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If you walk through my house at any given point in time, you will most likely find, scattered throughout it, five or six books open and flipped upside down to be picked up later and finished. Between my love of reading and homeschooling our kiddos, we have lots of books in our house at all times. After years of buying most of my books only to have them sit on the shelf and collect dust after I finished reading them, I’ve decided to be more careful about what books that I do purchase.
Here are some of my favorite ways to save money on books.
This one is often overlooked, but it is a staple in our house. We go every other week or so and absolutely love our public library. We can check out books, movies, cook books, CDs and even magazines. Our library system is wonderful in that we can request books on-line, and then we are notified via e-mail or a phone call when the books are ready for us. Some libraries also have fantastic interlibrary loan policies where you can request a book that your local library doesn’t carry and they will secure it from another library. There can be a fee involved with this service; so it is good to ask your library what their policies are.
I get the bulk of my school books from Paperback Swap. The concept is pretty simple. Post books that you no longer want, Someone will request that book, and you ship it. Shipping costs are around $2.46 per book using the media mail rate.
For every book that you mail, you’ll get a credit to “purchase” a book that you want from someone else. You can also make a wish list of books that you are wanting, and then you are on the waiting list for that book to be listed by another member. The site is easy to navigate, free of charge and easy to personalize.
Goodwill and Thrift
You can’t overlook the ease of buying items at thrift for a huge savings. Our local Goodwill and other thrift stores have a large selection of children’s and adult books starting at 10¢ each. I will confess that we never go in just to look for books, but if you’re already there it is only second to peruse what they have in stock that week. Remember this is one store where the selection can be completely different from one trip to the next.
Better World Books
Next stop, I will price check at, Better World Books. They offer used books with FREE shipping at great prices (and they have a cool vision for funding literacy and recycling books too!). Use code BOOKS4GOOD to get 10% off 2 books.
Yep, this is my final stop. I can price check here, see if the book qualifies for free shipping and look to see if it is a part of the great 4 for 3 program (buy 4 books and get the lowest price book for free). Often, they will have a selection of used books for a discounted price as well.
I don’t want to ignore the obvious way to save on books. You can purchase a Kindle, Nook, iPad or other e-reader and save significantly on the list price of books. I still love the feel of a book in my hands watching the progression of the story unfold as the pages turn, but I won’t deny that the day will come soon when my frugality will override my nostalgia. We are even able to save on most of our homeschool curriculum by selecting the eBook options. For now though our girls are a little too young to not have real paper to write answers out on. Tune in Friday for some big tips to save on textbooks and other school curriculum though!
How do you save on books? Do you have a favorite website that I missed?