I have been an avid reader since I can remember. When I was young, I can remember running into walls and spilling milk while trying to make cereal when getting ready for school because I was so engrossed in my book, I didn’t want to put it down.
I have spent thousands of dollars on books and magazines over the years. I don’t necessarily feel bad about that, but my addiction did get a bit costly. So, I determined to come up with a better solution. These may be fairly obvious, but in case you also have a book obsession, it may be a good reminder that reading can be fairly cheap.
First and foremost, if you aren’t already using your library to check out books, you should go get a library card immediately. The amount of books, new and old, that are available for free (or in some places, you may have to pay a small fee for the library card, but still very reasonable) is unbelievable! Not only that, but most also provide audiobooks, e-books, CDs, movies and more! The library is a fabulous resource. The only thing to keep in mind is that while cheap, library fees can add up over time, so try to keep an eye on the return date. However, even if you have a late fee every now and again, they are usually pretty reasonable (I believe about a quarter a day where I live), so still cheaper than buying multiple books per month.
Little Free Libraries
Another great, free option are Little Free Libraries! These may be more popular in some cities than others, but her in Austin, you can’t hardly walk a few blocks without running into one. If you live in a more remote area, you may need to start your own to get one started, but then you’ll have an ongoing supply of books coming and going. There’s even a map to search for Little Free Libraries that have registered if you’re looking for one in your area. The idea is you can pick up a book or drop off a book, and your neighbors do the same, keeping books circulating. The Little Free Libraries are generally in people’s yards or at a public gathering place, such as a church and is a small container, often looking like a big bird house but with shelves so you can stack books inside.
If you do have to buy a book, whether because you want to keep it or can’t find it at the library, you can always try a used book store. Here in Texas, Half Price Books has locations throughout the state that sells used books in good condition at a much lower price than typical bookstores. They often have the latest books and popular books in store fairly quickly after they come out. You can also find some harder to find, older books, too, if you’re looking for something that’s no longer sold.
Amazon First Reads
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can choose a free kindle book monthly from its editors’ picks early access list, First Reads. I’m not much of a Kindle reader, but the books are new and range in genres, allowing you an early look at some of the best books coming out.
I still buy new books on occasion, but these days I try to save money where I can, including on books. If you need to cut your budget bit, try some of these ways to access great books with less money.