Five ways readers can save on books
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Users can search for books by city, type of venue (such as museums, coffee shops) or title. This may be a little too whimsical for some, but it does save the cost of postage.Skip to next paragraph
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Buy smart at major retailers
If you're ordering a book online, remember to compare prices at major retailers. On Amazon.com, for example, a new paperback copy of the best-seller "Eat, Pray, Love" was listed for $9, compared to $10.50 at Borders.com and $13.50 for nonmembers at BarnesandNoble.com.
What's more, all three retailers and eBay.com also offer used copies through third-party sellers. Borders recently listed used paperback copies of "Eat, Pray, Love" at prices ranging from $4.44 to $15.75. Sellers are typically authorized by the retailer, but be sure to check each site's guarantee policies on quality and returns. You can also view customer ratings and comments on third-party sellers.
Plus you'll want to check to see if there are any deals advertised for shipping, or membership programs that may offer regular discounts.
With the help of volunteers, the nonprofit Project Gutenberg compiles e-books and offers 25,000 free titles. The catalog includes fiction, nonfiction and reference books no longer protected by copyright.
DailyLit.com sends serialized books via e-mail. You can set the time it arrives in your inbox and adjust the size of how much text you want in each installment.
The site has 650 free classics and 350 additional titles ranging in price from $1.49 to $9.99.
Hit the pavement
Trade in your unwanted books at a used book store. Most used book stores don't pay much, but you might get a better deal in store credits.
Set aside some time to browse the shelves. They may not be as tidy or well-organized as at a major chain, but you may come across a rare or out-of-print title you wouldn't find elsewhere.
Buy at the library
Libraries often hold sales to clear out space for new books. Prices are generally even lower than at used book stores.
Additionally, about two-thirds of the 65,000 public library systems in the country have a local Friends of Libraries chapter that helps raise money. Most chapters hold annual book sales where paperbacks usually go for around 75 cents and hardcovers sell for $1 or $2, said Sally Reed, executive director for the national organization.
While you're there, don't forget to sign up for a library card if you don't already have one. You won't be the only one checking out books in this economic climate. Last year, borrowing at libraries nationwide was 10 percent higher than during the 2001 economic downturn, when there was a similar spike in visits, according to the American Library Association