How To Build Your Library for Cheap

I’m a bibliophile. I don’t try to hide it. I love books. I’m always on the look out for new books to add to my collection. However, these days, books aren’t very cheap. A brand new hardcover can run you upwards of $30, and a new paperback around $20. So what do you do when you want to feed your obsession for great new reads but don’t have enough money to buy something new?

Well, thanks to my recent belt tightening, I’ve been rediscovering how to pick up books for cheap. Now, I’m not talking about going to the library, because when you go to the library to borrow books (don’t get me wrong, I love libraries), you don’t get to KEEP the book. You don’t get to fold the pages and write your name on the inside or add a fancy book plate. UNLESS, you happen to find that book at a library sale. Just this week I picked up these three great young adult reads for a total of 75 cents! That’s right, I paid PEANUTS for these books. Sure, they’re a bit beat up and they have ‘library’ written all over them, but they also have the word WITHDRAWN, which means that they are now officially mine! Ha-ha-ha! (insert evil genius laughter here). I’m now free to write my name all over these books if that’s what I choose to do.

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London

But, let’s be honest, the library book sale doesn’t always have the best selection. Which is why there’s the discount section at your location bookstore. Now, I’ve never seen these sections to be particularly well marked (I mean, what book store wants to sell you a hardcover for $6 when they could be selling you one for $30), so you may need to ask around. Yesterday, I found these three beauties in the sale section. I’ve even left the price tags on so you can see how cheap they are (and yes, these are all HARDCOVERS!).

Another great option for finding cheap new reads is a second hand book store. Although these are becoming few and far between in the real world, they are alive and well on the internet. You can always buy used copies on Amazon, sometimes for much cheaper than a new books, but other times not so much. Then there are speciality sites like www.bookfinder.com, which does all the hard work for you and compares the prices on all of the other sites, including Amazon, Abe Books, and Ebay, and a bunch of other used book sellers that you’ve probably never even heard of.

Then there are the book exchanges. My nearby grocery store has a nifty little book exchange tucked into the corner by the pharmacy. Don’t let the word Exchange fool you, if you don’t want to give up a book, you usually don’t have to. Instead of trading, the exchanges often have the option of ‘donating’ or paying a low set fee of 25 or 50 cents. This is how I found my copy of Girl on The Train.

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The books cost less than $20 in total!

Of course, if you’re an ereader, you can read all you like without ever having to pay for a book again! There are hundreds of free young adult books on Kindle, Kobo, and iBooks, and all you need to download them is the App and an account. Needless to say, my virtual library is at least as big as my physical library, and I’ll read books in whatever format they come in, but finding a bargain on a real, physical book? That truly makes my day. Although, sometimes when I see the crowding on my bookshelves, my ereader—and virtual library—make my day even more.

JEH

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