If you’re anything like me, then you love to read books and listen to audiobooks but hate spending a lot of money on them. Now, I’m not saying the authors don’t deserve to be paid – of course they do. But it’s hard to spend $30 on one book when you don’t even know if you will like the book. And if you’re trying to read more than one book per month, the cost can really add up. Don’t even talk to me about the cost of audiobooks! So far, I’ve successfully been able to read and listen to many books without breaking the bank, so I’m going to try to help you learn how to read a lot of books on a budget.
I’ve already had some people ask me how they can read more or where to get audiobooks, so I thought I’d share in a blog post!
1. The Library
Let’s start with the most obvious: your local library. Do I even have to say anything more? It’s FREE!
1.5 Libby app for your library
This is the way I listened to TONS of audiobooks in the last two years. It’s an app on your phone or tablet, you connect your library card to it, and then you access all of your library’s audiobooks and e-books. It works just like a regular library: you get 21 days to read or listen to a book. Also, there are a limited amount of copies available, so if someone has a book checked out, you have to wait until they check it back in or their 21 days are up.
There is section for “available now,” which I use regularly for audiobooks that I don’t have to wait for.
Scribd is a service where, for $9 per month, you can listen to pretty much an unlimited amount of audiobooks and read as many e-books as they have. I found that they have a lot more audiobooks than e-books. You are limited to their selection, but their selection of audiobooks is huge. I haven’t found many books that they don’t have. Also, they will give you a free month when you start, so it gives you a good amount of time to see if it’s something worth paying for after the first month. As of this blog post, I am still a paying subscriber because I’ve “saved” a lot of audiobooks and e-books to read!
I love Half Price Books! Whenever I go there, I don’t come out empty-handed. I don’t even come out with only one book! I think it’s useful to know that they do have price-reduced new releases. They may be more than $3 or $5, but they are well below the full retail value and still brand new books.
Last time I got books at Goodwill, I think they were all 50 cents each. This is going to be a place where you might find treasure or you might not find anything that interests you. If you aren’t too picky about books, then this would be an awesome place to go to stock up on books.
5. Book Swap With Friends
I haven’t personally done this yet but I’ve talked about it and it sounds like fun! A book swap is just like it sounds – you bring a book you’ve already read and swap with a friend. If you do this with more than one friend, you can keep swapping until all of you have read everyone’s books. At the end, you can keep a book or sell the books to Half Price Books.
You can even make a game out of this. An idea is to play a book swap game, just like White Elephant. Get a group of people and have everyone bring a book he/she already read. Everyone gets a number at the start, which is the order they will pick books. The first person gets to pick a book they want to take. The second person can either steal the first person’s book choice or pick a new book. This keeps going until the last person. A book can only be stolen twice, so you have to keep track.
Heather Bottoms describes an awesome book swap she hosts every year. Read her post for inspiration.
Do you have any of your own suggestions that help you read books on a budget?
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