If I understand correctly, writers get compensated when books are borrowed from OverDrive/Libby.
Also, in my experience, the people who are desperate for cheap books are the sorts of people who, if they cannot find a book for a price they like, will simply decline to buy it. While I’m personally a fan of the salon, they would not solve this problem unless the salon were free.
Also, salons require a high investment of time and energy. Many people coming to reading the first time don’t have the reading stamina, emotional wherewithal or the time to make this investment.
As an author, if it’s between someone reading my book at no profit to myself versus someone not reading my book at all, I’d much rather they read it.