5 Ways To Save Money Buying Books

Reading is one of the best things you can do for your mind. It expands your horizons and takes you to places you can never go. Unfortunately, books can cost a lot of money, especially university textbooks, but here are some ways you can save money.

1. Check the library. If you are only going to read it once, or use it for referencing, then the best thing to do would be to borrow it. Universities usually have an extensive collection of textbooks, especially expensive or rare ones.  If you want to buy to make notes, ask yourself “Will I ever look through these notes again? Are they going to help me improve in anyway?“. If not, then it might just be worth borrowing and then taking a few notes in a separate ‘reading notebook’ instead of the actual book.

2. Check the reviews. If you decide that you need your own copy to keep or make notes in etc. check out the reviews on Amazon, other book review sites first or maybe even ask your lecturer. It might not turn out to be what you want and could end up being a waste of money. You might even find you can eliminate some books on your reading list this way.

3. Shop around. There are so many places that you can buy books there is bound to be a difference in pricing. In general, buying online is cheaper because websites don’t have to pay as much overhead costs, however, you may be able to find things even cheaper in charity shops. Also, some universities do a trade-in scheme for higher years to sell books to lower years at a reduced price. It might be worth it to save a few bucks here and there.

4. Consider re-selling. After you’ve made use of the book, you should consider reselling it if you don’t plan to use it again. This way, you can make some of the money back that you paid for it and somebody else can obtain the book for a fairly low price. This is good for the environment and is good for decluttering your room.

5. Share. Lending books to friends and sharing books around can save all of you a ton of money. Remember to take care of borrowed books. The mutual benefits can be amazing, I can’t tell you how many books I’ve discovered because a course mate, friend or family member recommended it, and because of their kindness, I never had to spend a penny.

What are your tips for saving money on books?

  • Eli

    I’m a big fan of the site (and concept) called Bookcrossing. I have been a member since 2005 and have sent and received so many books that I don’t really need to buy new ones (although I do spend a bit in postage).
    The premise is to register your books, each will get a unique ID, you write it in the inside cover of the book it belongs to. Then release the book into the wild (leave it in a bench, a coffee shop, or other public place). The person who finds it has the chance to go to the website (anonymously, for free and without spam): http://www.bookcrossing.com enter the book ID (BCID) and make a journal entry. You, as the person who registered the book, will get one e-mail alerting you that someone found it.
    If you become a regular and use the forums, you have the chance to share books with other BookCrossers around the world (hence the postage expenses).
    If you want to join and need help (at first it can be confusing), register (free/no spam) and send me a private message (PM). My nickname is blackteiwaz. (Sorry if this comment feels like spam, it was not my intention).

  • Audrey

    I always check a website http://www.abebooks.com . You can usually but not always find what you are looking for either new or used much cheaper. Just pay attention to the shipping. If the book is available but in another country….will it still be a better buy? You have to decide. You can find lots of older books here as well. Great resource to use.