Saturday, July 28, 2018

6 Affordable Ways to Read Books

As many of you know, I love to read. I average around 30 books per year, and this year I am on pace to hit around 40. Reading brings me so much joy, and I love to recommend good books to friends. I can promise I'll be bringing some your way soon. 

First, though, I've been asked several times where I find my books. Walking in to Barnes & Noble and buying books at full price can be expensive. While I dream of having the money to do that someday, right now I read books as inexpensively as possible. Here are six ways I've found to make reading affordable.

1. The Library!
I typically go to the library for children's books. The idea of wandering through the adult sections with all the kids in tow makes me anxious. I have visions of an old librarian shushing me and glaring in my direction. Then someone pointed out to me that I can place books on hold. Life. Changed. Now, I request books through my library's online website, get an email when they come in, and go pick them up in the hold section. Free books, less stress- a win all around!

2. Overdrive/ Axis 360

Most libraries offer an online platform to read e-books or listen to audio books. You can find it by asking a librarian or checking your local library's website. My library used to use Overdrive and recently switched to Axis 360. I love that I can request e-books and read them for free from home. You can request popular books, old books, books yet-to-be-released (you just have to wait until they are released to read those). Even better, there are no late fees. The app simply removes the book from your device when your rental period ends. 

3. Amazon

Amazon offers books at consistently low prices, and they frequently run deals on books and e-books. I keep a wishlist of books I'd like to buy, and check it every so often for sales. I also follow a number of my favorite authors over social media and they will promote their books when they go on sale. Amazon also often does 99¢ e-book deals that I take advantage of. (See #6 for more specifics on e-book deals!)

4. Scribd

Scribd is a paid subscription service that gives you access to ebooks, audio books, and magazines. This is the only paid book subscription service I use. For $8.99, my kids and I can read a wide variety of current and past books and audio books. Eli uses Scribd every day during our afternoon rest time to listen to his favorite chapter books (like Magic Tree HouseBoxcar Children, and Beverly Cleary books). I love that Scribd works across multiple devices like my Kindle tablet and my phone. Plus, I can "save" books in my account under different folders so that the kids and I can each access our own choices. 

5. Audible

Audible has a wide array of audio book options. You can subscribe monthly, or you can purchase books individually. I don't have a subscription, but I have bought a couple books through them. The benefit is that even if you don't have a subscription, you can keep and access the books you purchase at any time.

Modern Mrs. Darcy, one of my favorite bloggers, promotes daily e-book deals. She often gives her own opinions of the books, or references helpful reviews of them, so that you don't buy "blind". I check her site every few weeks and usually find at least one book to buy for under $2.

Bonus: Ask a friend! You never know what books might be on a friend's shelf waiting for you to borrow.

I hope you are able to enjoy more books this summer. How do you find good deals on books? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!

Affliate links used in this post. If you buy through the links, know I am grateful for your support!


  1. Start book trading--most used bookstores will let you bring in books for store credit, and you can take books out without paying by using said credit. I haven't spent money on books in a long, long time.