We love our summer reading and don’t feel guilty that Chelsea Lately is on the list (we won’t judge you if you don’t judge us!). During this summer of iPads vs. Kindles vs. simply stealing books from friends, we’re on a quest for the best ways to get books for cheap. The #1 most expensive way to snag a book is at the airport or train station, so we’re stocking up ahead of time.
To provide you with the best insight, we’ve done a case study: We compared prices and shopping experiences for a paperback edition of The New York Times bestseller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Here’s what we found:
1. The Library Can Be Exhausting, But We Want To Remind You That It Exists!
The benefits far outweigh the costs (which are, as we mentioned, nonexistent). Library cards are free, borrowing books is free, and we’re all about supporting the public library system. Since we can’t make it to the library near our house before it closes, we go during lunch. To save time, we browse the collection online; if the book we want isn’t in stock, we request an interlibrary loan, which can also usually be done online.
2. Trade Books With Friends And Family
This is our favorite option, since it’s a way to get books for free—without the library police on your back about due dates.
3. If You Must Buy, Try Half.com
As much as we think you should get use out of your Kindle or iPad (since you bought it anyway), we still like Half.com for our book purchases. It’s cheap, easy, and you can share with friends when you’re done, unlike Kindle books.
Open and closed case.