5 Ways to Save Money on Books You Wouldn't Expect

By Diana Zarowin

I love books. Hardcover, paperback, textbooks (yes, even textbooks!) – there’s nothing like holding a new book in your hand, and devouring it cover to cover. While I admit that I’m a mixed product of the library book and e-book generation (shout-out to all of the 90’s kids reading this!), I’ve always been a fan of actually purchasing books for keeps-sake, and adding them to my book shelf after reading. 

As you can imagine, this has translated into purchasing a very large amount of books over the course of my 23-young years. So as not to break my parents’ bank accounts or now my own, I have a learned a trick or two for getting the best deal on my purchases. Check out several easy (and convenient!) ways to save on your next bagful of novels (or picture-books, I don’t judge), and happy reading!

Amazon, Obviously

Amazon is an amazing website. You can find the best deals on just about any product out there in the universe, and have it delivered to you in a very timely manner. I often purchase books in bulk (sometimes 10 or 15 at a time!) and scour the seller prices and reviews for the best options. You can even get a multi-dollar book for pennies, if you do your research well! I recommend this website when looking to purchase books in bulk and if you don’t mind the books being slightly used (depending on the seller, of course). Textbooks can also be widely found on Amazon!

Used Book Sites, Try PackBack

The Internet is home to many qualified used book websites that are definitely worth a search and look, especially when it comes to textbooks. Further, many used book sites often offer buy-back deals, should you feel that you no longer have use for the product. And, you might even be able to find older or more specific copies of the specific book you are looking to acquire (which could be an excellent choice for gift-giving)!


EBay is yet another website to utilize when looking for a fantastic book deal. Unlike Amazon and used book websites, you may know that EBay runs similar to an auction-house, with buyers bidding on the product and the highest buyer winning and ultimately purchasing said product. Prices may start very low, and you can often snag fantastic deals on books (textbooks included here, too). Just as used book websites can be used to purchase old books as gifts, so too can EBay be used in this way.

Bookstore Rewards

Though it seems like bookstores are less relevant now with the rise of the Web, I assure you that they do indeed still exist…and they offer great rewards program options! Many bookstores offer points for purchase, savings if you hold a loyalty card, or coupons – all free, as long as you sign up with the store. Also, don’t you just love the feel and smell of being surrounded by new books in a store? Me too, me too.

Trade with a Friend

I put this option last since I do love holding on to all of the books I purchase…but…this is a useful option if you feel you can no longer get use out of a certain book and have a friend who feels the same. In fact, you can even host a fun book swap party to celebrate the finishing of books and saving money on trading them. Throw in some wine and cupcakes, and you’re good-to-go! Beyond trading, you can also sell books you no longer need (this works especially well for textbooks), and use the earned money to purchase new books.