I love nothing more than curling up with a good book. Electronic or paper, fiction or nonfiction, purchased or from the library, reading is a joy.
Luckily, it also can be a frugal source of entertainment. But if you’re a money-saving bookworm like me, you’re always looking for ways to read your favorite titles and new releases without spending a lot of money.
Surprise! You don’t need a fancy e-reader to read electronic books. Amazon’s Kindle app can be downloaded to any smartphone, laptop, desktop or tablet device.
It is a free app and gives you access to many free classic reads. Dickens, Verne, Hugo, Joyce, Twain — more than 8,000 titles total can be downloaded for absolutely free.
After downloading the app, simply search for free popular classics. Amazon also offers eBooks for free on a regular basis or at a deeply discounted rate. Check the Kindle Book Deals page to see hundreds of books for less than $4. The Kindle Bestseller page includes a list of the top 100 paid titles and the top 100 free titles, too.
I love our public library. I’m there at least three times a week and sometimes more. I love to use the Wi-Fi. I love the numerous free workshops and classes. I love to let my girls pick out DVDs to watch at home. But of course most of all, I love the books. Children’s books, memoirs, popular fiction and more have all come home with me thanks to my trusty library card.
As a part of the Evergreen system, I have access to a host of libraries throughout Indiana. If the particular title I’m looking for isn’t available from one of them, I can request that book to be purchased on the library’s website. Fill out a simple form; and if it gets approved, you receive an email notification.
When I’m browsing at the bookstore, I often snap a picture of a cover with my phone to later look for it at the library. Most libraries often lend out e-books now, too. Ask your local librarian if this might be an option that works for you.
Join book rewards
A number of publishers have great programs for those willing to read and review books. Use an Internet search engine to locate publisher websites and then look for potential opportunities or use the terms “Book Review Program.” The Tyndale Rewards program is one of my very favorites. Filling out simple surveys gives you points that you can in turn cash in to receive free books.
One of my very favorite websites for all things reading is half.com. A subsidiary of eBay, half.com allows you to both buy and sell used books for only a small fee (paid upon completion of a sale). This site allows you to both feed and support your reading habit.
I sold quite a few books on half.com while we were paying off debt. I became a master at competitively pricing the books we were selling and reusing packing materials we received to cut down on my shipping expenses.
Yet another book-friendly money-saving site you should check out is paperbackswap.com. This site allows you to both sell and to swap used books. With more than 4 million books to choose from, Paperback Swap claims to be the world’s largest book club. All you pay for is the postage.
Losing yourself in a good book doesn’t require you to lose the shirt off your back. You can easily read the day away inexpensively if you practice some creativity and intentionality.