I know I’m a day late in my Freebie Friday post. I do apologize, but I had a bit of a rough Friday ☹
If you are an avid book reader like me, then you are aware of how expensive book buying can be! If you go into a Barnes and Nobles or a Waterstones a full price, hot off the press book, can cost up to $20/£19! That’s a lot of dough! Even if you only buy off the clearance shelf, it will cost you at least $5/£4.
A cheaper alternative would be to shop in thrift shops, in the used book section. You can find some real treasures there. But, the problem with thrift shops is you aren’t likely to find the newest Dan Brown or James Patterson on the shelves. You could just shop of Amazon. Amazon has both new and used versions of most books, the used versions can cost you less than a $1! But you must factor in the cost of shipping, which can get quite pricey, especially because you can rarely Prime the used books.
So, where does that leave someone who lives the #doitcheaplifestyle?
The library! It’s a magical place that lends you books free! All you need is a library card and an address within the libraries district. All towns have libraries, some even have multiple depending on the size of your city. You can borrow a book for as long as you need, if you make sure to renew it. The important thing to keep it #doitcheap is to never keep a book past the due date or your risk incurring fines (but even those can be minimal). Most libraries have whatever book you desire and they strive to buy at least one copy of the hottest title, sometimes more. If for some reason your local library doesn’t have the book you want, they can inter-library loan it, and get it for you.
Libraries have put in a lot of effort to stay current with the times. It used to be a solely book based borrowing system, but now they have expanded their offerings. Libraries now carry DVD’s of popular movies and box sets of television shows like Friends or Grey’s Anatomy. Libraries also offer free CD borrowing, and they tend to have subscriptions to the popular newspapers and magazines. So, sometimes just stopping into your local library to read the latest Cosmo can be worth it (that would save $3 a month alone!).
But libraries haven’t stopped at DVD’s, CD’s, magazines and audio books to keep you coming to them. Many libraries now have online catalogs that allows its members to download books to a Kindle, Nook or tablet. It’s a way to go to the library without even leaving your house. And the selection online is as varied as it is in the physical library, crime, sci-fi, autobiographies, if you can think of it, libraries have it. These sites usually offer downloadable audio books as well, so there is something for everyone. Did I mention it’s free?
To find out if you local library offers free book downloading, go to the website, or just ask a librarian. You will need your library card and usually a pin number, which you librarian will be able to help you get. It is totally worth the effort of logging on! The free online library kept me alive when I lived in China and couldn’t get books in English very often.
About five years ago, people thought that print books were going to disappear. Many thought that libraries would fade away as well. But that hasn’t been the case. People will always want a free way to remain cultured and entertained, and libraries will never stop providing that.
So, my (late) Friday Freebie tip is to go to your local library! You will find reading materials galore, meet new people, and most of all save money. Free, unlimited books! That is the best way to #doitcheap. (#doitcheap kid tip, libraries usually offer a free story time on the weekends, so it gives parents time to look around without children, and it gives the kids something fun to do!)