Like most of my life, I tend to do reading at double-speed. I can usually get through a 300 page novel in about 5-6 hours.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
It rocks because I can get a lot more reading in.
On the other hand there are certain authors that I know once I start one of their books, my head will not be hitting the pillow until it’s done. Karen Kingsbury is one. Francine Rivers would be another except for her books are sometimes 600 pages so I have to cry “uncle” and give them 2 days.
Like Monday, I downloaded Karen’s new book “Learning” on my Kindle app before I took the girls to music lessons. Got an hour of reading done then. Came home – work, dinner (during which I read since the kids were watching a movie), clean up, kids to bed and then read….until 2:15 a.m. It was 1 a.m. before I even realized the time and at that point I knew I was too close to the end to put it down.
If you’re like me, and you love to read, I thought I’d share some of my best money-saving tips for book-lovers.
1. The library – this should go without saying. These day,s if there’s a certain book I want I can get online, request it to be sent to the nearest branch and they notify me when it’s there waiting for me. The downside is you have to be organized and keep track of due dates. I try to enter them on my calendar as soon as I get home with an email reminder a couple days before.
2. Thrift stores – they are a treasure trove of used books and are usually a buck or two at the most. Some stores have “Buy 5, get 1 free” and a lot of thrift stores have one day a month where everything is 50% off. Garage sales are good too although the selection is usually much smaller. The catch is, don’t buy it unless you know you’re going to read it. Even at $1, it’s wasted money if you don’t read it.
3. Paperbackswap.com – Someone told me about this site a few years ago. Create a free account, then gather all your books you no longer need and post them. It’s super quick using the ISBN. When someone wants one of your books you get notified and have a link to print a mailing label for them. You pay the postage to send the book media mail (usually $2.40-$3.25). When they get online and mark it received, you get a credit. With your credits you can go and request books from other users. All the books are 1 credit so it’s simple. You can also buy credits but that’s not quite as cost-efficient. Honestly I prefer e-books now (less clutter) but I still use this site for the kids (especially as rewards) and the occasional book that I want to read and know I can pass on or repost.
4. Booksneeze.com – If you have a blog and like to write reviews of the books you read, check out Booksneeze. They have certain titles available that they will send you for free in exchange for an honest review on your blog. There is a limit to how many they will send you until you’ve reviewed the ones you have. There are quite a few Christian books and they now have some e-books.
5. Amazon free e-books – Amazon always has ebooks available for free (see the list in the right column). It’s an ever-changing list and I try to check it once a week. It’s hit or miss. There’s always a few classics on there, inevitably some sort of vampire book, and at least a couple smutty romance novels that I skip over. But I have also hit the jackpot with Christian chick lit and downloaded a dozen or more books in a week. I’ve gotten stuff from Gary Smalley, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, etc. If you have an RSS Reader add this feed to your list (www.amazon.com/gp/rss/top-free/digital-text/154606011) PLUS Amazon has now added a Kindle lending option (not on all books) so you can take advantage of this with sites like BookLending.com
6. Buy used online – Of course there’s site like half.com and Amazon’s used book listing as well.
Of course there is also the good old fashioned “pass it around” option – trade books with friends.
Do you have any great tips for not spending a lot of money on books?