Last updated on February 5th, 2020 at 02:16 pm
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I grew up in a family where money was tight. My family was frugal, we drove our vehicles till they fell apart, we wore second hand clothing, we gardened, we canned, but I remember we were also a family with a closet full of books.
Sure it would have been more frugal to stick to library books only, but having those books available to me 24/7 instilled in me a love for them. I may not have read as much as others when I was little, but I remember many a summer day curled up under the shade of a tree reading a book off the shelf.
Now that I have children of my own, and we are a homeschooling family I feel the need to make sure I also make owning a collection of our own books a priority.We have two book cases, one filled with non fiction books and the other with works of fiction. We also have a shelf full of comic books, and stacks of magazines lying around here and there.
I build our library frugally. Having books does not have to be expensive. If you are absent minded like me, it may even be done for less than what you pay your library in over due fees every year (okay maybe not less but some days it sure feels like it).
I originally planned this as a one time segment but when I started typing about how many different ways to save money on books, magazines and audiobooks the post became too lengthy, so make sure to come back the next few Fridays, to read part 2, part 3 and part 4.
1. Yard Sales
Yard sales are my number 1 source for inexpensive books. In fact when I walk up to a yard sale they are the first things I look for.
Most soft cover story books are between .25 to .50 cents in my area. A current bestseller hardcover work of fiction might go for $2. I usually come home with a stack full of books every community sale I hit.
Thrifty tip: If you have a stack of titles you want in your hand, total their value in your head and then haggle with the seller for a discount. I usually say “I have $5 worth of books here would you take $4” rarely do I get turned down.
2. Second Hand Book Stores
If I am looking for a particular title, I might head into a second hand book store. Prices are more than yard sales but still significantly cheaper than new.
Thrifty tip: Bring your own books you no longer read with you and trade them for store credit.
3. Thrift stores
Thrift stores vary from town to town as to how many books they might have. Prices will also vary from store to store as well as selection. The key is to drop in once or twice a month to see what is new on the shelves.
Thrifty tip: Often thrift stores will have a regular half price day. This is a great way to get your books for even less.
Kindle edition books are often less expensive than their paper cousins but what I love about Kindle the most is the free titles.
I love to read my free Kindle books on my netbook, through my kindle cloud reader account. I also download a few for on the go reading using the kindle app. on my iPod.
Thrifty Tip: 100’s of classic titles are free on Kindle. If you are not into classic titles, try punching in the words “best sellers” into the kindle store section of Amazon. What should pop up on your screen is a list of the “Top 100 Paid” as well as a list of the “Top 100 Free” titles right beside it.
5. Second Hand Curriculum Sales
Even if you don’t homeschool you may want to check out the second hand curriculum sales in your area. They are a treasure trove of non fiction and fiction books. The prices will be comparable with what you will find in second hand book stores, but the selection for children will be better.
Thrifty tip: Often if you go during the last hour of the sale, you will find people slashing prices, since books are heavy and they don’t want to lug them all back out to the car. However, selection will be slimmer than if you go early, so it really depends on how badly you want particular titles before you consider doing this tip.
These are just a portion of my tips on how to build an home library in a frugal way. Please come back next Friday when I will list more tips on building a home library for less.
Other Titles in this Series
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.