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How to Save Money on Books

I recently mentioned that I don’t buy a lot of books. There are a whole lot of reasons for this. However, I know that some people love buying books. And although I don’t buy them often, I do sometimes get books. So, for those of you who love keeping books in your home, I thought I’d share some of the ways that I save money on books.

How to Get Books for Free

If you live a frugal lifestyle then you might not want to spend money on books. However, if you love books, then you might want to get some. Whether you’re a voracious reader like me or you actually just want books as objects-of-decor for your home, there are several ways to get books for free.

Read For Free Thanks to the Library

First of all, please use your local library. You don’t get to keep those books, of course. However, it’s a great way to satisfy your urge to read without paying a penny. And you can always use it to test drive books. You may find that you love a book so much that you want to buy it. At least you figured that out before you laid down the cash. After all, you’ll also get many library books that you decide are great one-time reads but you don’t need to buy them.

Become a Book Reviewer

If you really love books and want to get copies for free then you should consider becoming a book reviewer. There are jobs out there that you can get. However, your best bet is to start your own book review blog. Build your blog with reviews of the books that you’re already reading and loving. Use social media to promote your blog – and the books that you love. Make sure that you also add short versions of the review to Amazon and Goodreads.

The bigger you grow, the more likely you’ll be able to get free copies of books for review. You can approach individual authors as well as small publishers. Show them your reviews. Let them know that you’d like to review books for them. You may opt to specialize in a specific genre, in which case you should be sure to approach publishers that work in that genre.

Other Ways to Get Books for Free

Here are some of the other ways that I get free books:

  • Let everyone know that you want books for Christmas and birthdays. You can even create a book list on your Amazon wishlist to make it easy for your friends and family to find out what books you want.
  • Ask friends and social media contacts if they have any books that they want to get rid of. You’ll be surprised to find out how many people are happy to purge them to a good home.
  • Head to the customer service desk of big book sales. Ask them where the free books are. You’ll usually find a box of them somewhere.
  • Check Freecycle, Craigslist’s “free” section, and posts on Nextdoor to find free books available in your local area.
  • Check out your local Little Free Library boxes. The thing with this is that it’s good etiquette to leave a book when you take one. You don’t have to, of course, but you should. De-stash a book you don’t want in order to try a new one that you might love.
  • Do a book swap with friends and acquaintances. Again, you’ll have to get rid of books in order to do this, but it can result in getting a whole bunch of new books for free.
  • Use your credit rewards. I save the rewards on all of my credit cards until December. Then I cash them out all at once. You might use your cash back to head to the bookstore. Of course, you’re paying for the books, but you’re using “free money” to do so.

How to Get Books for Cheap

I have found that I almost never have to pay for books. If there’s a book that I want, then I use one of the above strategies to acquire it. But, as I said, I also don’t keep a lot of books around the house. Therefore, you might find that free books aren’t enough for you. That’s okay. You can save money on books in so many different ways. Here are some of the best options:

  • Go to your library’s book sale. Mine has a $1 day; every book only costs $1.
  • Shop only in clearance sections at the bookstore. If you don’t get a deal, don’t buy the book. Also, shop at used bookstores instead of only buying books that are new.
  • Split a book buy with a friend. If you know someone who loves to read but doesn’t like keeping books around the house (like me) then you can split the cost, let her read it first, then you get to keep it.
  • Ask your friends and social media contacts if they have any books that they’d like to sell. You can often get books from others for very cheap if you ask.
  • Check thrift stores for books. You might have to sift through a lot of don’t-want-to-reads but you can often find gems in there at a very low price.
  • Go to yard sales. In particular, go late in the day when sellers are likely to offer steep discounts on whatever books remain.
  • Look for coupons. You can save money on books if you use discount codes (when shopping online) and in-store coupons.
  • Consider a book subscription box. This is the kind of thing where books arrive in your mail every month. Make sure that you look at the costs carefully to make sure that it’s worth it to you. This can add up quickly if you’re not careful but if you’re an avid book buyer then it could be a good way to save money on books.

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About the author

Kathryn Vercillo

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