Reading for Less

Reading a great book is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But buying books can also get expensive, especially if you also have kids at home who also love to read. With a little bit of planning, you can support your book habit while still being frugal.

Swap with Another Book Lover

Getting a book from a friend to read is a great way to read a book for free, but often our friends have different tastes in books or may not like to lend out their books. is great way to recycle your books and get “new to you” books for only a few dollars. The way it works is you first post the books you want to swap on the website. When another member requests one of your books, you send it to them and pay for the postage. You then receive a book credit for each book that you send which can be used to request books from another member who pays the postage.

Find Free or Cheap Ebooks on Amazon and Barnes and Noble 

While you may be aware that you can download classic books for free from online book sellers, you can also often find newer books for free or a few dollars. Often, authors will offer their books for free to get increased reviews and move up the sales lists. Because these are usually only offered for a short period, check for free books daily or even twice a day.

For the Kindle, visit the Amazon Top 100 Free book list. Amazon also offers a Kindle Daily Deal where a top selling book is offered for a reduced price. Amazon Prime members can also check out one book for free each month from the Amazon Prime Lending Library. Subscribe to Pixel of Ink  to get a a free daily newsletter of free and reduced Kindle books.

Nook owners can take advantage of the Nook Book Deals which offers e-books for under $5 and also often runs specials on multiple book purchases. Nook also offers the LendMe option where you can lend ebooks to friends and family and has many more books available for this feature than Amazon. 

Check Out Library eBooks

While the library has long been a great way to save money on books, many libraries around the country are now offering eBooks for both Nook and Kindle. One of the benefits is that when the lending period is up, your book is automatically removed from your ereader eliminating a trip to the library and the potential for late fees. Since many libraries only have a limited supply of ebooks, the wait can be long for popular titles so be sure to request well in advance.

Library Book Sales

Many library systems hold annual book sales to sell books that they have multiple copies of or are slightly damaged. The books are typically very inexpensive and the proceeds often go back to the library system. To find the deals, you will often need to sort through piles of books. Bring something to carry your loot in and head to the sale when you have plenty of time.

Read and Return

Since many people finish a book while traveling and want to start another book, the Read and Return program offered by Paradise Books can be another way to save money. If you buy a book at a Paradise Book store, which are located in over 70 airports, you can return it to another Paradise store anywhere in the country within six months to receive 50 percent off a new book. Not only is this a great way to save money while traveling, but saves you from having to lug home a book that you already finished.