How to save money on books

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on

I’ll be the first person to tell you that I don’t buy a lot of books. Yes, I feature the occasional “book haul” on the blog, but they are few and far between. Plus my book hauls are usually just a few books; not 20 or a high number like that. Why do I not buy a lot of books? It’s because of space issues. I only have room for two bookshelves in my home library. I’m fine with that because I don’t like a messy, cluttered look. It’s also nice to save money by borrowing most of my books from the library. Since my tax dollars fund my local library, it’s win-win. Since moving to Paris, I also bought an annual membership at the American Library in Paris. Worth every penny. I have access to their entire book collection, the New York Times, and other databases that I use for research and for fun.

So, whether you are frugal or simply want to be a good environmental steward by not over-consuming on stuff, there are many ways you can save money on books.

Photo by Hoang Bin on

Public Library

This one seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised by how many people I meet who don’t use their library. If you don’t like the idea of making time to drive to your library to check out books, you can simply check out ebooks and audiobooks from the comfort of your own home. You could even place books on hold and have them ready for your pick-up. This will save you time inside the library. With your library card you can check out books, ebooks and audiobooks. Speaking of libraries, check with your local library on whether they host used book sales. My home library is a gold mine because sometimes you can pay just one dollar to fill a bag with books.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores have an amazing array of books. I love going to thrift stores for the sole purpose of checking out their book selections.

Neighborhood Lending Library

You can start a lending library program with your neighbors; if appropriate maybe you could start this at your place of work too.

Little Free Library

Neighborhoods across America have Little Free Libraries. Verify if your neighborhood has one.

Project Gutenberg

You can read all of the classics for free on Project Gutenberg. This is thanks to the kind souls around the world who volunteer their time to upload out of copyright books so that everyone may have access to literature. If you want to give Project Gutenberg a try, you can start with the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. (Special Note: Readers outside of the United States must check the copyright terms of their countries before accessing, downloading or redistributing eBooks.)


For an honest review, NetGalley will give you free ebooks. You just have to be willing to give them feedback on the books you read. The feedback can be left on your blog as a book review or you can leave the feedback on their website.

What do you think? Was this helpful? Do you have any tips to share with us?

xoxo, Jane

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Writer, blogger, bibliophile, tea connoisseur, happiness-seeker.

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