how to · lifestyle

how to buy books (without making your savings weep)


Books will be the death of your pocket money.  Let’s get down to it; books are your life.  Books are beautiful.  Books are knowledge.  And they don’t come cheap.  Ain’t nobody got money to buy all their books at list price (unless you’re a millionaire, but I doubt one would be reading this), so I’ve got the tips and tricks to finding the best deals on books without making your savings account weep.

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1) Check out your local library and thrift shops.


Most libraries and thrift shops have a bookshelf of books that are on sale for less than five dollars.  You can literally find the best deals on barely touched books from here!  I’ve gotten books like The Goldfinch in perfect condition for 99 cents, some Vampire Academy books, Mockingjay, and Inheritance pretty much brand new for only five bucks.  Plus, the money you’re giving is used to give back to the community by buying new books for the library or helping others by finding jobs or providing necessities.

P R O : Cheap, easy to access, and may see a lucky find!

C O N : May not have the books you want.  Books may be “laminated,” making it annoying, i.e. used.

2) Go on Amazon, BookDepository, or your favorite bookstore online.

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These sites often have books priced at half of their list prices, meaning you can get a hardcover for around ten dollars and a paperback for around six.  They always have the book you want in stock in brand-new condition.  The process is often reliable, fast and easy.  If you have a membership with the business, you can usually get free expedited shipping.  I have a Barnes and Noble membership, and it only costs twenty-five dollars a year.  Amazon Prime is only ninety-nine dollars a year, which is a steal for any online shopper!  Online shopping is the ideal choice for buying books for book lovers.

P R O : Reasonably priced, brand-new books, and sometimes free/fast delivery.  Can find other editions of books easily.  Minimizes physical action to stepping out of your house to pick up package.  Ships to most countries.  Gift wrap is always a option.

C O N : Slow delivery without membership, package may come damaged, and may result in binge-book buying.


Amazon, BookDepository, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Waterstones, and Indigo.

3) is the bomb.

*disclaimer: This is not my photo.  All rights go to*

BookOutlet is a Canadian-based store where books are legit at unbelievable prices.  Hardcovers range from ninety-nine cents to eight dollars, and paperbacks are even lower.  They often have a variety of YA books, nonfiction, adult fiction, and pretty much any genre you can think of, though they don’t always have a book in stock.  It’s more of a first come, first served basis.  You can buy fifteen hardbacks for as much as fifty dollars (!), and for all you Canadians out there, you can visit their warehouses in Ontario and be able to die and go to bookworm heaven because MAN it’s a book-lover’s dream.  I’ve bought books from BookOutlet before, and I can tell you that I definitely didn’t regret it.  I ordered Clockwork Princess, and it happened to be signed!  It was a pleasant surprise.

P R O : Extremely cheap, great deals, and offers used and new books.

C O N : Shipping can be expensive and take as long as three weeks for US, longer for international.  Does not have a definite supply of books.

4) Go to used bookstores such as Half-Priced Books and Powell’s.

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If you’re looking for getting the full-on experience of book shopping, Half-Priced Books is your haven.  Used bookstores have excellent book deals, and at stores like Half-Priced or Powell’s, they also have new releases and the bestsellers for prices often found on Amazon.  The entire atmosphere of the store gives you the cozy vibe, being able to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books.  You can also sell your old books and get money to buy new ones!  That way, your unwanted books can find a loving home.  Half-Priced Books are found in bigger cities; I go to the one in Seattle.  I’ve also been to Portland, Oregon’s huge Powell’s that takes up an entire block of the city, and it was awesome.  I recommend going to a physical bookstore if you can!

P R O : Cheap books, wide-range of genres, and cozy atmosphere.  Can find different editions of books.  Usually has the book you’d want in stock.  Can sell books to buy more books.  Great experience altogether.

C O N : Not available everywhere internationally. 😦

5) E-Books = the Money Saver.

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E-books are awesome.  They’re convenient in every single way; not only are they cheaper than physical copies, but they’re easy to access on phones, tablets, and computers.  This can save shelf space and money!  Plus, you can often find free books that can be awesome reads.  Once you buy a book, you can automatically download and read instantly with a click of a button on various devices.  I personally enjoy reading e-books at night underneath the covers, so that my parents don’t know I’m still awake.  I use the Kindle Reader app on my iPad, and I also use the iBook app on my iPhone.

P R O : Cheap, accessible, and travel friendly.  Downloads instantly.  Takes up little storage and always on hand.  Can find certain titles for free.

C O N : Not the same as collecting a physical book (ya know what I mean?).  Can cause sore eyes after staring at lit screen for too long.

Common non-bookstores that have legit book selections (United States).

  • Costco Wholesale (they’re legit)
  • Fred Meyer’s (West Coast)
  • Target (my second home)
  • Sam’s Club (not as good as Costco)

That is all for my tips on getting books for a good deal!  Thanks for reading, and comment any suggestions you may have that I haven’t mentioned!  Have a lovely day/night, and happy book shopping. 🙂

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16 thoughts on “how to buy books (without making your savings weep)

  1. I LOVE this post OMG I follow you on Instagram and so I got to your blog through there. Your writing skills are on par with your photography skills and I can’t believe I just discovered your blog. Your art is AMAZING (actually amazing, I’m not just saying that for the sake of it) and your blog is so PRETTY! Great post, I know about Book Outlet, but I’ve never bought from it for some reason. I guess I just never got round to buying from them. Apparently, their books are so cheap because they get “discarded” copies from publishers, and they have tiny little dots on the side of the books? Did your signed copy of Clockwork Princess have that? Oh well. Their books are still ridiculously cheap. I have to go and see if I can find a used book store that will buy books near me. My shelves are buckling under the weight :O


    1. Oh my goodness your comment has literally made my day. I haven’t had someone write something so sincere to me as you have! Thank you, for you’ve made my day with all of your sweet compliments. Actually, a lot of my books from cheap bookstores usually have a black dash on the side, too! I try not to think about it too much, but yes, I know what you mean. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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