Reading on a Budget.

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About a month and a half ago I wound up having to take my dog, Lucy, to the vet for multiple emergencies in just a few days time. She’s fine now, thank God, but my budget for about 3 weeks was seriously limited. Like eat Ramen noodles every day kind of limited. 😉  Sadly, this didn’t stop my desire to want as many new books as I could get my hands on, so I was forced to find some creative ways to do that. As I am a STRONG objector to book pirating, here are a few ways (some worked, some didn’t) I was able to cut corners without out-right stealing the things.

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 I know there are library book sales and used book stores, which I love, but I’m focusing on being able to buy a certain book you want, right then. My first, and probably my favorite, way to try was Barnes and Noble and Amazon’s Marketplace.

Just go find the book you’re looking for, click on it, scroll down to where you see new and used, click that and browse through the options. Each one will list the condition of the book and the price.

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Now, if you have Amazon Prime or a Barnes and Noble membership, you won’t get free shipping, and the shipping, depending on where you live, takes longer than the standard 2 day free shipping, but usually the books are priced cheap enough that even with having to pay, you’ll still save a couple bucks or more.

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These Doctor Who books that I had been wanting for a while were kind of expensive new. Doctor Who: The Vault was $40 in the store, and Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary was $25. On the Marketplace on B&N, I got them used for $18 and $12 respectively, and they were in better condition than some I had seen in the store.  As long as you watch the listed condition, the seller’s rating (another good reason to leave a honest review of not only the book, but the seller too), and you don’t mind waiting a few days longer for shipping, in my opinion, this is the way to go.  So far, I’ve loved everything I’ve purchased this way.

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The other option I tried was the Book Depository. I heard about this website from someone on Instagram, and I was really excited to try it. The free shipping no matter how much, or how little, you bought is what grabbed my attention. Plus, the prices seemed to be a few dollars cheaper, so I was ready to try it.

First of all, I should have realized by some of the wording that this was based in the UK. Nothing wrong with that, but the shipping wording is bit confusing and you have to dig around to find clarity. When it says “dispatched in 2 business days”, I assumed that meant shipping time. I ordered on the 8th, and got it on the 18th. If you live in the UK it’s 2 days shipping, but in the US, it’s 5-8 days AFTER they process it. BUT, I should have dug deeper and cleared it up before I ordered, so that’s on me.

What I did have a problem with was the condition of the books when they arrived. On one shipment of hardbacks, the spines were a bit crunched, and on a paperback, the back cover had been slashed with a box cutter.

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The top spines were a bit crunched.

 

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The back cover and a few pages were slashed.

I know they aren’t that bad, but when I buy a book new, no matter if I save a few dollars or not, I want it in good condition. I could have sent them back, but sending them to the UK and all that waiting, no thanks!!

Combing the slow shipping and the book conditions, this was my least favorite thing I tried, and I won’t be using them again unless I could get a ridiculously good deal.

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In this post, I’ve been mainly focused on buying paperbacks, not ebooks. Although I prefer physical copies of books, I’m down for ebooks anytime, especially when you’re trying to save money. I do have a rule that if an ebook is over $5.99, I’ll just buy the paperback instead, so being able to find them cheap is something I look for.

One of my favorite sites is BOOKBUB.

When you sign up, they send you emails to let you know when e-versions of books in your selected categories are free or on sale.

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I love this site. That book, The MAGICIANS, was $7.99 the other day, so I went ahead and bought the paperback for $8.15 at BARNES and NOBLE (with my B&N membership). Today the ebook is $2.99, so this would have saved me around $5. LOL..totally my luck!!

Once you add your favorite authors to your profile, this is a great way to keep up on sales on their books!!

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I’m ALWAYS looking for books on the cheap, even when I’m not on a Ramen budget. 😉 What are some of the ways you save on books? Leave a comment and let me know, so I can save some more!!

~Wendy

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