10 Free (or Nearly Free) Ways to Get Books

how to get free books

I love books. I’m addicted to bindings, paper, and ink. I become intoxicated by the smell of an old edition. I melt at a beautiful children’s picture book. I truly breathe only when the printed word is being read across my tongue.

My husband tolerates my addiction. I’m forever coming home with stacks and bags of books. He silently helps me move a new bookcase into the house. He understands my love for books, but not my passion. However, my collection is built mostly of books I didn’t have to pay for. Besides getting them as gifts, and ransacking the discount bins at the superstores, I am drawn to (at least) these ten places.

The Book Swap

Usually, the rules are c


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7 Responses to 10 Free (or Nearly Free) Ways to Get Books

  1. Marissa says:

    ooooohhh, I understand the passion.
    A book, to me, is a complete sensory experience!…recently, a new company is offering to teach you how to read 200 pages in 20 minutes…to me, that’s like saying they’ll teach me to eat 200 dishes in 20 minutes…where’s the joy??

  2. Bernadette says:

    I too love books. Thanks so much for developing this list. You have places here I never thought about. My daughter just turned 2 and I have begun reading to her. My mother says that “books takes you places you want to go even if your physical body never takes you there.” I love to read and this is going to help me get more books.

    Don’t forget garage sales and book outlet stores. You can always get some good finds there as well.

  3. Hana says:

    As a retired librarian, I’ll explain why some books go for sale. We’ll get a donation of a book (or a set). It costs the library money to process it- someone has to put it in the catalog, some one else to get it physcaly ready, etc. If it doesn’t fit the library’s needs, it’s your taxes wasted. Better to let someone take/buy it.
    Also,space in every library is limited. We have to weed our collections to make room for new books.

  4. Maxine says:

    Books are my life! I have a book tote that says “I cannot live without books.” so, I understand the passion. Like the author, I probably have 100 books in my home. I cannot go pass a bookstore and my husband blindfolds me…Love book sales, outlets. Am the library’s best customer. I simply love books. Also, like Marissa…why would you want to read 200 pages in 20 minutes?

  5. Mary Scott says:

    Don’t forget Paperbackswap.com or bookmooch.com!
    I have more books than I can read in a year now!

  6. Gail says:

    Great article. I’ve put a link to it on my Squidoo lens: http://www.squidoo.com/Book-Reader/ so others can come read it too!

  7. Ruth says:

    Somewhere in between the ultra cheap (ie free) methods and the expensive ones is book swapping through the mail. The cost is the cost of wrapping and mailing a book (mail cost is usually $2.13). Check out http://www.bookmooch.com or http://www.swaptree.com

    Bookmooch works on a points system–you get points for entering a book into their system, points for sending books to others and points for acknowledging receipt of a book sent to you. With their huge membership, there are a lot of books available, and you can create a wishlist such that you get an email if/when a book you want becomes available. Swaptree arranges immediate trades, sometimes involving as many as four people. You create lists of stuff you have (books, cd’s games) and stuff you want and the computer tried to match you up.

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