Saving Money on Books

Satisfy you love of reading without breaking the bank. Below are some tips to help you save money on books. Feel free to post your own ideas in the feedback forum below.

Used Book Stores

We have 2 local stores that will give store credit for paperbacks that you bring in. You leave your books on the counter on the way in, and they tell you how much credit you have. Then you pick out your selections, bring them to the counter. This way, I have a steady selection of new and used paperbacks to choose from. Customers can also choose to purchase books, all at a lower price than new.


By c. nelson

Book Round

We have a book round at work. About every 6 weeks, those who want to participate bring a book they have read with their name in it. Each person takes a book, reads it, puts their name in it or on a book mark, then passes it on to another member of the group. We then meet again and pass the book to another person. This continues until all have had a chance to read the books, then we start with another round! It is so much fun and we enjoy the time together to have coffee and just talk! The original owner of the book gets it back to donate or trade for another at the used book store. Cheap entertainment!

By Mara

Thrift Stores

Goodwill Stores

Goodwill stores in my area have good buys on books and last day of the month they are usually half-price, also Salvation Army stores. I love to read and have most of mine have been from these places plus used bookstores.


By Ruth

Thrift Stores

Try Thrift stores! I have bought like new hardbacks (popular authors and recent editions) for as little as $.99. I try to go once a week as they are always getting more in stock!

By Lynn

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is a great place to buy bestsellers and popular titles. People donate them after they read them.

By SusannL

Magazine Exchange

Something I have been doing to save money on magazines is to take my used magazines with me to the hospital and exchange them in the public waiting areas with ones I have not read. My husband has to go to the hospital quite often so I do this when the time presents itself. It saves money and allows others to enjoy my magazines as well.


Buy Used Books at the Library

I read a lot. Instead of buying books new. I buy them at the library used book store for 24 cents (or on the last Friday of the month at 2/25 cents.) When I am done, I donate them back. Lots of good recycling and donating to a worthy cause too!


By Linda

Garage Sales

Garage sales are another excellent place to get books. Sometimes you can get paperbacks and hardcovers for only 10 cents! Boxes of magazines can sometimes be had for $1 for the entire box. I usually getting lots of reading material in the summer this way. It's a lot cheaper than paying $10 - $12 for a paperback!

By Karen Lawrence

My whole family just loves to read. Currently, I probably have about three thousand books here at home. Those were purchased in my "stupid money mode". Now, I have stopped all magazine subscriptions, because they are available at the library, along with most books. The only books I buy now are from garage or library sales where I pay fifty cents or less.

By Gloria

Buy Online

Childrens Books

I have bought books for my son's required school reading, for as little as a penny! You can find new and used, and a description of the condition of the book. So even with the shipping charge, you're still paying less than by going to that bookstore in the mall!


By Lisa

Hardback Books

I use to buy all hardback books brand new, spending lots of money, until I discovered that you can buy used books from individuals at You can just go to their web-site and find the book you want, then click on "New & Used" It will list all the New and Used books that people from all over the world are trying to sell. And at a MUCH cheaper price. It is awesome, you can do this with CD's, VHS, and DVD's. So you aren't buying from, just through them. I have never had any problems with this, and I have saved a TON of money!

By Crys7881

College Textbooks

To go along with Lisa's idea, I frequently buy my college textbooks from a website called Saved $200 last semester alone!

By Kelly

Selling Books Online

I sell books online, and some of the sites I use to compare prices are and I sell on half, with the same username as here, and of course, look on eBay and other auction sites. There are some just for books. Google will put up a bunch on a search. I also am a member of the book exchange. There you list a book, send it and the person sends stamps or check for the postage. Thanks for that other site, I'm going to check it out.


Join the friends of the library in your town. Good discounts there too.

By Octoberbabye

Book Exchange Shelf

Both at my church and at the elementary school where I teach, we have an on-going book exchange shelf, where the books come and go. They are not expected to be returned to their original owners. I have also participated in chain letter type books exchanges, but you really take your chances on what you might get back!

Use the Library

Get the most out of your tax dollars. Use the resources at your local library. Most libraries have the latest books, DVD's and books on CD! I request the books online from our public library. If they don't have the book I want, they almost always will order it. They call me when the books are in and I pick them up. Best of all, it's free!


Buying and Selling Books

I buy books for $.10 or $.25 each, read them and then sell them back to the used book store for more. I usually get a credit at the store and buy books, videos, DVDs or CDs for myself or for my children.

By MaryBeth and

It's fairly easy to save money on books. For new books, check Make sure you get enough to qualify for the free shipping, or your savings will be eaten up. If you're willing to take used, there are even bigger savings. If you're lucky enough to have a decent used book store near you, you can try that.

