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Growing up my family was a fan of yard sales and thrift stores. I’ve always enjoyed the hunt of finding what I considered to be gems among other items. Even as a child I enjoyed being frugal with my money. I’ve also always enjoyed reading though. I’ve always had a really hard time spending $15+ on a book. I have three great tips for finding cheap books, but for the first 23 years (or so) of my life I just used #1 and #2.
How to find affordable books:
1. Yard sales: Yard sales often sell books for under $1 a piece. Even .25 a piece is pretty common. It’s rare for me to go to a yard sale with books and not walk away with at least a couple that I’ve chosen for myself. This past summer I even went to yard sales that had kids books 5 or more for $1!
2. Goodwill or other thrift stores. The price will vary here. My local Goodwill sells books for .75 each or 4 for .99. We also have an “as-is” side to our Goodwill store which sells items that are imperfect. When it comes to books this means they may just have really yellowed pages, they may have a lot of dog ears on the pages, the cover may be scuffed or damaged, etc. However, sometimes there is nothing wrong with them at all and they just sat in the regular side of Goodwill for too long. The as-is side of Goodwill sells them for 12 for $1! However, I follow someone on YouTube who lives in the Chicago area and her Goodwill sells books for $1 a piece. Still not bad at all, but not nearly as good as my area.
3. ThriftBooks.com. I found this a couple years ago through a review on my other blog (Emily Reviews). You can check out my full ThriftBooks review if you wish. It’s a site that sells used books. Free shipping starts at just $10, and orders under $10 have shipping at the cost of .99 per book! They have a massive selection of books that are in their 4 for $12 category. I’ve placed four or five orders through ThriftBooks to date, and most of the books that I have ordered are in the $3.75-$4 range. Books that were recently released may not be available yet, but after a book is a few years old they typically have it for under $5. They also have a ReadingRewards program which gives you a $5 off coupon for every $50 you spend. You can also refer a friend and they will get 15% off their order and you will get a 15-20% off coupon for yourself if they place an order within 14 days of clicking your link. Want to sign up as my friend? Save 15% off your first order.
For the past 2 years I’ve kept a wish list on my ThriftBooks account. My boyfriend knows my login info (though you can send your wish list publicly if you wish). He uses the account to create his own wish-list too. We often will place an order for $20 or $25 worth of books for each other for Christmas or birthdays and that brings in several books, which keeps us reading for most of the year.