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12 Places to Get Cheap or Free Books

16 December 2010 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

See original story on AboutFreelanceWriting.com

I love books – reading, buying and keeping them. I consider books to be an essential part of my writing practice, so I’m always looking at them.

But I also hate spending money. Fortunately, with books, I don’t have to.

Here are 12 places to get books cheap or free:

Library – Great place to borrow for free. At my local library, you can even download books online to borrow. The downloads automatically disappear from your desktop after the due date.

Library bookstore – Buy books and magazines cheap.

Goodwill and other thrift stores – Lots of bestsellers in these stores.

Church fundraisers – Great place to get spiritual books cheap.

Garage sales – Hit or miss. You’re dependent on your neighbor’s reading tastes.

Independent bookstores with “used books” sections – Awesome selections.

Borders – Use their 40 percent discount coupons for the best bargains.

Amazon.com – Used books are available for pennies, but add $3.98 for shipping. Another great thing about Amazon is no sales tax.

Online book swaps – Sites such as www.swap.com and www.booksfreeswap.com allow you to exchange books for the price of shipping alone.

Electronic books – Many ebooks come with pre-loaded books and magazines that you can read for free. But you still have to spend $150 to $250 just to buy the reader, and then you can easily spend hundreds more to download new books. So yes, you have free books, but watch your spending.

Friends’ bookshelves – Birds of a feather flock together. Presumably you and your friends like the same kind of books. One of my friends even gave her used books as Christmas gifts one year.

Your own bookshelf – How many books have you bought that you have not even opened? These books are free, because you already paid for them! Besides, you know they’re great topics, because these books were custom-selected for you – by you.

We live in an abundant country. In many parts of the world, books are expensive and scarce. So take advantage of the plethora of books around you, especially when they’re cheap and free.

Helen Kaiao Chang is a freelance writer, editor and ghostwriter, at ghostwriter-needed.com.

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang.

Photo credit: ruminatrix/flickr

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