A literary addict’s guide to buying cheap books online

I have a problem with buying books. I am literally always on the lookout for them. At last count I have 35 books in my library that I’ve bought and not yet read. I say “at last count” because I was too embarrassed to count ever again. I would try and get books from the library, but I have a forgetful nature and usually end up paying around $40 in late fees anyway, which was horrible when I did it back in middle school and just plain embarrassing nowadays.

So instead, I keep an eye out for book deals, even when I shouldn’t be looking. Here are some places I keep an eye on:

Follow a bunch of book review sites and publishers on Twitter

The Millions has a book deal of the day that usually lasts only that day. I bought Eleanor and Park based on tweets from St. Martin’s Press, and I’m writing this post because I found out Jami Attenberg’s first book, Instant Love, is going to be $1.99 on Twitter starting this Sunday.

Bookmark the fabulous site BookRiot

BookRiot is always on the lookout, and highlights deals every day, with a list of deals past from Amazon. I found out the first Elena Ferrante novel is $2.99 for Kindle from there, so of course I bought it and have already started reading it.

Buy them used off Thriftbooks

Thriftbooks is a great online service for picking out used books for about $3-4 each. I bought a ton of Terry Pratchett and Tamora Pierce books from them when I was younger. They even have Thrift Deals where you can get 3 books for $10, among other things.

Subscribe to Powell’s Newsletter for Recently Arrived Books

Powell’s gets so many books every day that they have a newsletter notification email that lets you know when books in your areas of interest have come in. Their shipping is only $4, but even that’s only if you don’t want to buy more than $50 worth of books. If you’re reading this, you’re going to want more than $50 worth of books quick enough.

Online book swaps

If you’re part of any online communities, chances are you have meet ups and events. Why not ask about doing a book swap? If you’re this into books (remember what post you’re reading) then chances are you also have some books you could afford to donate to a new home. If you haven’t given them all to your local used book store, why not use it to make some new friends and meet some new books? Pick a date and place — it could be a bar or a cafe, even! — and meet up with a few books of your own.

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