Places to get books
Yes, you can go to chain bookstores like physically in stores – Chapters or Barnes & Nobles or electronically through sites like Kobo or Kindle. But there are other ways to get books cheaper. Here are ways to get them. If you have any other places to get books comment below and I have a list of websites where you can go to get books.
Where to Find Free Books
Books from these sources won’t cost you a cent, but will require some of your time. You’ll need to request books, write short reviews or earn points to convert to gift cards.
1. Review Copies From Publishers
Bloggers in any niche can get free copies of soon-to-be-released books from major publishers in exchange for reviews on your blog or social media.
For example, Book Look Bloggers requests a 200-word review posted to a book retailer’s website before you can request your next book. Library Thing, First Reads, Bethany House, and Tyndale House Publishers also have programs that offer free books in exchange for honest reviews.
2. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia can get a free book every month from the Dolly Parton Foundation. You must live in an area that offers the program; click the “register my child” link to see if your child is eligible. If you don’t qualify — or you don’t have kids — why not share this opportunity with friends or family members who might?
This isn’t exclusively a way to get books, but as a member of Swagbucks, you can earn virtual cash doing simple everyday things like searching the web, checking your credit report and shopping online.
Redeem your Swagbucks for genuine $5 gift card codes on Amazon. Once you’ve built up a few of these cards, you’ll be able to pre-order your favorite author’s latest release, instead of joining a waiting list with 29 other library patrons.
Where to Get Nearly Free Books
For just the cost of postage or fuel, trade an unwanted book — or one you’ve finished reading — for one that you’d really like.
4. Little Free Libraries
The premise is simple: take a book and leave a book in one of the small boxes in various locations around the world. If you haven’t seen Little Free Libraries’ book houses around your town, check out their website to see if there’s one in your community — or even start one.
5. Paperback Swap
This online community boasts an ever-changing inventory of more than 4 million books with more being added every minute. When you join and list 10 books you’re willing to give away, you get two credits to request books from other members. Each time you send a book and the recipient marks it as received, you get a credit.
6. BookBub. This site shows discounted or free ebooks. With an email address you can choose to download your chosen book through Kobo or Amazon.
The advantage of Craigslist is that you can find rarer books, like first editions, sometimes cheaper than regular books. The price often depends on the urgency of the buyer. Since it is more or less a kind of modern-day trade post, the price isn’t necessarily fixed, which gives you the ability to possibly lower it if the seller can’t find another buyer.
You can also check the “free” section of the site to see if anyone is trying to just get rid of books.
Lastly, this isn’t necessarily a tip, but you can also ask for gift cards to bookstores or specific books for birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Finding Cheap Books
To maximize your ability to participate in the Little Free Library and Paperback Swap programs, invest a few dollars in bargain-priced books by popular authors or bestsellers so that you can trade them for books you do want to read and keep long-term.
8. Scholastic Reading Clubs
Scholastic Reading Club. Check with your child’s teacher to see if they’ll make the book orders available, or sign up if you’re a teacher in a public, private or home school. As a bonus, teachers who organize reading clubs earn points to redeem for free books.
9. Thrift Stores
The kind and quality of books you’ll find in local thrift stores vary by the store and region. I find that the best books are at thrift stores in more affluent neighborhoods or towns. Goodwill and Value Village are examples of great stores to look for books – they are relatively cheap. Most of their paperbacks run in the $1-3 range. Hardcovers are around $5-6, though you’ll want to check individual store prices when you go in. Often times you can find real treasures there, since unlike a book store they don’t price the book based on its print edition or age.
Almost all thrift stores sell used books, but the selection varies from a few good choices to a goldmine. Prices vary by store. For example, Goodwill sells books from 50 cents to a few bucks each depending on the location. Go to TheThriftShopper.com and ThriftStoreListings.com, find some local stores, and take a Sunday or two finding the best spot.
10. Garage Sales
Again, you’re not guaranteed to find anything you like, but if you’re looking for children’s books, keep your eyes open for garage sales held by retiring teachers. They usually have immense classroom libraries and often just want to pass on their books to eager readers as they downsize and enter retirement. A bonus is that there is no tax to them.
11. Library Sales
To make room for all their new books and generate money to pay for guest lectures and programs, most libraries have book sales once or twice a year. For the best selection, be there when the doors open on the first day. On the last day of the sale, prices are usually slashed even further, allowing you to get a bag full of books for just a few dollars. These are another great place to go because libraries generally sell their books for a lower price.
Local libraries clear out their inventory at least once a year, offering hundreds — sometimes thousands — of books at cheap prices. The library may price books individually at first, but as the sale days run out, they often begin selling them by the box or bag. Go early in the beginning so you get first dibs and pick up any must-haves. Then go at the end and pick up more at bargain-bin prices.
12. Online Stores. Amazon and Ebay being two, there are other websites that offer discounted books. Alibris.com routinely offers 10 percent off $30 and $50 orders via its newsletter coupon.
13. Used Bookstores
Stores like Half Price Books usually have a value rack in each book section with novels for one dollar.
Sometimes you can find literary gems at stores, too, if you are willing to invest the time to look for them. These stores also have sales, so you can always check out their website to see if there’s one going on.
Other ways to get books
14. Ask smart people for recommendations. Smart people read, people who read become smart. End of story. Find out what worked for other people. It’s a great conversation starter too.
15. For your next birthday or gift giving situation ask for the givers favourite book to be the gift. Or maybe just ask for a gift card to your favourite bookstore or online site.
16. When you read a book, mark down the other books it cites either in the text or in the bibliography.
17. Walk into bookstores – pretty obvious. Whether you’re in an airport, walking down the street, traveling in a foreign country–try to find bookstores and poke your head in. Even if you use Kindle or iBooks, do this. Discovery is important.
18. Books to never buy new
Books by Stephen King, Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, E.L. James, Augusten Burroughs, and John Grisham — in other words, popular authors — always seem to end up in thrift shops, so don’t buy them at full price.
19. Buy cheap “placeholder” books
In some instances, you might want to get a crummy edition of a book you can’t wait to read, and keep an eye out for a better copy later.
20. No more teachers means more books for you
When school lets out, student books get donated. I stacked my sections of plays, literary theory, and classics by scoping out thrift stores at the end of the school year. The thrift stores there always had a better selection and a higher turnover rate. Even better: Duplicate copies are more common, allowing you to pick the one in the best condition.
21. Expand your interests
Think of subjects you’d like to know more about and keep an eye open for a book. You’ll cheaply add sections to your library and enrich your mind.
22. Compare prices and editions
Used bookstores’ finer selections will include some gems, but comparison shop before you check out. If you have a smartphone, download an app like Shop Savvy to scan the barcode and compare prices.