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Finding Books for Cheap or Free

Updated on February 19, 2007

I love books. I have shelf after shelf of books. I love books. Books, however, are expensive if bought retail. A hardback book is around $20 and a paperback book is around $5 - $10. This doesn't seem like much for one book, but when you read a lot or have children that read a lot, this can really add up. Here are some ways I have found to get good deals on books, even some for free.

  • Library sales are offered twice a month in my town. The hardback books were $1 and the paperback books were $.25. This was a great deal, but remember to get there early, the selection goes quickly.
  • Every children's consignment store I have ever been in has sold books. Usually for around half of what you would pay in a retail store.
  • Garage sales almost always have books. Children's books are usually very inexpensive, as in $.25 each for paperbacks. Adult books I usually see for $1. Often times if I am buying other items at a garage sale the seller will give me a few books for free. Haggling is common at garage sales and every expects it, so all you have to do is ask. If you are spending $5 on an aerobic step and have two books that you want as well, just ask if they will throw in the books for free if you give them $5 for the step. Many times garages sales will have a "free" box and I have often seen books in there.
  • Trade or borrow books with friends. Many books are worth reading once, but are not books that you would really need to have on hand at all times. Borrowing from a friend means you get to read the book for free and your shelves go uncluttered. You can also just trade books and then you won't have to worry about returning them when you are done.
  • Ebay has a great selection of books. I have found many, many books this way, especially obscure books. Many sellers start book listings at $.99 + shipping. Media mail is very cheap if the seller will go that route, and I can frequently get a needed book for 1/4 of the price of retail.
  • I can't end this article without mentioning just borrowing them from the library. Do you really need to own every book you read? I certainly don't, although I do own many. While I own lots of books, I have read many more that I have borrowed from the library. This is a great resource that many people overlook.

I think every person should read and every person should own books. I just don't think that it should cost very much money. Next time you want to buy a book, think about some different places you might find books at. You will probably save some money and maybe even get some books for free.


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      NANO Computers 

      10 years ago

      I impressed and i want to learn more about u and magazine.

      thanking you

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is Mariana Rodriguez. I'm only 17 years old and I want to be a writer one day. I just wanted to know if you can give me options on getting started. What can I do? Is there anything I can do to get started already?

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      10 years ago from Iowa

      Hi Jennifer! What a great hub for book lovers! Our Parent Teacher Association in rural Arizona has been hosting an annual PTA Book Fair for over 30 years. Here's how it works: people save up their books until April, when the PTA opens up various locations across town for donations. The PTA picks up some 20,000 books and sorts through them for a week. On Saturday morning, the doors of the local community center open up for a progressive sale. Almost all the books sell for 50 cents the first day, 25 cents the second day, and for free the last day. This last bit is vital because very few books are left to put in storage on Monday. We make about $6000 a year and people walk away with boxes and boxes of books. Kids reread and recycle, and for about 10 dollars can buy many of the books that are more expensive to order through the Scholastic book catalog. It's so much fun! Hope this comment is relevant!


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