If you love to read, finding cheap books can help you expand your personal library without breaking your household budget. Online resources offer many different options for people in search of new reading material at an affordable price.
Resources for Purchasing Discount Books
The Internet has made it surprisingly easy for avid readers to find affordable books. Whether you're passionate about romance novels or searching for a good mystery, you can find what you need at a reasonable price. All it takes is a little comparison shopping!
To get started on your search for cheap books, check out the following helpful websites:
- Amazon.com likes to brag that it has the world's largest selection of books, electronics, computers, and apparel.
- Buy.com advertises that its prices are 10 percent lower than Amazon on thousands of titles.
- Half.com, an affiliate of eBay, lets readers buy and sell a variety of books, textbooks, movies, CDs, and video games.
- BiggerBooks.com is geared more toward fans of non-fiction books, but the site's selection includes a diverse group of topics such as history, folk art, computers, travel, and spirituality.
- BookCloseouts.com specializes in bargain books, or titles that have been discounted 50 percent to 90 percent by the publisher.
- Half Price Books is a chain bookstore that specializes in selling discounted books. However, the company only has stores in 14 different states. Visit their store locator to see if there's a location near you.
Of course, to maximize your savings, it's always best to purchase your books when you can get free shipping. Many sites offer free shipping on a regular basis for customers who spend a certain dollar amount, while others only offer free shipping as part of a special promotion. Read the company's policies carefully before making your final decision.
Another resource you can use when searching for a specific book is PriceViewer.com. Although this site doesn't actually sell cheap books, they do provide a handy search engine that lets you compare prices on a specific title from over 50 different online bookstores.
Sources for Cheap Used Books
Shopping online might be the most convenient way to find books, but it's not the only way to add to your personal library. If you're not after the latest bestsellers, there are plenty of other ways to find the cheap books you want.
- Library sales: Although most people know you can check out books at your local library, many people fail to realize that libraries periodically hold sales to get rid of unwanted books. For a small fee, you can purchase plenty of books to add to your own collection and help your library buy new books for the whole community to enjoy. Ask your librarian for details.
- Used bookstores: If you're lucky enough to live in a larger community, see if you can find a used bookstore. These stores buy and sell a variety of fiction and non-fiction books. Some are more organized than others, but most will employ staff that can help you find what you need.
- Thrift stores: Not all thrift stores sell used books, but many do carry a small selection of reading material. Next time you're out shopping for cheap furniture or inexpensive children's clothing, don't forget to look for a few books for yourself!
- Garage sales: It takes a lot of time to search, but garage sales can also be great sources of cheap books. Read the ads carefully and don't be afraid to call ahead if you think someone might be selling books that interest you.
- PaperBack Swap: PaperBack Swap is a website that lets members swap unwanted books for titles they are interested in reading. When someone requests a book you have posted, you must mail it out within two business days at your expense. Once the book is received, you will get one credit that you can use to request the book of your choice from another club member. You can either use the credit immediately or set up a "Wish List" and wait until the specific title you're looking for enters the system.
- Swapping with friends: If you have friends with similar reading tastes, consider hosting your own book swap. Invite each person to come with the books they no longer want, then allow them to exchange books for new reading material. This is a fun way to spend time with your friends and get ideas for books to read that you may not have considered picking up on your own. If you want to make the event even more festive, consider having some sort of book trivia contest and offering bookmarks or other small prizes to the winners.
- Bookcrossing: Have fun releasing your old books "into the wild" through Bookcrossing.com and find books that others have "set free". Promoted as "The World's Library", this site is designed to share books with the world, it's an interactive journal and tracking system of books that people leave for others to find.
Save Money on Reading Material
There are plenty of options to paying full retail price for the books that you would like to own. Whether you prefer to purchase your books new or if secondhand volumes are fine with you, the resources here are sure to help you get the reading material you want without paying top dollar.