Hunting for Bargain Books
Advice and tips on where to look for bargain offline and online.
It's easy to find bargain books if you know where to look for them. I've always loved books. The older I get the choosier I have to be about what I collect...I've already had to move my book collection two, going on three times! Books are so expensive these days I could never afford the books I want if I didn't resort to bargain shopping. I've refined my bargain book hunting skills enough the past couple of years that I now rarely pay more than £1 for a book.
There are many places, on and off the Internet, to find great deals on books. To me, part of the fun is hunting around for them, so I do the majority of my looking around offline.
I buy a lot of my books at car boot sales. Car boot sales are great for finding children's books. A few years ago I decided to start looking for some of my own childhood favorites, and have already replaced many of my long lost childhood books, often for 25p to 50p each. These same books would cost between £3 - £20 in an antique store.
One advantage of shopping around where you live is finding books related to your area. Growing up in the Northeast of Engand, I love to collect old books relating to this region and culture, and it's relatively easy to run across them.
Charity shops often have the largest selections of used books. Sometimes you will discover irreplaceable book collections practically free!
Another great place to find bargain books is community stalls. It's best to check more than one store. In my town, one practically gives their books away, and another charges pounds a piece for them (especially cookbooks). Also watch for bargain days. One store I go to offers 20% off everything every Sunday and once or twice a year offers 50% off.
Used bookstores are also a great place to find bargain books, but again you have to look around. One store I go to sells their cookbooks for 50p - £2 each, and another sells theirs for between £3 - £10 each. Most used bookstores will also let you trade in unwanted books for store credit, further reducing your overall cost. I often trade in books I've purchased at car boot sales to offset the costs of the books at the used bookstore.
One possibly overlooked place to look for books is antique stores. I found one antique store that has a whole selection of used books for about £1 each. That's a good place to find old community and church cookbooks (my favorites!)
There are several good Internet resources for finding used books. Ebay is good for low-cost books if you have the patience to bid on them.
Happy bargain hunting!