Books on a Budget: A Guide

IMG_1813One of my favorite things is adding a book to my shelf after I’m done reading it. I love buying books and having them and maybe it’s a bit of a problem, but it’s a problem we all share. However, the book addict life can be an expensive one. SO, I wanted to put together a post of ways to add to your collections without breaking the bank. For a broke college student, these work well for me!

  • Book Sales. Libraries, churches, independent book stores, they all have book sales, usually in the spring and fall, in my experience. Prices of books obviously vary, but they can be as cheap as $0.50 for paperbacks sometimes. And if you’re lucky, the last day will have one of those “all the books you can fit in a bag for $5” things. Just need to navigate around the people with the book scanners looking to resell everything they can.
  • Yard Sales. With the nicer weather finally sticking around, sunny weekends are perfect for yard/garage sales. People always use these as a way to de-clutter, and books inevitably find themselves abandoned on the front lawn. Grab some sunglasses and take a walk around your neighborhood, who knows what you could find!
  • Thrift stores/Goodwill. Another place where wayward books find themselves. I’ve found some brand new Sarah Dessen books and some classics at thrift stores, for like $0.50 each! Embrace your inner Macklemore (we all have one), and scope out your local thrift stores or good will!
  • Independent, used book stores. My love for exploring these local treasures is how this blog got started, and I still love nothing more than grabbing a cup of coffee and getting lost in a tiny old book store. These are perfect because in addition to being cheaper than chain stores, they often have a lot of things I can’t find anywhere else. And you’re supporting  local businesses, and that’s always a good thing. My favorite in the Philadelphia area will probably always be The Book Trader.
  • Last but not least….Libraries!  I know this doesn’t help you ADD to your bookshelf, but I’ve just discovered you can also use your library card to borrow e-books and audiobooks through Overdrive, and I’m loving that so much lately!

These are my favorite money saving, book buying deals. Where are some of your favorite places to buy books? On a budget or otherwise!


  1. If you have books that you don’t want to keep, you can trade them at If you send a book you get a point for another book listed on their site by someone else. Essentially the books you get end up costing you what ever postage is to ship the one mooched from you. I’ve picked up several to add to my collection that way. Its also a great way to find new homes for the titles you might not have liked as much as you thought you would.

    1. I’ve never heard of that before! I need to check it out, I have tons of books I wouldn’t mind getting mooched from me, and I’m always looking to find new things myself!

  2. You are officially my new favourite person. 😉 Seriously, these are so helpful – thank you thank you thank you! To add to the list, borrowing books from friends and doing book exchanges are always fun – they don’t exactly help add to your shelf, but they do introduce you to new books and one of my favourite things is to do book exchange parties with my other readerly friends!

      1. Oh, it’s so wonderful! All you really need is a library and a couple of bookish friends – exchanging recommendations is always fun as well. 😀

  3. All of the books I read and review come from the library 🙂 I do have an annual book buying budget of $20 to buy a few odds and ends from Amazon, but I usually don’t spend all of it lol.
    Great post!

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