El Cheapo: How To Save Money On Books

Being an avid book reader I am constantly trying to reduce my monthly cost I shell out for books. After about five years I came up with a selection of websites and book stores that keep my pockets from being bare. So I thought why not share my amazing (my words) system for buying books with people.

Where to Buy:

  1. Library – Sometimes the library will have books out that have prices on them usually ranging from $.25 to free; you can also ask the librarian if they have any books that they are giving away because of wear and tear, or that are for resale.
  2. Book stores – Places like Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and Black Sheep Books, have novels that are in a sale pile. These arebooks they are marking down for whatever reason, and if you search you may come up with a book you actually want.
  3. Goodwill, Second Hand Store – I have found many novels inside of the Goodwill for outrageously cheap prices. Just like the two above places you have to really look to find good books, but it’s very worth it to save money.
  4. eBay, Amazon, B&N, ETC. – Online stores (B&N is online and in store) will have new books and used books, most paperback used books will run you $.01 + 3.99 for shipping (since amazon was smart enough to not offer prime for non amazon products). But sometimes novels will be more expensive considering what you are trying to purchase; for example new releases do not normally come in used so you’ll have to buy the new…or wait until the hype is over.
  5. Garage Sales – Now this is not the most ideal option but it does come in handy when you’re desperate. Most reasonable garage sellers will have books out for about a quarter or a nickel.
  6. Goodreads and Wattpad, etc. – Reading books by the chapter (as Pepper Pace did for a few of her novels) can be done for free on certain websites.

Not only did I find places to buy books, but I also found the best books to buy to save money.

What to Buy:

  1. Series – Buying series is an amazing thing. You can get used box sets at online bookstores for very cheap. I bought the box set of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for $.50 at amazon (not including shipping). Series are amazing money savers.
  2. Volumes – Sometimes authors, similar books, or series will be in one whole volume. While this is not ideal for some readers, myself included, it is a huge money saver.
  3. Format – Depending on the novel you want to read hardback can be more expensive than paperback, or a certain edition can cost more. Try and make sure that the format and edition chosen is the cheapest in the pack.
  4. e-books – Although I am completely against e-books, and their current monopoly over the reading world, I have to say they are a serious money saver. e-books can be bought at cheap prices without the expensive cost of shipping that comes with physical books. Now that you no longer have to buy the device that comes along with e-readers you can just download the book on apps.  Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc. can be used to read e-books (depending on where you buy the book). Also those buying sites have free books.
  5. Lots – Now, the only website I’ve seen lots has been eBay, and a lot is basically an array of novels by a) a specific author, b) authors in the same genre and c) novels that will appear in the same genre. This is amazing for people looking to save and actually explore new novels; actually it’d be like a mystery box filled with unknown plots and characters, so you should definitely take advantage of it.

So, for those who are tired of spending a serious amount of money on books, I hope this helps the El Cheapo in all of you.

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