Bargains for the Bookworm

This post is brought to you by The Digerati Life, a blog on personal finance, frugal living, financial management and investment.

Are you a bookworm? Whether you’re still in school or already in the work world, books remain as primary sources of learning. Textbooks, novels, self-help books — all of these could be rich sources of great entertainment or information. So whether or not a person is a university student, books may well be a staple in one’s budget (budgeting tools and software can help track various spending categories). Thus, if you’re looking for a way to cut costs in this area, then you may want to get discounts or freebies; doing so can free up more of your budget for more pressing and important things, such as food and rent, for instance.

Textbooks could be had for cheaper rates with the use of cheap textbook coupons. On the other hand, books that one buys mainly for entertainment could be bought from book sales or discounted book stores.

While it would be a dream to buy all of the books you could set your eyes on, let’s face it, they don’t come for free. Even though some books come cheap, at $3.00, even $3.00 per item could add up over time. However, a $3.00 used book is still a bargain compared to an $18.00 price tag on a new release.

So now the question is, where can you find the cheapest versions of your favorite books online?

Well, you can start out by searching for the following terms online:
“cheap books”
“bargain books”
“used books”

When you check out the terms “cheap books online,” “bargain books online,” “used books online,” and so on, you’ll find top results for the best sites that showcase bargain/cheap books. Websites like, AbeBooks, and ThriftBooks are some of the better picks on the “cheap books” keyword. Some other entries are price comparison engines, but the information you get from there could be useful. BookCloseOuts, BestBargainBook, and BargainBookStores are the better results for “bargain books.” Alibris, AbeBooks, are among the better results for “used books.” The point is, a little bit of research can yield you some good finds.

If you want free content, however, there are other forms and formats of published content that may help you shrink your book budget a little:

  • Free PDFs
  • Free published content online
  • Public domain versions for literary works

PDF or Portable Digital Format, is still the most common digital format used for published content. A lot of free content may still be available via PDF. And if you’re on the lookout for freebies, free PDFs may help you get your reading fix without costing you anything.

There are also still thousands of free ebooks out there. Some people share these on download forums, while other free PDFs are in eBook libraries. All you need to do is a web search on “Free PDF Search Engine” or “Free PDF eBooks” and you may be able to stave off taking trips to the bookstore for a long, long time.

Aside from free PDFs, there are websites that also post free full texts of popular books, and even unpublished writing work. and are examples. Mixed in with Sheldon, King and Steele are works from amateurs. It delivers content straight to your WAP or 3G-enabled phone, or you could read it straight from your browser. Just wading through your website could keep you away from bookstores, even from the library, for months!

Also, the classics are available at Project Gütenberg, which is an organization dedicated to letting classical/public domain content become available online. Classics and out of print books with no or expired copyrights are available up at Project Gütenberg. While it may not be complete, the website’s collection is still undeniably comprehensive.

Book aficionados need not break the bank nor rack up credit card debt to feed their reading appetites (no, you don’t need to turn to your Citi credit cards for this!). All they really need is the understanding that great books are available for free online, which are easy to track down with a little resourcefulness. For the less tech-savyy, there’s always the local library!

3 thoughts on “Bargains for the Bookworm”

  1. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some ideas for saving money with books. Another great idea but I say this tongue-in-cheek. Start a website and do book reviews. Authors will send you books for free if you do reviews for them! Just a thought. 🙂


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