There are tons of different ways to get books – both real and digital – for free or lower priced than retail. Here’s how to save money on books. Read unlimited books for just $10!
How to Save Money on Books
I love reading books, but at sometimes more than 10 or 15 bucks a pop, it can start to add up if you’re an avid reader. Over the last few years, however, I’ve discovered a few effortless ways to save money on books that don’t involve subscribing to any daily deals emails or any of that.
Save Money on Digital Books:
Here is my favorite way to save on books:
For just $10 a month (basically the price of a single book), you can download up to ten different Kindle books at a time from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited selection. There are millions of different books to choose from, and although not everything is available with this, there are enough business, personal development, money saving and budgeting books I can get for “free” with my Kindle Unlimited subscription to make it worth it.
Don’t have a Kindle e-reader? No problem! You can download Amazon’s free Kindle app and read their books on almost any device.
P.S. You can also save money by getting cash back for free on things you buy through Ebates!
You can also try…
If you’re busy and prefer to listen to your books on the go, try using Audible for audiobooks! Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.
Free Library Ebooks
If you sign up for a library card at your local library, you can usually get access to all the same books in a Kindle version, totally free! When I first discovered this, there was a waitlist of 1,000 people for The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I was able to instantly download some less popular business and personal development books instead.
There are sites out there that help you discover free or low-cost Kindle books, like and blank, but the methods above are my favorite simple and easy ways to save that involves almost no effort or digging around lists of books you may not want.
Why I Love Used Books
A few years ago I started doing something that was originally done to save money but ended up being much deeper and more significant than I thought.
I was in college and was buying textbooks and a few books for fun and although I think I started out buying all new books (and spending hundreds on textbooks for my classes), as time went on I decided that used books would be just as good. I even bought a couple used books on Ebay and borrowed books from friends and read them that way.
I always had this bias against used books, like they were an apple someone had taken a bite out of. But I ordered a used book on Ebay one time, a spiritual book, and when I got it it was dog-eared and well-loved and had tiny writing scrawled in some of the margins. At first I figured it wasn’t a big deal that someone else had read and used the book. It wasn’t that beat up, and I was just reading it for fun.
But then I actually started reading what this person had written. And although there were only a few short notes in the whole book, I came to know her through the way she read the book, highlighted her favorite parts, and noted down her fears, dreams, and sometimes a Bible verse.
It was like meeting someone across the country and getting to know them on a deep level, without ever actually meeting. It felt like a profound spiritual moment.
We will never meet in person, and she will never know that I’m writing this blog post about a book I bought from her on Ebay, but I still know her from a used book, like a fingerprint unique to each person.
So I’ve started doing the same thing to my books. Although I probably could have resold them for more if they were in better condition, I started writing notes in my textbooks and adding commentary to books I’d give to friends. My math textbooks were full of notes like, “I have no idea what’s going on here” or “I’m never going to use any of this in my real life” (which is completely true :)) and although sometimes I felt like I was shouting into a void, I know someone somewhere will read the notes I left for them, an anonymous stranger, and laugh.
And maybe if they’re a business major studying financial accounting, they’ll appreciate my little jokes and I can brighten a stranger’s day for it.
I can only hope that they will do the same.
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