If you are like me, you love books–but your budget doesn’t leave much wiggle room for you to purchase many. You love your local library, but there are those times that you want your ‘book friends’ around you for longer than a two week stay.
If those sentences describe you, here are 17 ways to save money on books.
17 Ways Thrifty Bookworms Save Money On Books
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
1. Join Book Swap Sites
Paperback Swap use to be a 100% free-to-use site, but now they charge a membership fee. Even with the fees, Paperback Swap is still a very inexpensive way to rid yourself of books you no longer want and get books off your want-to-read list in return.
To get started, sign up and list ten books you are willing to part with and pick your membership level. I have the a la carte plan, which is .49 cents per book. They also have a $20 unlimited swap plan and a $12 for 30 swaps (making it .40 cents a swap) plan. You pay only for books you receive, not for those requested from you. You pay for shipping on the books you send but not on those you receive.
Use my referral link and save $1 on the 30 swaps a year plan (making it just $11) or $3 on the unlimited plan (making your first year just $17).
My favorite feature of Paperback Swap is the wish list feature. Every time I find a book that I want to read but can’t currently afford, I put it on my wish list and wait to see if it will appear before I get around to finding it through another thrifty book-buying option.
2. Join My Reader Rewards Program
If you are a fan of Christian fiction and nonfiction, you are going to want to join My Reader Rewards Program. You earn points that you can then cash out for books, bibles, devotionals, and even books on CDs.
3. Use the Free Kindle App to Read Free Kindle Titles
You do not have to have a Kindle to get in on the free Kindle title deals. I treated myself to a Kindle Paperwhite for my 40th a few years back and I am very pleased with it, but up until that time I used the free Kindle app on my iPad to read free Kindle titles. They also have a smartphone version and a laptop or PC version.
Here are two place to find out about free Kindle titles
- Enter into the Amazon search bar the words ‘top 100 free Kindle ebooks’ and a list of the current top 100 free Kindle books will appear. If you are interested in a specific genre, enter ‘top 100 free Kindle ebooks christian fiction’ or ‘science fiction’ or the name of whatever genre you want.
- Spirit Filled Kindle is currently my number one site for great, free listings on Christian fiction and nonfiction
4. Earn Gift Cards to Bookstores From Things They Already do Online
- If a Thrifty Person Had to Pick One Rewards Program
- How To Earn $100 a month in gift cards: Without Spending All Day On The Computer
It takes less time than you might think to earn a gift card through a point rewards program. It might not even take effort at all when you simply do what you already do online, but take just one additional step to use the Swagbucks homepage first.
5. Join Audible
Audible isn’t a thrifty choice for everyone, but there are ways to make it less expensive, such as this great trick explained by Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy.
6. Visit The Library
This one is a no-brainer! But I wanted to mention two apps that bring your library to your finger tips.
Here are 2 Smartphone or Tablet Apps that you might want to see if your library has
Both these apps allow you to borrow eBooks and Audio books. Hoopla allows you to borrow movies and DVDs too.
7. Host Book Swap Parties
Ever since I found this article on how to host a book swap I have wanted to host one and invite all my fellow book-loving friends. Basically you invite fellow bookworms to your home with an arm full of books they are willing to part with and you start swapping.
8. Shop Yard Sales
A great percentage of our own home library comes from yard sales. I have picked up children’s books for as little as a dime at yard sales.
9. Raid Little Free Library Boxes
Little library boxes are basically small, weather-tight boxes full of books that anyone can borrow from. Check out the instagram hashtag #littlelibrary to view how creative people get when creating their Little Library. Check to see if you have any in your area by visiting the Little Free Library website and doing a search for your area.
10. Shop Secondhand Book Stores
There is a good chance you have a locally owned, secondhand book store in your area, if you do go in and get to know its owner. Once the owner knows what books you like, they just might be willing to put aside the titles you desire as they come into the store.
Online sources of secondhand books include: Half.com, Amazon, and of course eBay.
11. Shop Thrift Stores
When my children were little, a thrift store near us would have a 1/2 price day on the last weekend of each month. I used it to snatch up kids books by the dozen. Check to see if your local thrift stores run sales.
12. Use NoiseTrade
Noisetrade.com offers a large variety of eBooks and some audiobooks for free download. They do ask for a donation, but you don’t have to give one if you are unable. You receive your book in a PDF file, but a simple search on Google will result in a Youtube video you can watch about how to take that PDF file and send it to your Kindle account so you can read it in a Kindle app or on an actual Kindle.
13. Grab the Free Monthly Download From Christian Audio
Each month Christian Audio offers one free download of one full-length audi0book.
14. Pay With Discounted Gift Cards
You can purchase gift cards for Barnes & Noble and a few other places you can buy books at a discount through websites like Cardpool, which has Barnes & Noble cards at a 11.5% discount. That means you save $1.15 on a $10 card.
15. Review Books
If you have a blog, a great way to get free books is to sign up for book review programs. I did this the first year I blogged and received a lot of great books that cost me only time to write and publish a review.
16. Shop Consignment
If it is children’s books or parenting books that you are after, consignment stores often carry a great variety of both genres. If you don’t have a brick and mortar children’s consignment store near you, try Swap.com.
17. Sign up for Free With Subscription Deals
Lots of writers and bloggers offer free eBooks when you sign up for their newsletter or email list. I have gotten some really high-quality eBooks this way. Usually these freebies are shorter, taking just an hour or two to read, but most are full of valuable information.
I hope this list makes fellow bookworms very happy and that you discovered at least one new sources of inexpensive and free books to add to your home library.
Do you have a thrifty way to obtain books that you would add to my list? Add it in the comments below.
Available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon–get your copy here!
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See if your library systems have any Friends of the Library groups. They often host yearly book sales as a fundraiser and books can be found for very little money. Often books sold are books the library is taking out of circulation as well as books donated by the community.
Thanks for the great tip!