When I decided to start working for myself this year, I went over my budget to see where there was excess spending, trying to cut out things to make the transition easier. When I looked over my bank statement, I noticed that other than food, coffee, and Pookah, my biggest expense was…books. I get new books when I go on vacation, I get new books for the weekend, I get new books because it's Tuesday. ANY EXCUSE.
I knew I wasn't going to give up reading and I can only re-read my favorites so many times. So I had to find other ways to save money on books. I've been using most of these for the last 7 months and since sharing is caring, here are
10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Books
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1. Use Your Library Card.
One of the first things I did at the beginning of the year was to renew my library card. There is a library not 5 minutes from my house that I had not been taking advantage of. I have best sellers on hold ( it took me 3 months to get Children Of Blood and Bone), I check out several books weekly that I notice randomly in the bookstore, and the staff knows my name. According to the receipt that I got yesterday, I have saved $577.43 since I renewed my card in January.
2. Use Amazon Kindle Unlimited
For 9.99 a month, you have unlimited access to over 1 million books in the Kindle Unlimited Library. DISCLAIMER: you will not find a lot of best sellers here. You will find the entire Harry Potter series and Handmaid's Tale, but most of the titles are not by authors you would recognize. STILL. If you need something to pass the time, there is always SOMETHING worth checking into.
3. Borrow and Swap Books from your Kindle or Nook App
If you use Amazon Kindle, you can share Kindle books with friends or family and you don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member to use this feature. However, if you own a Kindle AND you are a Prime Member, you can borrow books from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and read them on your Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone. Books borrowed from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library have no due dates, but you can only check out one book at a time. BUT: Borrowed books cannot be read on Kindle reading apps. *side eye* so no reading these borrowed books on your iPhone or your iPad.
If you have a NOOK, The LendMe feature allows Barnes & Noble account holders to lend eligible Nook Books to friends and family members who have BN.com account Not every Nook Book can be lent, but a lot of them can. If the book can be lent, it will have the LendMe icon on the cover image.
Please note: NOOK Magazines and NOOK Newspapers cannot be lent or borrowed.
4. Try out Book Bub and other FREE email lists.
I can't remember who told me about Book Bub, but I am forever grateful. I've discovered some of my favorite new and unknown authors through this free service. Every morning in your email, BookBub sends you deals and handpicked recommendations for books based on your preferences, previous purchases, and favorite authors. The books are all available on Amazon's Kindle store, Barnes and Noble's Nook Store and Apple's iBook. I swear I've never paid more than $1.99 for a book on there and often there are free ones too. If you have a Nook or a Kindle subscribe to some of the email newsletters that curate book deals for you and send them to you in your email. Some of my favorites are Kindle Daily Deals, Goodreads Deals and Nook Daily Find. Sometimes there are deals as low as 99 cents!!
5. Head to a Goodwill or Thrift Store
Listen, people get rid of things every day through estate sales or if they are simply purging. I myself have given books to Goodwill so I KNOW you can find good ones there. Sometimes you get lucky and find a cookbook you've been looking at forever for $5 when it's $30 in the store. And don't forget those 1/2 off days! You can get books for pennies! Don't sleep!
6. Check out a Free Little Library Box in Your Neighborhood.
I know you've seen them. The Little Free Library Little Free Library is a little-sealed weatherproof box of books in a lot of neighborhoods where people can exchange books with anyone. You simply put a book in, take another one out. Check out the Instagram hashtag #littlelibrary to see what I mean. You can start one in your own neighborhood, find out how here->The Little Free Library
7. Shop at Second Hand Book Stores
Used books are a great way to save on popular books. They are usually cheaper than the brand new ones and usually only gently used. We have a great Second Hand Book Store here that I frequent a lot. I have to search, but there is always something to be found, for a cheaper price. And if you get in with the owner, they might keep an eye out for books that they know you might like…
8. Buy second hand online
If you don't want to leave your house, or just don't have time to get to the used bookstore, buy used books online! Places like eBay, even Amazon sells used books. I've used them all and have gotten books in good condition. Especially titles and books that are out of print.
9. Have a Book Swap Party.
Get all of your book-loving friends together with some wine and have a book swap! Tell everyone to bring a few books they are willing to share, pass out the hors-d'oeuvres and browse like you are at the bookstore. I'm planning one of these as we speak.
10. Become a member at Barnes and Noble
If you simply MUST have new books, do this. I admit that there are still books that I must have in my hands and that I don't want to wait for. That's when I go ahead and head to the physical bookstore. But even then, I have a mission and I have a strategy. I've been a member at Barnes and Noble for over 20 years ( I am one of the original members, got one in my early 20 I think). If you order online, you get free shipping, but I keep it up for the in-store benefits. You get 40% Off List Price of Hardcover Bestsellers and 10% Off B&N Price of Almost Everything Else. And THEN they send coupons. I wait until I get a good 20% off coupon on TOP OF my regular discount and go in. It's beautiful.
Now, even with these ways to save money on books that I have given you today, REMEMBER NOT TO GO CRAZY lol! I have a book budget still, now it's about $25 a month because I plan when books are coming that I really want to buy new and I use most of the ideas I have talked about in this post. Reading is an expensive hobby. But when reading feeds your soul, what ‘s a girl to do? But with these options, a book lover on a budget can still enjoy a great book!
What ideas do you have for ways to save money on books? Any more suggestions?
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