starring Scott Bakula is a little campy, but it brings welcome humanism to the sci-fi genre.
Astro Boy Not just the first important Japanese-import cartoon (1963), but little works of art for both animation and manga fans.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents In this 1950s series, the master of suspense offers droll intros to tightly written, half-hour tales with twisty, twisted endings. —Ken Tucker
Stream these movies!
Fancast has a vast library of free films for streaming. A few gems:
The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3 Prep for this summer’s remake with the original 1974 subway thriller, starring the unsurpassable Walter Matthau (sorry, Denzel!)
Sexy Beast Sir Ben Kingsley shows his range by playing the anti-Gandhi in this gritty British gangster flick.
Bananas Woody Allen’s comedy about a Central American revolution has more gags than Steven Soderberg’s Che and didn’t need to be divided into two parts. Bonus! — Clark Collis