A reader wrote to ask us about a book advertisement that recently appeared in the “Lebanon Daily News.” The book is called “Free for Seniors” and the ad apparently included this image. (That’s the only size we have.)
The ad was a mail-in form so that you could buy the book for $14.95 + $4 shipping and handling. You can also buy an ebook of the same title for $17.77. We don’t know if it’s the same book just made digital.
Something doesn’t smell quite right here. First, if the book being sold is the one shown in the image (Is the author “Murray L Broach?”), the book was written in 1977.
Second, the book has several other incarnations: Free Stuff for Seniors, by Matt Lesko and Mary Ann Martello (1998); Free Stuff for Seniors, by Frank Wood (2000); The Book of Free Things for Seniors, by Linda Kalian (2002), and more. What this duplication suggests to me is that the books are cobbled together from readily available, public, free information.
Third, reviews of this type of book at Amazon.com are mostly negative and claim that you have to live in very rural areas or have special needs to qualify for the free government stuff. They also say that the information is freely available online.
To be fair, there are also a couple of positive reviews. Read the good and bad for yourself here.