Posted on April 17, 2019 at 8:08 AM by Guest Author

If you’re on the hunt for affordable books, check out our list of budget-friendly reading tips that will help you cut down on costs while enjoying your favorite pastime. 

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Why It’s Worth Hunting for Affordable Books

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

— Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Few activities can match the level of joy you get from reading a good book. 

Each one allows you to dive into a unique, complex world full of interesting characters who have exciting stories to share—be it fiction or nonfiction.

And though it’s always sad when you turn the last page, ultimately you gently close the book with a feeling of satisfaction. 

Unless, of course, it ends on a cliffhanger. Then you’re left speculating and eager for the next installment!

For many people, reading is a passion that must be indulged every day. And we couldn’t agree more!

However, if you’re not careful, it can also become an expensive hobby…

That’s why it’s in your best interest to look for affordable books and other budget-friendly reading strategies.

In doing so, you can sate your craving for words without having to spend an arm and a leg!

To make your task a little easier, we’ve put together a list of resources you can turn to for affordable books—both traditional and e-book format. 


Here’s a question for you: When was the last time you paid a visit to your local library?

If it’s been quite a while, chances are you’ll be surprised by how different it looks today!  

Most libraries have undergone massive changes over the last few years, making it easier than ever for visitors to acquire the information they’re looking for.

So if you’re searching for a particular title, you’ll likely find the library’s new catalog system to be much more user friendly.  

In addition to offering a convenient way to find books, the library is the ultimate destination for budget-friendly reading.

Once you have your library card, you’re able to check out all the books your heart desires (though you may have to stay within your library’s checkout limits) without spending a dime!

Of course, if you fail to extend your loan period, you will have to pay a late fee, which can vary from one location to the next. 

The only downside to the library as a source of affordable books is that you’re unable to keep the works you read—only borrow.  


We would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the convenience and cost-effectiveness of e-books. After all, digital titles are our specialty here at The Fussy Librarian!

There are several e-reader products on the market today, all of which allow you to enjoy your favorite works on a light, compact, easy-to-view screen.

Though you may spend a little more on the initial purchase, buying an e-reader allows you to store hundreds of affordable books in one place. 

Additionally, there are countless options to obtain e-books — even if you don’t invest in an e-reader.

For example, you can transform your smartphone or iPad into an e-reader with the Kindle app or use the Kindle Cloud Reader on your computer.

With a quick search online (or a trip to our store), you can find digital copies of specific titles or search for new works by genre, author, and more.

Opting for e-books instead of traditional print copies also means you’ll save on the cost of multiple bookshelves… 

The one drawback to e-books? You miss out on that unique scent of paper and ink. 

Resale Shops

Resale shops are great not only for purchasing discounted titles but also for giving old books a second home, reducing the number that might otherwise end up in a landfill. 

If you do a little research, you’ll undoubtedly find a nearby retailer where you can peruse a wide range of secondhand copies.

However, there are many online retailers that also offer used books, allowing you to sort through a much larger database and get the books you want shipped to your front door. 

Due to the fact that used bookstores specialize in just that — used books — their inventory is often marked down considerably.

So, if you’re looking to implement a budget-friendly reading strategy to decrease the amount you spend on entertainment every month, this option is definitely one worth looking into.

The only potential disadvantage of shopping at resale stores is that the books aren’t always in “like new” condition. 

Independent Bookstores

Independent bookstores may not immediately spring to mind when you think about affordable books, but you’re missing out if you don’t at least look at what these retailers have to offer.

Since they’re not associated with big-box retailers, independent bookstores are able to provide customers with a variety of options to make their reading hobby less expensive. 

  • Many stand-alone businesses offer used, discounted copies of books in addition to brand-new versions. 

  • They often give incentives, such as discounted shipping (if they have an e-commerce store) and seasonal sales. 

  • Such retailers frequently reduce the cost of titles by new authors and those from small publishers. 

Though there are many pros to shopping at independent bookstores (including supporting small businesses), one con is that brick-and-mortar shops can be tough to find depending on your location. 

First Reads

In order to drum up excitement and get early impressions from readers, some publishers will offer a limited number of copies of an upcoming release.

For bibliophiles, this is an excellent opportunity to not only obtain affordable books (sometimes even free) but also discover new authors!  

To take advantage of this budget-friendly reading method, you’ll have to do a little bit of research, but here are some tips to get you started…

  • Search for indie publishers online and sign up for their mailing lists. 

  • Visit book recommendation websites, as they often provide giveaways.

  • Opt in for early-access programs through e-book stores. 

An added bonus of the first-read option is that you’ll get to submit your initial review and feel like a literary critic!

One drawback of this approach is that you’ll most likely be able to get only new releases. 


Reading is a truly wonderful pastime that can (and should) be enjoyed by people of all ages.

But if you’re starting to think you should cut back as a way to save money, rest assured there are plenty of ways to find affordable books — no matter which format you prefer. 

So start using these budget-friendly reading tips today and enjoy your literary adventures, fellow reader!

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: E-reader, Libraries, Reading

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