So, I am a huge bibliophile. I love reading! Growing up, my father would reward me with a new book every Friday. While it was a lovely tradition (and one that I believe kept me out of a lot of trouble whilst growing up), it was an expensive one. I got used to reading a new book every weekend and used to blow all of my money at the bookstore come payday. (P.S. who else misses Borders?!)
Well, about ten years and one husband and one baby later, I can’t afford to spend 20-30 dollars on a new hardback every Friday. And I’m sure there are other avid readers out there who share this problem. I still read frequently and rarely spend more than 10 dollars a month on my habit.
Check Out Your Local Library
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. Did you know that there are more libraries in the United States than there are McDonalds? So, there is no excuse not to use your nearest establishment. My local library has thousands of great paper books, but I especially love their new e-book and audiobook collection on their website. I can use their e-reader to read anywhere I want. I use it on my PC at work, on my phone while I’m working out (the audiobooks are amazing for this), and on my tablet as well.
They have the latest bestsellers and classics. If they don’t have the book you’re looking for, you can recommend it. They will purchase it and notify you when its available. Sometimes there is a waiting list but it usually doesn’t take too long. They also have a nice selection of children’s books. My daughter loves when I read Dr. Seuss to her on my iPad.
This option is for those who don’t mind a little bit of wear and tear on their books. Goodwill has cheap books galore! Many of them are older but look on the bright side, you may find an out-of-print gem that you would never find in a conventional bookstore. Goodwill often has great deals, where you can several books at a time for one set price. Can’t beat that!
Local Used Bookstore
Check out your local used bookstore. You can find everything from cheap paper book dime novels to first editions at these local establishments. Plus, nothing beats going into an actual bookstore and getting lost in the aisles for hours. I frequently pop into Half Price Books near me (they have 120 locations throughout the US, maybe there’s one near you) to get the latest book I just have to own.
I’ve even made back some cash by selling used books that I could live without. Mind you, you definitely won’t get rich reselling books to Half Price. A book you bought from them for $17 will probably get you $5.
Book Swap With Friends
Last but not least, try swapping books with a few good friends. I recently found out a coworker was a huge Sarah Dessen fan. We had both been reading her novels since high school. When she offered to let me borrow a book I hadn’t gotten to read yet, I was elated and couldn’t wait to return the favorite.
Do you know of any other ways to save on great books? Let me know in the comments below.