Friday, December 6, 2013

How to Collect Books on a Budget!

photo by Simplymusicwise

How to collect/read books on a budget:

1. Use the library. I know this sounds like elementary advice, but the library has evolved.  And I'm probably the last person to know it.  Boss Moss downloads audio books all the time.  Ebooks are gaining popularity at our house.  There are also hard to find DVD's for that one-time viewing (why purchase them?).  For books that don't need to take up space on my shelves, I opt for the library.  Free reading is a bonus in my book- no pun intended.

2. Borrow books. I've been part of a book club here in my town for 16 years.  If we can't find a book at the library, someone buys it then we lend it out to each other.  This is a win-win situation and works for all sorts of situations.  The main etiquette here is to not take too long reading the book and get it back to the lender promptly.

3. Buy books with Amazon. Christmas and birthdays are the usual times you want to give or buy yourself that longed-for book.  Never pay full price!  Amazon and Swagbucks are a one-stop hit for getting a book close to free.
  • Amazon has ebooks for free all the time. Type in free ebooks in the search line.
  • Amazon's prices are cheaper than most books stores, even Costco or online stores.  
  • For example:  my son wanted the 
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8.  His school ordered it to arrive the day it came out- for a whopping $11.  (I'm sure this was a fundraiser but I choose to give funds in other ways).  I headed to Amazon to find out the book was less than $7. 

  1. Buy books with Swagbucks*.  In my example above, I next visited swagbucks.  For 450 swagbucks I can get a reward of $5 Amazon gift card (make sure you get your reward 2 weeks in advance).  So, my Wimpy Kid book came to a total of less than $2 after the swagbucks discount taken at time of payout on the Amazon checkout. (my Amazon Prime account has free shipping).
  2. Use thrift stores/garage sales to collect books.  This is a crap shoot.  But, for those who wait and believe in luck, it can be wonderful and rewarding for your budget.  Last week, I was able to purchase The Polar Express for 10 cents (yes, those numbers don't lie).  Did a fairy help me find it or was it kismet?  I'm not worried about the answer.  I enjoyed taking out a dime to pay for that classic book.  This method probably won't help you amass all of your favorites or the new hot book on the New York Time's list.  But if you are patient, you can score some good ones.  
Long list I know, but worth it, no?  Do you use these same tricks to get your book collection up to snuff?  What are you ideas?  I want to know.

* Swagbucks is a search engine. You can search the web and earn points, do surveys, watch videos, take polls.  In return, you earn swagbucks.  When you collect enough, you get rewards.