However, you can also try or amazon's used book store prices. The longer you wait to buy a book, the lower the price goes, so I recommend waiting as long as you possibly can. Remember to factor in the shipping costs when doing your price shopping!

The best way to save, however, is to go to your local library and check the book out before making the determination to buy it. Or better yet, check out the hardback from the Library for instant gratification but wait to buy the paperback. By doing this, you can often save 40% or more off the price of books. And by using the Library, you don't clutter up your house with un-read books.

By Kathleen

Tips For Magazines, Books and Videos


One of our local libraries has a magazine exchange in the lobby - I used to get great magazines from there when I had a car.

I, also asked a few neighbors if they could pass on magazines to me that they might be recycling. One lady exchanges magazines at the Senior Center and gave me some great ones to read and for crafts. (I'm looking forward to 50 & enjoying the Senior Center's book and magazine exchange!) My sister-in-law was putting magazines in recycling, so I asked and now she saves them for me (Better Homes & Gardens, etc.)

Some libraries have limited storage space and discard older issues of magazines. I'd buy them for 25 cents and sometimes get some for free when I volunteered there. I used to volunteer with Friends of the Library and bought all kinds of great books for my grand-nieces. We're in a prosperous area and have many donations and volunteers. We raised thousands every year to support literacy, children's programs and many other needs despite budget cuts... all by selling hardbacks from 50 cents to $1. Kids paperbacks are 3 for $1.

Free reading materials:

There's nothing like having a book, but there are a lot of sources of free reading materials online: Project Guttenberg and Bartlebys for books beyond copyright or samples of poetry. Also, a lot of amateur writers post their short stories and novels on-line or as free e-books. And there are lots of free e-zines on almost any topic.

For children's stories, you could also try library sites and also do a search on "storytellers" or "storytelling". Many professional storytellers post material on-line.


I saw a lot of children's videos at the Catholic school thrift store. Videos are getting cheap as people turn to DVDs.

By Marcy

Online Trade Sites

The Book Cart

I use a website You can list your books that you are finished with and you can browse in the books that are available. This is how it works. If you order a book, it costs you $2.25 and is mailed to you by the person who listed it on the site. If someone wants your book the administrator of the site, Jack, emails you to let you know there has been a request for your book. He will give you the name and mailing address to mail the book. You will pay for postage and send it via Media Mail which costs $1.42 for a pound and you get a credit into your account from the site for $1.75. You can pay through Paypal. I sent them $20.00 in a check when I first started using them. I have about a dozen or so books listed there. So sometimes I get a credit and sometimes I am charged for a book I requested. I know that after about 2 years of participation, I still have a credit of about $12.00 and have sent out several books and requested several. I have found 3 or 4 Chicken Soup books, and many others. I have never been disappointed.

By Harlean from Arkansas

Paperback Swap

Check out You might find this site helpful!

By Kathy

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July 27, 20070 found this helpful

a friend goes to local post offices and takes all the book club books that the post office keeps. the uspo doesnt mail them back because it costs to much money. so i always have brand new books for Christmas, birthdays etc.

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July 31, 20070 found this helpful

I use to get free books. It's free to join. Just list some books you want to give away. You get points for the books you list and can use those points to mooch a book from someone else. You also get points when someone mooches a book from you. I add to my inventory by buying new/nearly new books from Goodwill.

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July 31, 20070 found this helpful

I go all of the above - go to thrift shops, participate in book swaps, buy at library sales and yard sales - and used book store bargain tables/sections.

I also participate in - it works along the lines of other online book exchanges, and you pay $3.99 per book. It's a little more expensive than some other exchanges, but you can print postage for outgoing books right from your computer and I find the selection appeals to my more literary tastes.

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September 10, 20070 found this helpful

I have never heard of the USPS keeping book club books. Are you sure about that? Does she have to pay anything to get them - very interesting. Annie

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful
It is NOT a book trading site. It's actually intended to be for book tracking, sharing book information, and other things, but many members will share their books for postage, trade, or even sometimes for free. It's a large online community and lots of fun, as well as a source for books and book information.

You can also sometimes hunt the books that were released in your area - kind of like hunting for treasure. This can be a fun activity with kids, but everyone has to realize that sometimes you don't find the treasure.

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June 24, 20130 found this helpful

I use my public library's Interlibrary loan services w books, DVD, and other materials from other libraries across the US for free.

Also I buy used backs from which are priced from roughly .59-to usually $2 each plus media mail postal rates in the US. The site has a free hunting and gathering service, build a box service plus a discount for larger orders. They ship overseas as well.

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