Books On A Budget

As a college student, I’m pretty much broke and being a book nerd does not help with that. How many times have I walked into a Barnes and Noble and gawked at all the fresh new books then go to check the price and nearly drop the book.

Books can be expensive. We all know that. As a result, I decided on making a post for those of you who love to buy books but share the struggle of being broke.

Books For Less:


Buy From Online Book Shops: I do this the most.  There are many online bookshops that sell books for a fraction of their original price. (no I am not being sponsored by them) is the main site that I hit up for books, but there are many other websites that you can purchase from. Here are a few:


Used Book Stores: I love going to a used book store they always have great atmospheres. Here’s a few reasons why you should purchase from used book stores:

  • The books are cheap and you can usually find ones in great condition
  • Can find older cover editions that you can’t find in new book stores
  • The hunting through all the books is fun
  • You can usually sell your books, and get store credit or straight up cash for them


Memberships With Your Bookstores: This is nice since you can save on those super expensive books that you’ve been gawking at for some time. The thing is about these memberships, you usually have to pay a yearly fee, but you get back what you paid for and sometimes even more through coupons and special member savings and perks. Here are the basic perks that you may receive for opening up a membership with a bookstore:

  • A percentage off of your purchase
  • Coupons
  • Exclusive savings
  • Free Online Shipping
  • Early notices on events/sales coming up in those stores


E-books: E-books are usually a lot cheaper than their print counterparts. I just prefer to have tangible books.


Thrift ShopsYou can find used books for super cheap at thrift shops and many times the books are in good condition. Here’s and example of how cheap you could buy books at a thrift shop: At Goodwill you can buy paper backs for $0.99  or $1.99. Now, if you are a student or have a military ID you can show your ID to get 10% off (20% off on Tuesdays). If you are 55 or older, you get 20% off on Wednesdays.


Walmart/Target: A lot of the time, these two stores take a percentage off of the books they sell.


Amazon/E-bay: I don’t really use these sites much since I find the other ways a lot cheaper, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have good prices for some books.


Charity Book Sales: Sometimes charities will sell used books for super cheap to raise money for a cause. The perks of these book sales is that 1) You will be helping out a charity 2) You are satisfying your book hunger. My YMCA is hosting one for a whole week this week.

Garage Sales: Come on. Who doesn’t love a good garage sale. You can even haggle down the price. I don’t know why you would since it’s probably super cheap already but, hey, every penny counts.

Library Sales: Sometimes your local library will sell some of their books for cheap prices. Help your local library out, man.

Books For Free (The Best Part):


Advanced Reader Copies: Publishers and Authors will send out books to a few readers before the book is released to get some feedback about the book. You can request them or the publisher or author will ask you to review the book for them.


Giveaways: Many other bookish individuals, authors, publishers, and booksellers hold giveaways that you can enter to win a free book and possibly some awesome merch to come with it! I always see giveaways on Instagram and Good Reads, so enter away!

Trading/Swapping books: You can do this with other bookish friends, but you can also do this through online websites. Here are a few to check out:

Library: The good ole library. Sometimes I forget that the library is a thing. That’s probably because I like to own my books, but this is a great and more convenient way to read books without paying a dime.

Asking For Books As Gifts: Don’t be afraid to ask for books as gifts. When someone asks you what you want for your birthday don’t stand there like a bafoon. Tell ’em what you want. BOOOOOOKS. Say it with your chest (yes I am a Kev Hart fan). People actually like it when you tell them what you want because it makes it easier to shop for a gift.


E-Books: Not only are e-books usually cheap, a lot of them are free. If you are looking for something new to read, you can find a free e-book to crack into. Usually you don’t see mainstream books as free on e-books, but there are many indie authors out there that have the first book in their series out for free. Think of it as a free trial before you wholly commit to a series.

Final Note:

I know that with these alternative ways to obtain/read books the authors do not always get support. So with this, I encourage you to at least buy one new book if you can (sometimes it feels great to splurge on new books). 

If you can’t, there are other ways to support your favorite authors! Writing reviews for the books you read can help immensely by bringing over more readers to read their books. You don’t even have to write reviews. Just posting the book on social media can gain traffic for that book. Don’t have social media? Then use your voice and let your friends, family, neighbors, and random people on the street know that you’re reading an amazing book. 

As readers we should always try to support our authors because they are the ones who transport us to our favorite worlds. 

Until next time yall! 


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