In today’s times every dollar counts, especially when faced with selecting a book whether it be for personal, business, or educational uses. If you are an avid reader the expenses associated with the hobby can be very costly, and even so if you do not read often, or if you are a student. In this article we will give you a plethora of wonderful tips, tricks, and tactics to save big on books of all shapes, genres, and sizes!
1. Check Your Local Thrift Stores
Thrift stores can be a wonderful place to find gently used and even new books of all kinds of genres. Most large thrift stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, & Savers have a vast selection of books at affordable prices. When checking your local thrift store be sure to ask if they have any special discounts for Military Members, Seniors, & Students also check if they have a rewards program. We recommend checking your book thoroughly for bad bindings, defects, water damage, marksmanship from previous owners & especially missing pages. There are incredible bargains to be found in the book section of your local thrift store, it doesn’t hurt to ask the manager of the location if they have any books in the back that haven’t been put out yet too!
2. Buy Used Books Online
If you don’t have a thrift store in your area or they don’t have what you are looking for, don’t fret, the internet can usually net you with a good book bargain as long as you look in the right places. Used books can be found on eBay, Thriftbooks.com, and even on Amazon! You can try checking the websites of brick and mortar retail book stores such as Powell’s, Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, and Strand Books as the usually have used and clearance selections to choose from. We always recommend checking out Amazon’s exclusive selection of discounted books via their outlet deals HERE.
3. Utilize eBooks
EBooks can be a great way to save on book costs, most eBooks are a fraction of the cost of Hard Cover & even Paperback novels. There are several eBook sites and apps available but the by far largest and most affordable selection of eBooks is owned by Amazon. The online giant has a huge extensive selection of eBooks to choose from, and most are very affordable to buy or borrow.
4. Sign Up for Email Lists
Stay in the loop on promotions and discounts by joining/subscribing to book site email lists. You can get newsletters with great special offers and clearance deals by simply giving your email address. Sign up for your favorite stores newsletters via their web page if they offer a newsletter signup.
5. Explore Your Local Libraries
This is a pretty obvious one but it’s often overlooked. The cheapest books can be found at libraries for the very low price of…. FREE! (Just be sure to turn it in on time) Signup for a library card, or two, or three and explore the selection of the libraries you have to your disposal in your area. Also check if they offer eBooks online, most libraries have a web page with a multitude of free eBooks to download.
6. Host a Book Swap
If you have an overflowing bookcase or you’re in need of something different on your shelves, invite over some fellow friends & readers for book swap get together. You can also go the distance to include appetizers, drinks, and games to make for a fun event. Encourage people to bring 5-20 books of multiple genres that they would like to swap out, be sure to have everyone keep track of which books are theirs so if they go un-swapped out they can take them home until next time. Try to coordinate beforehand with friends of what they are bringing to reduce the likelihood of duplicate books.
7. Try Out A Classic, For FREE!
When it comes to older books, there is a stipulation within U.S. copyright laws that books published more than 95 years ago technically become part of the public domain, which in other terms, means they can be found for free. There are a few useful websites that turn these free public domain books into eBooks for everyone and anyone to use. Websites like Barnes & Noble and Amazon make free eBook versions of classics available for anyone to download.
8. Library Book Sales
A great way to score good deals is to find libraries that may be having an annual book sale. Sometimes large libraries, both public and on college campuses, will have old or excess books in stock and will sell these books off to gain money to purchase newer publications. Try contacting any libraries in your area and ask if they ever have book sales, when attending a book sale try to get there early so you don’t miss out on any good finds. Check these books thoroughly before purchase as they may contain damage or alterations that may make them undesirable for purchase. If you plan on buying a lot of books try and ask an employee if you can even get a discount for your larger purchase.
9. Borrow Books on Your Device
Kindle and NOOK devices both have the ability to lend and borrow eligible books for free. You can swap eBooks with family and friends on both devices as long as you have the persons email address. Amazon has a massive selection of over 800,000 books to borrow at no cost to you (other than your prime subscription) which makes for a great way to save your hard earned dollars.
10. Download the Kindle or NOOK App
If you’ve read through a few of these suggestions and thought, “I don’t have an e-reader so that won’t help me,” don’t worry. You don’t need an e-reader to read free classics or buy eBooks that are on sale. If you don’t mind reading on your phone or tablet, you can download the Kindle or NOOK apps (both are free to get and use) and take advantage of their libraries and deals. The Kindle app also lets you borrow and lend books from friends—no device required.
The great news to buying and borrowing eBooks is that you don’t need an e-reader device to do so. If you are okay with reading on your mobile device, tablet, or computer you can still read eBooks with downloadable apps and extensions.