Where to Find Free or Cheap Books

Books are so very expensive these days but you can find cheap books – even free books – if you just know where to look. Paying full price for books, along with shipping if you purchase online or through a catalog, comes with a hefty tab. If you’re like many, you love to read but simply can’t afford to purchase books. There’s always the public library for reading pleasure but why not purchase instead, if you can get the books at a reasonable cost?

Speaking of libraries, many of them give away books which have some damage. Some of them are dispersed through city sales, held once a year, or at other venues. During these city sales, local city government offices will sell or give away thousands of dollars worth of books, computers and software, office equipment and more. Check with your local library to find out the dates of these sales. If they do not participate, ask about how you can receive some of the damaged books. Damages include scribble marks, torn jackets, loose pages or water marks but are usually readable.

Schools sometimes have damaged books as well. Call some area schools to see if they have books for sale that have some damage. The school is usually happy to recoup some of their money so they can purchase new books. The books don’t necessarily have to be the usual text books. The school library often contains many interesting books on history, biographies, art or photography.

Local colleges usually have a book store where those in need can find books for less than full price, and those who have already read a book can sell it. Call the colleges to see if they offer this service. A commission is usually charged by the school after the sale of each book.

Some giant online book stores have magnificent sales several times during the year. Discontinued titles, in particular, are great bargains. Sign up for the newsletter to some of these stores and you’ll keep abreast on when these clearance sales begin. Bargain books can be found this way for under a buck for some children’s titles or as low as two dollars for other books. Keep in mind that shipping usually applies although it’s often offered free if you purchase a minimum amount of discounted books. The discount books are usually in perfect shape except for an occasional price sticker on the jacket.

It is commonplace to find books at yard sales and flea markets. After the owner has purchased the book and read it he is usually willing to sell the book at a fraction of the original cost. Look around on Saturday mornings for yard sales or check your local newspaper for listings. Visit nearby flea markets where you can sometimes haggle for an even lesser price than what’s marked.

Some online freebie forums list many books that companies give away for free. Some are religious in nature, others are especially for kids. Home school teachers can find many books this way. Type “freebie +forum” into a search engine to find listings for some of these boards. At the same site you’ll often see “for sale” listings where you can find great deals from individuals who are selling personal belongings. Ask about the shipping prices before reaching an agreement on the books. Place your own listing under the “wanted” area of the forum and list certain topics of interest and price ranges you’re willing to pay. You might spur someone into thinking of all the books just sitting on their shelves at home, and find yourself some real bargains.

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