How to Save Money for Books (and Life in General)
If you’re anything like me you’ve got piles of books stacked up to your ceiling (may or may not be exaggerating, but if you do I won’t judge). Sometimes you just gotta take a stand and either take a break on buying buys or figure out how to get the best deals so you can keep on hoarding them into your home. I see you secretly ordering them online and hoping no one notices. Yes, I’m talking to you! When you’re ready to do some serious #booknerd adulting here I’ve got this handy list of ideas to make it happen.
BOOK BUYING BAN: WHAT I LIKE TO CALL “THE TWO-FER”
Maybe you’ve heard of it, or maybe you haven’t, but it’s a perfect way to save money on NOT buying books. You heard me right. DO NOT BUY THAT BOOK ONLINE OR AS YOU PASS BY THE SECTION AT THE STORE. I REPEAT, DO NOT BUY IT! DO NOT PASS GO! DO NOT COLLECT 200 TBR!
In all seriousness, you’ll achieve a lot in this feat. Not only will you be saving money by NOT buying books, but you’ll also be catching up on some much needed reading time. Many of us have towering piles of our TBR to get through and by limiting your selection to the books you already own, you’ll finally read the books on your backlist and learn what all the hype was about.
You don’t have the room to keep your books or don’t own a lot of them? It’s all good, go to the library! It’s a great way to save money all while still being able to reap the benefits of reading some new books without the price tag. It’s a win-win, just set a certain time frame as to when you’ll be placing your book buying ban in the calendar whether it be a week, month, or quarter of the year - I give you kudos if you make it that far! Tip: don’t forget to renew your books if you don’t finish them all by the time of their due date!
ACQUIRE A BOOKSTORE MEMBERSHIP
So it’s possible you’re not ready to quit cold turkey. That’s okay, I feel you. This will probably be a better idea for you then - sign up for a bookstore membership. Usually when you first become a member they will send you a bunch of awesome bookstore coupons to use towards your next book shopping trip. Some stores may offer them for free, but a lot of the big stores like Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble offer theirs for about $20 per yearly membership. That’s not bad of a deal considering you spend a bunch of money on books already anyways.
Psssst - here’s a double win...lean on in because it’s a big secret...you can share your membership with other people like friends/family. If you and your friend or family member love to go book shopping split the cost between you for the membership or can be nice and invest in it on your own to share with them willingly. Usually all they need is either your membership card or a lot of times they’ll ask for your phone number to look up your account that way to apply their amazing discounts.
I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned utilizing your local library, but have you checked into their events? Some libraries hold a daily, monthly, and/or quarterly book sale to rotate out old books so they can refresh their inventory. My library system has a small collection to buy at their own individual libraries (in my county we have several branches) and almost monthly the library hosts a big book sale for three days at a time at another off site location. They have an incredible deal to buy as many books as you can fit in a brown paper bag for $8.50. The moment I found out about these book sales I was SOLD.
This is for all you lucky people that have a nearby friend who’s also into reading the same genres. Ask your friend if you could take a look at their personal library and arrange a book swap. Just don’t forget to pinky swear an oath that you won’t harm their babies. Also mention that if something were to happen due to an emergency situation that you’ll pay them back in full. Us book nerds are serious people when it comes to our page filled children.
Keep an eye out for those sneaky little bookstore sales! A lot of the big mainstream stores have a sale season and a clearance section for you to check for books with a large chunk taken off the price sticker. Books-A-Million even has a used books section which is worth a shot at finding a book or two (or ten).
This is obviously more for the summer season, depending on your location if you experience the colder winter months like I do here in Ohio. Garage sales typically start late Spring into early Fall seasons due to people getting rid of unwanted stuff (their loss and our gain if you ask me). A lot of times people have yard sales due to their kids moving out, going off to college, etc. so there’s a good chance to look for books that they happen to be selling and just asking to be put into your waiting arms.
Some good places to find yard sales would be in your local newspaper, google search, and Facebook marketplace. Please use caution and go to a public place and with a friend/family member to be extra safe!
Oh my goodness. Do not get me started on thrift bookstores, but please do because I have such a great fondness for them. Similar to garage sales these magical places sell used books for half or less the price of their original book prices. I’M NOT KIDDING YOU! Quite a few times I’ve gotten books for like $1-$2 max and it was the best feeling ever! A great place to find these deals is 2nd & Charles which is located in the U.S. and you can look up their locations here. If you’re from another region or country I suggest googling “used bookstores” or “thrift bookstores” to find some stores near you.
There’s also the option of buying your books from ThriftBooks.com where they sell a huge supply of used books for all types of genres. They’re a great place to look for books that you have missing from an old series you’ve started getting into. Now they also have a “ReadingRewards” system where you earn points with all your purchases, but that’s not the best part of shopping at this site - it’s the fact that you get free shipping on all orders $10 and up (both perks are for US customers only)! Another benefit is if you add a book to your wishlist they will send you notifications for price changes and when it becomes available if they don’t have it in stock at the time you check for it.
Another idea is that from time to time you can even get some good finds at your local Goodwill store if you’re in an area with limited used bookstores.
A few other selections to check into would be BookDepository.com which is great for readers because they have free shipping available worldwide! A huge game changer for online book shopping is that Book Depository has large discounts off the list price of many books so go check them out!
If you have specific concerns on shipping time for your location you can find more information from them in their “Delivery and Shipping” help section.
Wordery.com is also an online bookstore to look into if you haven’t before.
LOCAL GENERAL STORES
You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve found books for a cheaper price than actual bookstores just by looking in the book section of a general store (like Walmart or Kroger). Bonus points if you’re a Kroger Plus card member to get that extra discount! If you’re not already, it’s quick and simple to sign up for one.
For someone who is more willing to read books via the digital format you have a lot of choices to choose from, but I’ll list the most popular ones that I know of:
Amazon is a great one because they offer eBooks usually between $1-$3 each! They also offer free books so if that’s up your alley search for it under their Amazon Kindle ebooks.
Bookbub.com where you can stay up to date with the latest free ebooks and deals as well as for your favorite authors by setting up alerts!
Readingdeals.com also emails ebook discounted deals right to your inbox!
Goodreads.com recently teamed up with Amazon to provide you with “Kindle Daily Deals” and you can check out their page for the latest ones!
Do you know of any other tips and perks to saving money on books? Comment below!
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