Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Favorite Ways to Get Cheap Books

I love to read and pretty much nothing has stopped me from acquiring books. Once you've had your views altered by a book you almost didn't read, it's hard to say no to anything.

I get most of my books these days for review on this blog or The Friendly Book Nook, but these are some of the other ways I find cheap books!

There are a lot of ways to get cheap books. Most lists like this would probably include the library (which I don't use),used bookstores, and online swapping sites (I've never tried them...they require going to the post office which as winners of my giveways know I'm not good at). But this is about my favorite ways to find books!

1) The cheapest is freecycle. What I love about obtaining books through freecyle is that it's absolutely no risk and you're likely to discover some gems. You might even uncover something rare and out of print! I've had people on freecycle hand over large trashbags full of books or boxes with 40-50 books! (I work in a literacy program and offer them to my students) I discovered Tess Gerritsen, now an auto-buy author for me, through a freecycle donation. Freecycle is easy to use and while most books that I see offered are for adults, people also offer children's books.

2) eBay. I haven't actually bought anything off of eBay for awhile, but there was a time when I could get lots of 7-8 relatively new books for around 10-12 dollars including shipping. In fact, if you are looking for an out of print or newer title sometimes you can find them buried in a lot of other books (although I think eBay has so improved their search functions this sort of find might not be as easy anymore). Additionally, store sellers will often offer books for a cheaper price and combine shipping for you. This makes it a better option than Amazon.

3) CVS/DollarTree/Grocery Store. Often these places will sell books for around 4.99, but that's not what I'm talking about. When they are ready to get rid of their current selection for new titles, they will deeply discount the books. I've bought nice hardcover books from these places for .50-.75 cents.

4) Barnes and Noble Bargain Books. Barnes and Noble has a standard bargain books table where you can find some goodies (hint, you'll often find the hardcovers of that shiny new trade paperback you wanted) but they also have a cart with books that are marked 75 percent off of the already discounted price. I'm a Barnes and Noble member which further sweetens the deal for me.

5) Christianbook.com They have some crazy good deals sometimes. It's a little harder to find Christian fiction at an affordable rate, so CBD is definitely a place to look. Unlike Amazon, they charge for shipping, but it's not over the top. I recommend always checking CBD before Amazon for Christian fiction.

So those are some my tips. I'd love to hear yours, even if you use the library or swapping sites. I also have another great tip for you! Tomorrow I'll be giving away two brand new copies of Gary Chapman's Love as a Way of Life...so come back!

This post is part of Rocks in my Dryer's Works for Me Wednesdays.


Alexis Jacobs said...

Great ideas! Garage sales and a local used book store have also been a huge source of good book bargains. Especially when I have trade credit built up at the bookstore.

Anonymous said...

I never thought of Freecycle!

I use half.com a ton and sometimes I find a good book at The Goodwill Store.


Angie said...

I love www.bookmooch.com, it's a site that let's you give and get books from people for free. All you have to pay for is the postage when you send a book.

Jen said...

Why don't you use the library? Just wondering.

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Great idea. I also got to Half Price books, garage sales and I've been amazed at what I've found at GoodWill!

Kate said...

Great ideas!!! Have you ever tried CraigsList? Also, I find alot of great books at my local second hand shop...they are always priced good and I've found some steals..which is great since I'm a bookaholic! :D Looks like you are too!! Fun!

Anonymous said...

I love Swaptree.com. After the first few times you can just reuse the envelopes sent by other people. And they tell you how much shipping costs so I just bought a bunch of 76 cent stamps and that combined with my 42 cents and 2 cent stamps gets me right at the right amount most of the time. Or you can print shipping labels from them for a few more cents. I have to say that I love it. It uses the ISBN numbers so you don't have to enter a lot of stuff and searching to make your want list is really easy. I definably suggest giving it a try.

Carole said...

I almost totally use the library. With the interlibrary loan feature, very rarely can I not find a particular book. I go online, search, place holds and they e-mail me as they come in. I go every Friday, or even every other Friday, and walk out with a stack.

Something I've noticed about CBD is that they will offer free shipping 2-3 times a year. Just keep a list and order during those times. Their low prices combined with no sales tax and free shipping is a great deal.

Karin said...

I also get them at garage sales--the least I ever paid was 3 cents a book a few years ago. Most of the time it ranges from 10-50 cents...

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