How Do You Buy So Many Books?

(Or, How Can You Afford To?)

Every so often I get asked this question, mostly because my collection grows at quite an insane rate. But about 90% of the time I am not buying these books full price. I price stalk all stores and wait for coupons until I can get the best deals. Honestly, most of my books that are new come from Book Boxes (Owlcrate previously, Fairyloot, Litjoy previously) and the occasional preorder for preorder goodies or a signed edition. That’s when I buy new books. I also tend to buy through either Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million (depending on which one I am a cardholder for currently).

So…where do I get my used books?

  1. The top place I get my used books is my “local” (see: hour away) used bookstore. They’ve recently started putting everything online. I create a wishlist with all the books I want, and watch until they come into stock then I nab them! Alternatively, since they don’t ship, sometimes some books don’t get put online and I happen to browse and score amazing books. (Star Touched Queen, signed copy of Blood Heir). This is my number one place to acquire used books.
  2. My Local Library is another place I have gotten used books. Sometimes they’re withdrawn library copies, and other times they’re donated. If they’re withdrawn library copies I dissemble them and make them pretty again. I remove the barcode and spine labels on them all. You never know what you’ll find!
  3. Amazon Marketplace is where I also locate used books. HPB and several other large services use Amazon as a way to sell used or gently used books. I have obtained quite a few this way.
  4. E-Bay may be surprising, but I’ve gotten one or two good books this way!
  5. Thriftbooks has been hit and miss for me, but I do like them. I got a good deal on some old mass market paperbacks that I was looking for.

Those are the five ways I’ve picked up most of my used books. What about books that are overstock?

  1. Formerly, Book Outlet. I’ve gotten quite a few good deals from them. There were some very insensitive incidents with them earlier this year and they did issue an apology as well, so be aware of that if you would like to purchase with them.
  2. Books-A-Million bargain bin. Yep. BAM has an amazing bargain bin. I have found many one off books I’ve been looking for both online and in store. Honestly, I love it.
  3. Local Used Bookstore has some as well. They’re more expensive than their used copies, but I’ve found some good bargain books there as well.

So when I’m averaging $3-$10 a book, it makes a huge difference. I can buy double the amount of books.

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