Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. There’s nothing better than cozying up and getting lost in a book. Like most readers, I continue to buy books even when I have a huge pile of unfinished books at home (I really can’t be left alone in a book store). I just can’t help it, a cover stands out to me and I have to pick it up and read the description. Most books sound interesting so my list just continues to grow. And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I co-host a monthly book review linkup, Reading Lately, where I try to review at least four books every month. So I go through books pretty quickly.
But the problem with this is the cost of buying more. I’m always looking for ways to save some money, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite ways to get books on a budget.
Goodreads is a great website/app for book lovers to keep track of what books you’ve read and when. You can read other peoples reviews, share your own, and ask for recommendations from friends. But another great feature is the daily deals. You can select whether you want to receive Daily Deal emails for books on your to read list, for authors you follow, or for selected genres. Access this in your Account Settings under the tab Daily Deals. You can also enter to win books through giveaways, which can be found under the Browse drop down menu.
This might seem old school, but getting a library card is an extremely affordable way to save on books! You might have to wait for a book to become available, especially if it’s a new release. But you save a ton of money which is why borrowing books from a library is a popular option for many readers. Some libraries also hold book sales, so it’s worth checking with your local library.
Another great way to get books on a budget is to buy from thrift stores. Most books are available at inexpensive prices and you never know what you’ll find. I saw someone mention that their thrift store isn’t allowed to sell books, so she gave them her number to call whenever someone dropped off books. Instead of the thrift store throwing them away, she picked them off and took them for free.
Powells is a great website for finding new and used books. There are plenty of books (and textbooks) listed on their website. You can even sell some of your books to Powells if you have any that you want to get rid of. If you’re in Beaverton, Oregon, go check out the store.
Just Kindle Books
Just Kindle Books is a great website that lists kindle books that are available at cheap prices, or even free. Search through categories or their featured books to find your next affordable read.
Thriftbooks is another site where you can browse for new and used books at discounted prices.
PaperBack Swap is a fun and affordable way to get new books, but instead of buying books, you trade them. You list a book and when someone requests it, you mail it to them. And you get to choose from a huge selection of books, which you can keep or trade again. This is a very affordable way to read new books and share the love of reading with others.
Barnes & Noble Sales
Another way to save money on books is to use discounts and coupon codes at Barnes & Noble. If you subscribe to their email list, they send out regular discount and coupon codes that can be used in store or online. If you go into the store, there’s usually a sales table you can browse for books on a budget.
Overdrive is a website and app that works essentially like a library for ebooks. You need a library card to use it, but you get to borrow books and read for free!
If you’re interested in reviewing books, on your blog or Amazon/Goodreads, a great way to get books on a budget is to sign up with NetGalley. You request books you want to read and if you’re approved you receive an advanced reader copy (kindle version) from NetGalley for free. In exchange you write an honest review of the book. I love NetGalley because I sometimes receive really popular books as well as ones I might never have heard of or picked up.
Book Review Groups
Another option if you like reviewing books is to join some book review groups on Facebook. Depending on the group, you can get an advanced reader copy or an already published book an author is trying to promote. Each group has different requirements for where you post your reviews and how long you have to do it, but it’s definitely another option if you’re looking to get books on a budget. Usually you have to submit feedback to the group and it is encouraged to post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog. One of my favorite groups is Quirky Blind Date With a Book.
BookBub is a great way to get books on a budget, and they post new book deals every day. They are limited time deals and the books are free or discounted, usually less than two dollars.
There are a few options with Amazon to get books on a budget. If you have Amazon prime, you can get one free book each month as a part of Kindle First. And for $9.99/month you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited, which works kind of like a library with Kindle books on Amazon. You can read as many books as you want, but can only have access to, or “take out”, a certain number at a time. When you finish reading them you can deselect them to return them and pick new ones. Another option is to search for “free ebooks” in the search bar. You can get specific and search for “free scifi” or “free fiction” etc. Or go to this page here and browse the Master List of free Kindle Ebooks they offer.
A more direct, but great, option for getting books on a budget is to reach out directly to authors or publishing companies. If you have a blog or review books on social media, reach out and tell them who you are and what you can offer them. Authors love getting reviews, but they don’t want to just give books away. If you have a specific book you’re interested in, tell them which book. Or you can ask to be put on a PR list for future releases needing review.
Just make sure you follow through on your end and post your review. It’s okay to not like a book, honestly explain what you did or didn’t like about it and don’t be rude in your review. You can also post in Book Review forums on Facebook or Google Plus and ask if any authors are willing to exchange a copy of their book for a review on your blog or social media.
If you’re more interested in audiobooks…
Libriovox offers audiobooks in the public domain available on the internet. There is a limited selection because these are public domain books, but they’re free!
Audible is an Amazon program where you earn one credit every month that is good for one book regardless of price. You get a free 30 day trial when you first sign up. And you get to keep all your audiobooks even if you decide to cancel.
What are some ways you save money when buying books? Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter and receive notifications on my latest book reviews!