It’s a beautiful autumn day, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, my mood is excellent, and it’s PAYDAY!
Those 40 hours of work are sure starting to pay off and I feel over the moon looking at the fat check I just received. Who wouldn’t?
Since I have nothing to do, I decide to read a book (big surprise there.) I head on over to my local Barnes and Noble and as I browse through each aisle, my mood darkens with each step. $15, $20, $25…that’s the average listing price for each book I pick up. Do I really want to spend $20 of my hard-earned money on one book? no.
Why, oh why, must personal enrichment be so costly? Dost thou know?
Who cares? Here’s how I went from spending $20 on one book to getting a bigger bang for my buck.
1. Book Outlet
This incredible website is my go-to on saving money for books. Instead of heading straight to a Barnes and Noble website or store, I ALWAYS check if it is available on BookOutlet. They have books from every genre, with prices ranging as low as 50 cents to a couple of dollars (yes folks, miracles do exist!) One popular book I found at a bargain price was Cassandra Clare’s fantasy novel, Clockwork Princess. This hardcover book usually retails at $20 but is available at BookOutlet (brand new) for $5.99.
Also, make sure to check out the Scratch and Dent section which sells books cheaper than they already are.
WARNING: Scratch and Dent books usually have some type of defect, e.g., torn or bent page, missing dust jacket, or slight discoloration in cover. These defects are usually very mild and mostly undetectable at first glance.
2. Amazon/Barnes and Noble website
It is no surprise that Amazon has a great number of reduced prices for books, but one thing I always find helpful is using the bargain selection on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Yes, I know what you’re thinking—What can I possibly buy from the bargain selection? I’m glad you asked, my friend.
Classics, young adult, contemporary, dystopian, the list is endless.
While you might have difficulty finding a popular in-demand novel, you are still able to find books such as John Green’s young adult novel, An Abundance of Katherine’s.
Personally, I use these two websites for finding novels of a particular kind—classics. Call me boring but I enjoy the challenge of reading stuff written by dead people. Whether it’s Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, or the Brontë sisters, these websites have a large selection of classics in the bargain section. If you’re lucky, you’ll find some truly awesome copies, such as this cover of Emily Brontë’s novel, Wuthering Heights. Isn’t it beautiful?
Not only are these two websites a great tool for finding books, but can be used as an alternative to BookOutlet. Even if you are not using the bargain section, you can save yourself a few dollars if you use the B&N and Amazon website.
3. Thrift Books
Thrift Books, an online-based bookstore, definitely gives BookOutlet a run for its money. You can almost always find the title you are looking for at a discounted the price. The only issue is that certain titles can be difficult to find in good condition. Still, my favorite thing about this website is that they inform you on the condition of the book. You always know what you buy and it saves you a lot of money.
Recently, I bought a HARDCOVER copy of author Cinda William Chima’s, The Crimson Crown for $4.38! You also get free shipping on any order of $10 or more and are kept updated on any sales going on.
4. The Book Depository
Every so often I want to read a book that I cannot find at a discounted price anywhere. I am then forced to ask myself: Am I willing to pay full price? Decisions, decisions.
Sometimes you just have to call it quits. If I really want to read a book badly, I might have to hand over those $20. What do I do? I go on BookDepository.com. They might have a 10%, 20% or even a 30% discount on books, but most importantly, FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. HUZZAH!
If you want a book that bad, go on this website and save yourself those couple of bucks that go on shipping, it’s expensive and annoying.
Last but certainly not least is a little app called OverDrive. This app is great for lending books, but you’re going to have to do some work. First, you have to pay a visit to your local library and get a library card. Proceed to make an overdrive account and put in the required information. Once you put in your information, you have a whole range of books at your fingertips. Magic!
Basically, OverDrive is an ebook library, this is great for people who love reading on their phone, kindle, iPad, etc. The only downside is that you don’t get to keep the book, but if you’re like me, this would be beneficial because you’re not buying books you don’t like in the end. It’s FREE, c’mon!
Disclaimer: This app works like an actual library, in other words, once it’s checked out, you’re going to have to wait. Sorry!
According to The Telegraph, reading for 6 minutes a day can help reduce stress levels by 68 percent. As a college student, I know what it’s like to feel stressed, but I also know what it’s like to be broke. Nobody wants to spend their hard earned money on a $20 book, but reading helps me with stress, so I knew I had to find a way to make my money last. That being said, I hope these resources help you as much as they have helped me, happy reading!