Friday, October 2, 2009

Frugal Friday - Finding Cheap Reads

I am a book collector. It seems that I collect books quicker than I can read them and my "to read" pile is always overflowing. And, since I also happen to be a "piler" my books are piled high on every flat surface throughout the house - well, not every flat surface but my husband would say very definitely most of them! So where do I find these books? As I tend to lead a more frugal lifestyle ~ or I attempt to! ~ I make it a goal to find my books as cheaply as possible. Here are a few suggestions:

1. I am very blessed to be employed at my church and we have a huge library of donated books - everything from fiction to non-fiction to dvd's and cd's of sermons. I borrow and bring back - plus donate my own as I finish with them (I rarely keep books after I've read them). Part of my duties as an employee are to keep the library tidy and organized. What a great job I have! The glory of this is I don't even have to go anywhere out of my way to pick up my books! Have you checked to see if your church has a lending library?

2. Of course, the public library is a fantastic free source for books, movies and cd's. I pass our library every day when I go to and from work. As I learn of new books I want to read, I check the online catalog and place a request. I have to be careful of overdue fees because even though I drive by the library daily, I tend to be in a hurry to get home and will forget to stop!

3. Your local thrift store. I am a big thrift store shopper and in the past I've often purchased many of my books from the Salvation Army, Goodwill or Value Village. The downside is they are usually not current bestsellers, which doesn't bother me since I tend to read based on what I'm interested in at the time, not what's current and popular. I have noticed that thrift store prices have gone up in the last year and the Salvation Army in our area is no longer offering Book Specials on Monday's and Thursday's. I still always look when I go in.

4. Charity sales. Several times a year in our county, there is a charity sale put on by the local Rotary club. Buyers bring a bag, or pick up a paper sack there, and you can fill it for a set fee. Costs go to help with costs to ship books to Africa. Now, I was very adept at packing my college dorm room items into my two door Chevette so I can get A LOT of books into my bag! I try to only attend this sale once a year because I do bring home so many books - like I said, I tend to be a book collector! My kids like to go too - I give them their own bag and then we pare down our piles, combining our choices into one bag - and we make a day of it. Lots of fun and a good cause.

5. Paperback Swap . I've not ventured into trying this yet but I've heard great things about the ease and inexpensiveness of using this site. I'll eventually get around to trying this but, like I said above, my "to read" pile is huge and I want to slow down on acquiring more books until I've read some of the stash I already have.

6. Let your friends and family know that you will gladly swap books with them or take their extras off their hands. My office mate is also an avid reader and we swap books all the time.

And, what to do with those books when you are done and don't want to keep them around? Bless another by donating them to someone else or another charitable organization.

See other great Frugal Friday tips at Life as Mom.


  1. Now THAT is a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I just called one of my ministry friends over at ourchurch and it turns out we do have a library, if you will. I had no idea!


    Stop over and see me sometime over at Free2BeFrugal.

  2. PaperBackSwap is just amazing! I have been able to get so many of our homeschooling books on there. What a blessing!