Books on the Cheap

Love books, but don't love the cost? We have some great sites that offer a way to get books for little to no money.

Bookmooch is essentially an online book-swapping community. You list a book you are willing to give, and send it to someone who "mooches" it from you. Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or list it again for someone else. They carry all types of books, from the classics to children's books. Paperbackswap works in a similar way to Bookmooch, but focuses more on trade paperbacks, if that is your thing!

Bookswim is the Netflix for books. It is an online book rental library service lending out paperbacks, hardcovers and now college textbooks Netflix®-style directly to your house, without the need to purchase. You can read your books as long as you want, and then return them for other titles. Similiar to Netflix, the shipping is free both way.

Amazon is probably the world's biggest website for books, and I have spent a pretty penny there! They have a feature where you can buy used books from sellers who list on their site. I've found that the used books are often in new condition and come at anywhere from a 20% to 60% discount even after you factor out shipping


There is an up-and-coming site called Main Street Fair that contributes a percentage of its income to schools across America. The concept is a result of a single mother of an 11-year-old who became frustrated by dismal education funding and also realized that people don't have the money to continually make school contributions. It is essentially an easier to use ebay that gives back to schools. How cool is that? This is a great place for all you crafty mamas to share your products and raise money for education. They also offer free listings for college textbooks, since the price of textbooks can often be a huge expense for students.

4 comments:

  1. Hi! You have some good suggestions, especially for the no cost books (what no love for the library? :P), but I would like to suggest one more site that might save over Amazon.

    (Warning, self promotion, but it's free!) I run a site called BookSpy.net that lets you search for a book by ISBN, title or author, and it returns a list of the lowest prices across many dozens of vendors, including Amazon,Ebay,Half.com,Alibris,AbeBooks,etc...

    Often times amazon is not the lowest. Just thought you might find this useful. Best regards

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  3. FYI... PaperBackSwap.com is the largest of the book swapping sites. (NOT JUST PAPERBACKS!...they have everything. I get lots of Manga,Tech, & Business Books) Have over 3.5 million books available. The primary difference between BM & PBS is that BM is international and PBS is U.S. only. Enjoy!

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  4. I use http://www.bigwords.com They are a textbook search engine. It's pretty cool.

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