Do you love to read but hate paying full price for new books? Here are my 5 favorite ways to find used books without costing a lot of money.
5 Places to Find Used Books
Of course the most frugal place to find books for free is the local library. There are literally thousands of new books that are waiting for us to walk in the doors of the library and check them out one by one. Not sure what to read next? Just ask the librarians! They almost always have a great suggestion for a new book that will be perfect for you! From kid’s books, summer reading programs, book clubs or ebooks available through KY Unbound, you can always find a book that will fit your lifestyle.
KY Unbound offers ebooks, audiobooks and more options for free. You simply sign up and create a free account to gain access to another whole library of books.
Used Book Stores:
In every city we have lived, we have found a favorite used book store. Sometimes this is the local thrift store that sells paper-back books for less than a dollar. Other cities have a place like McKay Used Books & CD’s or Half Price Books that lets you trade in the books that you have finished reading and get in-store credit to purchase new books. Start looking at your local thrift stores or used books stores and see what they have available. Most of the time the inventory changes regularly, so make it a weekly stop to see what is on the shelves today.
If you live near Half Price Books, you can sign up to get coupons on their website.
Used Books Online:
If you don’t want to leave your house, you can buy used books online. We have often bought used books on Amazon.com. Just do a quick search for the book you are interested in and look for the used option. Remember that shipping is not included in the sale price of the used book. So if it says the sale price is .01, you will still have to pay shipping which is usually around $4.
Another online option that we recently discovered is thriftbooks.com. Many of the books are selling for $3 or less! The great thing about this site is the free shipping option. Typically you can get free shipping if you reach a minimum order of $10 or $15!
Swap with a Friend:
If you have another friend who loves to read, then consider doing a book swap. When you finish reading a great book, just put it in a pile for them and make a trade. It is a very common thing when our family gets together to swap our latest books. We talk about our favorites, the ones we liked/disliked and discuss why the book made an impression on us. I love the fact that reading is a common thread that connects us even when we aren’t together.
Amazon Free Ebooks:
If you have access to a mobile device, you can download thousands of books for free to read on the Kindle App. You can go here to see the top Too 100 Free Ebooks available from Amazon.com. This list changes on a regular basis, so if you are interested in reading a book, you will want to download it today. That way when it goes back to regular price you will already have the book in your library.
Where do you find new books on a budget? I’d love to hear your favorite websites and book stores in your area!
This article appeared in the print edition of the Advocate Messenger 5/19/15