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10 Ways to Save Money on Books

I am an avid reader. Fiction, non-fiction, chick lit, YA — I devour it all, on a daily basis. I’ve been called a bookworm for as long as I can remember, but I’ve been living frugal for nearly as long!

That means I can’t rush to the store every time one of my favorite author’s releases a new book. Not that I don’t try now & then — Amazon pre-orders kind of rock my world. I try to stick with Swagbucks earned gift cards for that weakness, and hit the library for the rest.

I have to carefully track due dates, so we’re not spending money on late fees, but it’s the perfect solution to my book problem.

I can get a giant stack of books to last me for weeks, and it doesn’t cost me a thing! Be sure to utilize your library’s hold system to put your name on the waiting list for popular titles. Ours even has a procedure for putting your name on the waitlist for books that aren’t out yet! List your favorite authors to be automatically added to the list when new titles are released.

Here are a few more ways to save on books:

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  • Library 1 of 10
    Library
    Of course, your local library is the first place you think of when you want to read, without spending money on books. Watch for special fundraising or shelf-clearing sales where you can purchase books of your own at discount prices.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Yard Sales 2 of 10
    Yard Sales
    Sift through your neighbor's yard sale items to find low priced reading material. I usually sell my own for under $1 each — including 25¢ trashy romance novels. My friends had a nice peek into that little secret when we had our own yard sale last summer.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Thrift Stores 3 of 10
    Thrift Stores
    Like yard sales, you'll find cheap books in thrift stores regularly. The stock changes often, courtesy of regular donations, so check back frequently if you're searching for something specific.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • eBay 4 of 10
    eBay
    I find a lot of great deals on eBay, and books are no exception! The selection of books on eBay is totally dependent on the sellers and will also change frequently.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Amazon 5 of 10
    Amazon
    I find Amazon books to be the best prices on new items, but they also sell used books through 3rd party sellers just like eBay. If a favorite author has a can't miss book coming out, the Amazon preorder guarantee is your best bet for a great price.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Half Price Books 6 of 10
    Half Price Books
    The best way to take advantage of the used book sales at Half Price Books is to buy & sell at the same time. We'll sell books the girls have outgrown or I've finished reading, then buy new (used) books for our collection. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
  • PaperBack Swap 7 of 10
    PaperBack Swap
    Now, here is some true swapping! On Paperback Swap, you'll earn credits for book sales and referrals that you can use to buy the books you want. I especially love that you can create a wishlist for alerts & auto-purchases of the books on you want.
  • Friends 8 of 10
    Friends
    Of course, there's always good, old-fashioned book swapping with a friend. Luckily, my bestie and I have similar reading tastes so it works well for us. It's just one more way we use the buddy system to save money.
  • eBooks 9 of 10
    eBooks
    Once you pay for an eReader, eBooks for the Nook and Kindle are generally less expensive than actual books. Check with your local library, too — many are now offering free eBook downloads.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Half.com 10 of 10
    Half.com
    Find deep discounts on new & used books at Half.com. You can also now rent & buy textbooks, to save on college expenses.

While we’re on the subject of books — what’s on your bookshelf this week? I’m always looking for new material!

Looking for books for your kids? Check out Babble’s Top 100 Kids Books!

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