Books on a Budget

I’m a library nut. I go to my public library at least twice a week. I borrow books, movies, and even audiobooks. If you’re patient and willing to wait a month or so on hold for a popular title, it’s very easy not to spend money on books. But sometimes, I don’t want to wait on hold. Sometimes I want to own one of my favorite author’s books.

The myth that books are expensive is a just that. A myth. Don’t fall trap to the Barnes and Noble prices! You can buy the books you want without spending a fortune with these sites and tricks, and when all else fails, your public library always has your back.

Here are my favorite places to shop for books on a budget:

  1. Book Outlet – Book Outlet is a great place to buy a lot of books at once and at a low price. There are two options on Book Outlet: “Bargain Book” and “Scratch and Dent Copy.” Bargain books are new copies of books that range in price from $5 to $9. Scratch and dent copies are slightly damaged copies that the publishers are unable to place on a bookstore shelves, and they usually range from $2 to $5 (the worst damage I’ve seen on these are minor dents on the binding or corners of the cover). Book Outlet releases new titles on their site fairly frequently and offers free shipping over $35. This site is great if you’re looking to buy a handful of books at a time.
  2. Thrift Books – Thrift Books is another online budget bookstore. They have a wider range of popular titles, and they offer free shipping over $10. While Thrift Books offers new, full-priced popular reading titles, they also sell a wide variety of used books all for under $4. The lower threshold for free shipping and the rewards points system on this site make Thrift Books an incredibly economical choice.
  3. Book Bub – If you enjoy reading ebooks, whether it be on a kindle, nook, kobo, or other e-reader, Book Bub does a great job of aggregating low-priced ebooks and recommending them to you based on your reading preferences. Book Bub deals are generally $3 or less – and often free – and when you sign up for an account, you can subscribe to their email list, so that you can be notified whenever books in your interest areas go on sale!
  4. Goodreads Deals – If you’re not on Goodreads already, what are you doing, because it’s the best reader’s advisor site ever. And if you like reading ebooks, Goodreads Deals pulls together ebook deals from across the electronic reader-sphere, including long-standing deals and daily deals. Like Book Bub, Goodreads Deals are usually $3 or less, and you can easily sign up to have the daily deals sent to your email.

These are my favorite places to hunt for discount books, but you can also browse your local flea markets, thrift stores, and charity shops for used books. You can also see if you have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood, where you can take a new book in exchange for one you’ve already enjoyed.

Reading does not have to be an expensive hobby. There are so many ways to read the books you love cheaply – from visiting your local library to buying from discount stores, from searching your local thrift stores to swapping books with your friends. Books should make you richer, instead of breaking the bank.

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