How to Save Money When Buying Books


A good book is worth more than all the money in the world, but it shouldn’t cost practically as much. The value of a good book is confined to the meaning of the words on its pages, not the price on the back cover. That number doesn’t mean anything. For someone like me who loves to read every book I can get my hands on, the goal of the game is to get more books on my hands. To do that, I have to pinch pennies and make smart decisions about when and where to buy books.

I’ve never wanted to own books. I want to own good books. I’ve paid $20 for books that I couldn’t finish because they weren’t the style of book that I enjoy. The best way to save enough money to buy the books that mean something to me is to make sure I’ve done my homework before I make a purchase.

Never buy a bad book: Use the library/do research

There are too many resources on the internet to ever buy a book that can’t be finished. I don’t always like every book the same, some books are challenging, but it has been years since I’ve wasted my money on a book that I can’t see through to the end. I read best-of lists, reviews, and scan for titles similar to books I’ve enjoyed. I go to the library and read the first chapter of any book I’m interested in. There is no excuse to buy a book before making sure that it reaches the minimum level of readability that I set for it. Once I’ve decided that I want to purchase a book, there are a number of things I do to save money.

Buy Paperback

Paperbacks aren’t as pretty as hardback books. The paper might fold and the pages yellow more quickly. The fonts might be a bit smaller. The bottom line is: It’s the same book and it’s cheaper. When there is a paperback edition available for a book I want to buy, I go with the paperback. I would love to own hardback editions of all of the books I love. Right now, it’s just smarter to save money and buy paperback.

Buy Used

There are wonderful used books stores out there right now that only accept books that are in excellent shapes. They’re set up just like a Barnes & Noble, right down to the coffee they offer, but the books are a bit used. Who cares! The books are heavily discounted and give book lovers a great way to own popular books without having to pay $20-$30 for them. These used bookstores also carry rare gems like old textbooks that are hard to find anywhere else. The selection is unique from a new bookstore which stocks according to current trends.

Trade Books

If ownership isn’t on your list and you just want to own books that have no due date while you’re reading them, most used book stores have a trade program. Buy a book, sell it back, buy a book, sell it back, and that’s the way the story goes.
If you like a book enough, you can keep it and trade in the ones you didn’t enjoy as much. This is a great way to save money on books.

The Cheapest Price of all

If you want books for nothing, go to the library. There are certain months when I live at the library. I book hunt on to find out what’s fresh and exciting, pick a book, travel to the library, and land my find for free. All that’s left to do is enjoy the book for free and return it back where it came from. That’s one of those deals that sounds too good to be true, but that’s the way it happens in libraries across the country. Anyone who loves to read but has no cash to buy books never has to go without. They can always shop for a new book and have it the same day at the library. It’s not mine forever but I keep it long enough to enjoy its true value. Once I’ve enjoyed the words inside, the library can have it back. I have all I need.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

Email  • Google + • Twitter

Comments are closed.