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Reading Without Breaking Your Budget

Photograph: Adam Woolfitt/Corbis

The following is a guest post by Christine Kane.

If you are anything like me, you could go through a book a day. Classics, thrillers, fiction or non-fiction; it doesn’t really matter as long as you’ve got words in front of you. But how do you keep up with your book fetish without breaking the bank? After all, all that paper costs a bundle. Well, here are a few easy ways to keep reading without spending.

  1. The Library – Okay, so that’s a no brainer. The library has always been the go-to place for free books. But did you know you could order books from their branches online? Yes, that’s right. If your nearest library doesn’t have a copy, you can order one online and have it delivered, free, and held just for you. What a deal! On top of that, libraries often have book sales where you can buy older books for pennies on the dollar. Great for those copies you just have to have on hand all the time!
  2. Book Reader – I love my Kindle. Yes, I know, it is not paper, and I fought against it for a while. But once you get stuck on a plane for a few hours, long enough to finish a book or two, you realize how great the little thing is. I’m a cheapskate, so I haven’t actually paid for a single book. I found Amazon’s free e-book list and am working my way through that, one classic at a time. Even the new books are cheaper to download than to buy in most stores.
  3. Book Resellers –Where I live there is a wondrous place called Half Price Bookstore. Old books, new books, fat books, sick books, even Dr. Seuss books all for half price or less. Comics, cook books, and children’s books fill up aisles of reading material. There is even a clearance section where all books are a dollar. Your city may not have a Half Price, but there are other, similar stores everywhere.
  4. Book Swap – Online book swaps are a big deal. There are many sites that offer to exchange paperbacks for only the shipping costs.
  5. Online Retailer – Buying books online used means big savings. Amazon and EBay have books for just a penny, plus shipping.
  6. Amateurs –Quality writing doesn’t always mean published. There are a lot of great, unpublished writers out there. Sites like FictionPress.com let millions of writers share their original work with the world, for free. Any topic or genre you feel like reading, right at your fingertips. Yeah, you might have to put up with a few typos, but you can also interact with the authors directly. How great is that?

For bibliophiles like me, reading isn’t a luxury. I love it too much to let it go, despite the drain on my budget. Thankfully, I have found a few ways to satisfy my needs without draining my pocketbook. If you love books as much as I do, try one of these ways to make your dollar go further.

This Guest post is by Christine Kane, a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects including internet service providers for different blogs. She can be reached via email at Christi.Kane00@gmail.com.

Editors Note: We welcome submissions of appropriate articles for our readers. Inclusion of a guest post on this blog does not imply endorsement of the contents of linked pages, nor of the organization supplying the article. We do however support and appreciate the value of the information contained in the article for the benefit of our readers.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, schedule a free credit counseling session today. 


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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