• Hunter J Morgan

Shopping For Books: Tips From A Broke Book Lover

Picture this, you walk into a bookstore. The shelves are lined with beautiful, pristine printed books. The energy is calm, the air smelled like inked paper and coffee. You search through the shelves of books and pick up the one you've been looking for, it's too expensive. *sigh*

We all know that sigh, the inevitable moment where you set the book back down and leave the store empty handed. It's definitely one of my top ten least favorite feelings as a book lover. But I also can't afford to purchasing new books weekly. So today I will be sharing my tips on how I am able to have a full bookshelf while spending a third of the cost.

Thrift Stores

I know this one is pretty obvious. But many don't like to try thrift stores with the assumption that the books are torn to shreds. While some are, that is not always the case. I have found brand new books for $2.00 before. While yes, there are going to be some lesser quality books; either way it's still what you're looking for. If it's lightly used, there isn't much of a difference and I hardly notice it. This is a great tactic to use, especially for places like Goodwill that have discounts added.

Online Shopping

Right now is the perfect time to be getting your discounted books online. Websites like ThriftBooks, Book Depository, and Book Outlet are great ways to find cheap books online. This is usually my option B if I can't find the book I'm looking for in any thrift stores. You could also look up ISBN numbers on amazon to find cheaper options as well!


Another good thing to watch out for is sales and discount days. Have notifications in your phone for book stores you like to stay on top of sales they are having. Often they will send out emails for these sales if you subscribe to their newsletter.

Follow The Authors

What better way to support creators and know about good deals than straight from the author themselves? Many authors promote when they have a book on sale, contests, and giveaways. So if you want a free or discounted copy of your book, follow their social media and newsletter! This not only keeps you up to date, but also helps support the author. Win win!

Book Trading System

If you have a lot of book lover friends, a good system to have would be to trade books when you both have one the other wants. This way you aren't paying anything for a new book to read and you get to connect with your friends in a mutual way! I enjoy reading books I borrowed from my friends who annotate when they read. It feels a little more personal to see their comments and how they felt on parts of the book as I'm reading. It also gives us the opportunity to talk about the book and our opinions.


Getting a library card is definitely one of the cheapest options. Especially for those of us who read many books at a time or speed read through books. This is also a great option if you don't have the space/don't care for keeping books around after you've read them. It also allows you to have a quiet space outside of your home to read! If a library doesn't carry a book you want to read, you can always request it. Often times they will order requested books for the library. This means you get to read the book without spending any extra cash. Not to mention the author is supported by the library purchasing at least one copy of their book!

eBooks and Audios

eBooks and Audiobooks are great for those of us who read on the go or like to listen to them instead. For eBooks especially, they are much cheaper and can always be kept right in your phone! Having something like Audible is a bit more pricey, considering you also have to buy the audio book. However; with each purchase you earn reward points you can build up to get a free audio book in the future. This works great for some people, and not so much for others. But luckily they offer a free trial to see if it works for you! I have also recently discovered a site called Chirp. The website is free to use and it has all audiobooks with any possible sales. This way you know you're getting the cheapest price for an audiobook.

Wish Lists

If there is a nicer edition of a book, a box set, or simply a book that I really want; I'll add it to my wishlist. This is great for many reasons. 1. If you have a bit of extra cash one month and want to spoil yourself, you've got a whole list of options. 2. If anybody wants to get you a gift, a book is a super easy way to get you something you'll love! This is something that is not used very frequently, and should not be relied on as a form of book buying. But it is a good way to have an answer to the dreaded "What do you want for your birthday?" question.

These are the ways I am able to afford reading books when I don't make enough to buy them brand new every time. I typically use the money I've saved to purchase a smaller author's book new. Since that money supports them more directly and has much more of an impact than it would for a famous author. Let me know if there are any other ways you are able to save on books!

Hunter J Morgan

#books #reading #advice #budget #booklover #money #saving #tips #brokereader

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