Because books are expensive and I like to think of myself as a frugal person (I say as I look at the beautiful, expensive, hardcover books on my shelf) And while I love my cheap ebooks, I really, really love having physical copies of my favorite books. And I’m basically a broke college student. So when I set out to buy my favorite paperback or hardcover, I go looking for the cheapest option.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
Local libraries are the number 1 best place to read books in my opinion. They’re free and have huge selections (and often you can request books from other libraries so basically you have an infinite selection). Not to mention libraries are a wealth of resources as well. They have movies and audiobooks, they have activities and book clubs, and librarians can help you with almost anything. And libraries are a safe place where you can never get bored.
Thrift Books is my number 2 choice for cheap books. You can buy books used or new for a few bucks off the listed price. And they always have a discount going on, so you can usually get ten or fifteen percent off your order.
Book Bub unfortunately only does discounts on ebooks and I find they have more adult romance books than anything else. But I have gotten dozens of free ebooks from here (which are sitting in my TBR. oops) If you subscribe to their newsletter, they’ll send you a list of discounted and FREE ebooks in your preferred genres every week.
Overdrive is a library for ebooks. You can use it to borrow ebooks from your library system. And you can download the free Libby app to read the books right on your phone. That way I can still read books even if I forget my Kindle (which I never have so far, but it’s a possibility and God forbid I have two minutes of free time where I’m not reading 🙂
Book Depository’s biggest turn off for me is how it’s now owned by Amazon. While I don’t boycott Amazon, I try to buy books from anywhere but Amazon simply because I don’t want Amazon to become the only available bookseller (cue dystopian nightmare music) However, Book Depository is still a cheap option that ships internationally and if you want to use it, go for it.
Local Thrift Store is a hit or miss kind of deal. Sometimes you’ll find a gem, sometimes you won’t. It’s a worth a try, but don’t go in expecting to find the book you want (but if you’re looking for any book of the Twilight Saga, you will find it.)
Book Outlet has a whole selection of YA books under $6 with some as low as a buck! And shipping is free on orders over $35. They also sell some used books as well. But be wary because some books may not come with the exact cover that is used on the product page. You can read more about that here.
Local Used Bookstores are a great way to support small businesses while also getting some crazy good deals on books. And you’ll meet other bookworms, so there really is no downside to this.
Goodreads always has a giveaway going and it costs literally nothing to enter a giveaway. There are both ebook and paperback options for giveaways. And if you have an account with Goodreads, it will alert you to giveaways on books that are on your to-read shelf which is a handy little feature.
Books a Million has so much more than just books. They have gifts for book lovers and Funko Pops and collectibles and more. They have hardcovers for $5 which is incredible! And you can find some great deals in their bargain book section with some books as low as $3. If you live near a BAM store, you can pick up your order for free.
So that’s my list of ten cheap/free ways to read books. And something I didn’t mention was places like NetGalley where you can request ARC books for free. The only downside is you have to review them which may not work for some people. So find a method that works for you (or two or three) and get to reading!
If you know of any more options, tell me in the comments below! (because I totally need to buy more books 😉