Being a Book Buyer on a Budget

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As a high school student with a job that pays quite sporadically (I do freelance photography, I have to make my paychecks last!) and miscellaneous college funds to start saving for, buying books on a regular basis isn't that easy. That being said, I'm the kind of person who uses coupons on everything I can, and over time I've compiled a list of the most trustworthy ways to add to my collection without completely depleting my wallet. You'd be surprised what you can find out there! Click each bullet for a link to the website.

Just keep in mind that buying and pre-ordering books at full price whenever you're able to is the best way to support your favorite authors. They write because they love it, but a lot of them write full-time, and that feat is often overlooked or taken for granted. Remember to give them a little love whenever you can!

  • Books-A-Million
    My nearest bookstore happens to be right down the street from my school, and that can be quite dangerous. I spend so much time there, the employees know me by name! While buying books there full-price can break the bank, the discount section is a treasure trove. In the last two months I have bought 10+ books, half of which were hardback, and never spent more then $3-6 on them. You can get really lucky and find popular reads in the discount section; right now, at my location they have Bloodlines by Richelle Mead for $3, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, hardcover, for $6, and a ton of other books and sequels. 
  • Book Outlet
    I was introduced to this website this summer, and it did wonders on my bank account. I was able to buy the second and third books in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, hardback, for $5 and $6 a piece! These books are brand-new, too, not secondhand. Their selection is constantly changing, so always strike while the iron is hot. Their variety isn't that broad, but since it is always changing you're bound to snag a sweet deal on a book you've been wanting at some point or another.
  • Book Depository
    Another discount book site similar to Book Outlet, Book Depository has a wider selection of books but is a little on the mid-range side for prices. Another perk is that this website features international shipping, for FREE. If you live outside the US and have been waiting to get your copy of A Thousand Nights at the same time as the rest of us, this site will get it to you for nearly half the cost.
  • Amazon
    Kind of obvious, but because Amazon was originally a company started just for books, it makes sense that you would be able to buy books here for half their retail cost. Their hardcover and paperbacks are often half the average retail price at BAM or B&N, and if you have Amazon Prime like me, you can have your books delivered to your doorstep in two days or less. Plus, thousands of Kindle ebooks are available for a fraction of the cost of physical books. I think it's kind of ironic how Amazon just opened a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle, the online bookseller is going back to the old fashioned way to sell some books!
So there you have it! My favorite ways to get books when you're on a budget. If you have any secrets of your own, I would LOVE to hear about them! Please let me know your favorite place to buy books in the comments!

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  1. Sometimes local indies have a discount section! I found a bunch of books I'd been wanting for cheap at my fav bookstore once. :)

    1. I wish I had more indie bookstores in my area! I have to drive about 30-45 minutes to get to the really good ones.


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