Buying Books on a Budget – Part 1

I love books, probably a bit more than the next person. However, anyone who loves books as much as I do knows that they can get costly. Many paperbacks can cost around 10 dollars, and hardcovers are almost always more expensive. One of my most expensive books on my shelf is my copy of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, which cost twenty dollars! (Of course, I did buy it at Book Con and got it signed, so I don’t mind as much!)

I’m a college student, so money isn’t exactly something that I have a lot of. Because of this, I’ve learned how to find books for cheap or reduced prices. Here are some of my favorite places to find books!

1. Dollar Stores

Specifically, I’m talking about Dollar Tree. Many Dollar Trees have book sections, where you can find books for… one dollar! While you might think that the books will be low quality, religious, or for young children, you’d be surprised! I’ve found gorgeous hardcovers such as Spindle by E.K. Johnson and Fated by Alyson Noel, as well as many others. To let my Publishing Geek out for a moment, these books are “Remainders,” which are books that weren’t selling very well, and were bought by Dollar Tree to sell to us for a seriously reduced price.

One problem with shopping at Dollar Tree is that sometimes you’ll pick up an interesting book, only to find that it’s the second or third in a series. This can be a bummer, but if you’re really interested in the book, you should buy it anyway! Depending on how popular your store is, the next time you go, there could be completely different books! I recommend shopping around at multiple stores in your area to see what’s available.

2. Thrift Stores

Ahhh, who doesn’t love thrifting! It’s totally fun to explore the aisles of a nice thrift store to see what treasures you can find there for discounted prices. I usually bee line to the book section and spend a decent chunk of time scouring the shelves for a new read. I’ve actually found full series at thrift stores. If you get lucky, someone will have donated their full collection, and you’ll find it all at once (As I did with the Evermore series by Alyson Noel!) but usually you’ll have to piece it together book by book, which is actually quite rewarding! A good majority of my bookshelf is actually from various thrift stores!

Price can vary depending on what shop you go to, but usually you’ll find books for as low as 50 cents, ranging up to around 2-5 dollars, which isn’t bad at all, especially when you consider the original prices.

While I love small thrift shops (which are often connected to a local charity or foundation) I’ve found that major chain ones, such as Goodwill and Savers, are the best for finding books, especially young adult ones. Usually they’re better organized based on genre as well.

3. Your Local Library

I’m not talking about checking out books here! (Although that’s another great way to find new books to read without spending a dime!) I’m talking about library sales!

Many libraries host annual book sales, where they have a room full of books that they’re selling for cheap. I once picked up five books for about 8 dollars, which was a great deal!

If your library doesn’t have a big book sale, don’t fret! Many also have smaller sales. Usually you’ll find a shelf full of books, CDs, and DVDs that they’re getting rid of. While the book might have the library dust jacket and label on it, it’s easy to remove, and then you’ll have a book that looks good as new! Ask a librarian if your library has something like this. Usually the proceeds go back to the library, which helps it provide services and programs to your community!

That’s it for now! I actually have a few more trusty places to buy books from, so consider this a part 1! I also want to post a book haul of the things I’ve found at Dollar Tree this month!

Thanks for reading, Starlight-Readers!

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