Whether you like reading as a hobby or have to buy textbooks for college, you know books are expensive, be it textbooks, paperback, hardback or even audio books.
But, many of us simply love having a real book in our hands.
If you’re an avid reader and you prefer to buy physical books over digital ones, then read our tips below on how to save money on books.
Below, we cover everything from how to get discounts on books, and the best places to buy cheap books.
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We give you a couple of ways to get them for free too!
Take a look at our tips and save money on reading.
1. Buy from used and discount online bookstores
Used and discount websites have some excellent book deals. You can get them so cheaply.
Here are a few places to find cheap used books and new books at a discount:
- BookOutlet.com: You can get low prices on a range of titles, both fiction and nonfiction books. There are new books featured daily. You can get books at 50% to 90% off their original list price.
- CheapestBookPrice. com: This is actually a price comparison tool for new and used books. You can find places to buy books at up to 95% off on this website.
- Half Price Books: Find new and used books on this website at a low price. There’s a tab on the website, called “Superbuys,” where you can buy books under a certain price, such as under $1 or under $5.
- Thriftbooks: Get cheap books at Thriftbooks. The site often has deals on, like “2 for $7,” “3 for $10,” and “4 for $12.”
- AbeBooks: You can find cheap used books at Abebooks, from a wide selection of genres and authors. Prices start at a $1, plus shipping – so you can get some great deals.
2. Get gift cards on InstaGC.com and use them to get free books!
InstaGC is a get paid to website, which pays you to do easy tasks like:
- Complete surveys
- Watch videos
- Shop online
- Search the internet
In return for completing these easy tasks instaGC gives you points.
You can redeem your points for gift cards to a range of bookstores, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. So, you can essentially get free books!
There are more than 350 gift cards available, and you can find cards to use in store or online.
Sign up for instaGC here.
3. And, don’t forget to check Swagbucks for free gift cards too!
Swagbucks is another get paid to or rewards website. You’ll earn points called Swag Bucks for completing easy tasks, like:
- Taking surveys
- Shopping online
- Browsing the internet
- Playing games
- Watching videos
You can exchange your points for gift cards to bookstores, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
And, then, you can use your gift cards to get free books.
Sign up for Swagbucks here.
4. Shop thrift stores
At thrift stores, you can find some super popular titles for a few dollars, or even less than a dollar!
So, visit your local thrift store frequently. You never know what books you might find.
5. Visit your local library
The library is a treasure trove of books that won’t cost you a penny!
So, don’t overlook it.
If you have your eye on a few books, but don’t want to pay full price for them, then consider signing up for your local library.
Most library cards are free and you can find some great books there.
6. Use Prime Reload and get free cash to spend on books
Prime Reload (review here) is an interesting feature from Amazon. It allows you to get cashback, without having to use a credit card.
With Prime Reload, you add money to an Amazon Gift Card using your debit card, credit card, pre-paid card or checking account. Each time you load money onto the gift card, you get 2% cashback.
So, this means that you essentially get free cash to spend on books!
To use Prime Reload, you will need to be a member of Amazon Prime.
Sign up for Prime and learn more about Prime Reload here.
7. Check out yard sales for great titles
Another place to find some real gems is at yard sales. Yard sales are great because you never know what exciting books you’re going to find. And, since many are priced as low as a dollar or less, you can find some great deals.
If you’re looking to expand your book collection, but don’t want to spend too much money, then we’d highly recommend attending yard sales.
8. Sell your old books to Amazon for cash to buy new ones
Another good way to save cash when buying books is to trade in your old ones.
Many of us have books that we no longer read – and while we tend to just leave them sitting on the shelves, selling them is a much better idea!
You get rid of the books you no longer need, and have money to buy new ones!
With Amazon trade-in, you can easily sell your old books.
It’s a program that gives you Amazon gift cards in exchange for a wide range of items, including books.
So, you basically get free cash to spend on books at Amazon.com.
Check out the Amazon Trade-In program here.
There are other places online where you can sell used books for cash and store credit:
A handy tool to use if you’re selling book is BookScouter.
On the website, with a single search, you can compare the price you’d get for a book at 42 book buyback vendors.
So, you can compare offers and ensure that you get the best price for your books, without having to go to each site individually to compare prices. All of the buyback vendors featured on the site allow you to ship your books for free.
Read my BookScouter review for a few insider tips that will help you get more money for your old books.
9. Subscribe to bookstore email lists for discounts
A lot of bookstores send out great offers via email. All you need to do is subscribe to the store’s email list, which is totally free to do, and you’ll receive money-saving offers, like discount codes, right to your inbox.
Many even give you a discount just for subscribing.
- Books-A-Million for example, gives you 15% off any item on your next online order when you subscribe to its email list. And, of course, you’ll get special offers and promotions via email as well.
- Barnes & Noble also gives you 15% off when you sign up to its email list, and you’ll also receive exclusive offers.
- Half Price Books also has an email list you can sign up for to get special offers. When you sign up, you’ll get a coupon for your first purchase, and you can also receive emails featuring details about sales and coupons.
So, always check to see if the online book store you visit has an email list. You can get some great savings just by signing up to receive emails.
10. Get a bookstore membership
If you buy a lot of your books at one particular bookstore, then it might be worth signing up for a membership.
Some bookstores offer a membership to their customers for a certain fee. Then, members get access to all sorts of benefits, including discounts.
For example, Barnes & Noble has a membership that costs $25 a year, but you receive more than $60 in bonus coupons via email when you join. So, you get more savings back than the membership actually costs. If you buy a lot of books at Barnes & Noble, then it could be worth signing up for a membership.
Books-A-Million is another bookstore that offers memberships to its customers.
With the Books-A-Million membership, which, like the Barnes & Noble membership, costs $25 a year, you get a 10% in-store discount. But, that’s not all. You also get $100 in bonus coupons, free Wi-Fi access, and free shipping on orders, with no spending minimum required.
11. Write reviews in exchange for free books
Sometimes, authors will give away print copies of their books in exchange for reviews.
Most places offer free eBooks, but some do offer physical books too.
12. Check out library and university sales
Sometimes libraries and universities sell books to make room for new books.
A lot of universities sell college text books at really low prices during these rare sales. These sales can be a great place to find deeply discounted books.
Check with local libraries and universities to see when their sales are held.
13. Swap books
Online book swapping communities are great for getting new books, for free or for just the cost of shopping.
14. Use coupon websites for big discounts online and in-store
On coupon websites and deal websites, you can find some really great discounts for popular bookstores.
Here are a few other coupon websites and deal websites, where you can find discounts for bookstores and any other platforms that sell books.
15. Enter a giveaway
Many authors give their books away for free. While many offer free digital copies, some actually offer free print books.
Goodreads has a whole section for giveaways. It features a list of books that authors are giving to readers for free. You can read what the book is about, view information about the author, and you can see what format the book will be in – so Amazon Kindle, or print book for example.
The authors giveaway a set number of copies, and lots of people do enter the giveaways, so you might not win a free book, but you could win, so it’s definitely worth entering.
Check out the Goodreads giveaway section here.
Also, enter the term “print book giveaways” into a search engine, and you’ll see more giveaways.
There are plenty of ways you can save cash on print books. If you follow these tips, then you could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year on books.
If you have any tips on how to save money on books, please let us know in the comments section below.