If you love reading but don’t have the funds to feed your book habit, there are a number of ways of acquiring books on the cheap. Here are a few tips and recommendations to help you on the way to book bargain heaven.
1. It’s an obvious one, perhaps, but local libraries are often overlooked when it comes to books these days. Libraries are great resources for studying, research and information, but of course you can also borrow books for free—just remember to return them on time! Remember your excitement as a child when your mom said you could go to the library and choose any book you wanted? Guess what—you still can!
2. Why not exchange books with friends and family? It’s a great way to socialize, as you have ready-made conversation starting point, discussing your thoughts and ideas about the book in question. Just remember to look after their books as if they were your own—and if you like to keep your own books in pristine condition this option might not be for you.
3. Bookshops and publishers often have advance copies of books for reviewing purposes. If you have your own book blog or a review column in local media, why not try asking for a proof copy of a new title in exchange for a review. If you don’t ask you don’t get. This works more often than you would expect. There are also websites where you can request reading copies of books, but you will usually need to prove you are an active reviewer.
4. Follow your favorite authors on social media. Some authors are very good at publicizing their own work, and will often give away copies of books in competitions or to reviewers. It’s certainly not a reliable way of acquiring books, but you might get lucky—and you may get exclusive news or information on the latest releases before the general public.
5. Specialized second-hand bookshops are a book lover’s dream, often housed in quirky old buildings and bursting with unusual titles waiting to be discovered. Spend an hour or two browsing the shelves in your local used bookstore and you are bound to come away with a handful of great books.
6. If you are looking for a particular book, the easiest way to buy it second-hand is via the Internet. Most of the big online retailers now have a marketplace section where traders can sell their used books, or you could try one of the major auction sites. There are also many used book retailers online, who will sometimes offer free delivery or other special deals to tempt readers away from the big boys, so it’s wise to shop around before you buy.
7. Charity shops are a valuable source of second-hand books—most have a huge number of titles to browse through, and the prices are usually very low. If you go in with no particular expectations, chances are you will find plenty of books to tempt you. Also, the knowledge that you are giving to charity at the same time makes this a win-win!
8. Finally, garage sales shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to second hand books. You will often find them buried in a box—neglected and forgotten. But it definitely pays to rummage—fans of crime and thrillers, biographies and children’s books will have an abundance of choices. And you never know what other gems you will find—hunting them out is half the fun!
I hope you find this helpful.