Friday, August 14, 2009

Frugal Friday: Buying Used Books

I love buying books, especially books for our children. Books, however, can be expensive to buy. What I do is shop sales, garage sales, thrift stores and Friends of the Library used book sales.

Garage sales can fetch you books for as little as $0.10 each and the Library book sales $0.25 to $1.00 each. A small library near our home is currently selling used books for $1.00/bag. They're older reads but still good. I bought a couple bags and shipped them to our adopted soldier in Iraq and am reading a few myself.

Our local thrift store has books half price every Tuesday. Last time I shopped there, I bought 10 brand new Dr. Seuss books that had never been opened for $0.50 each.

My last purchase at the library's used book store, I spent $16.00 and got the huge collection of books below. If our darling son wasn't so fussy in the store at the time, I'm sure I would have bought twice that much.

What we do with our books when we're done with them is donate them. Here's the general criteria we follow:

~ All perfect condition hard cover kid's books.
~ All our son's outgrown, once loved board books.
I check the online catalogue first to see if they have them and if they don't, or only have one copy then I donate the book.

~ All paperback kids books get donated to our daughter's classroom library after she's read them. This is a good incentive for her to read and I get her to sign the inside of each book before it's donated.

~ All other hard cover kid's books that may have just a few marks in them get donated to my daughter's school library.

This works for us on many levels. We get to purchase, read and enjoy the books then pay it forward when we're done with them. Our library and school greatly appreciate these donations.

Happily submitted to Frugal Fridays at Life As Mom.


  1. Our family also loves books! We visit garage sales, thrift stores, library sales and use PaperBack Swap. So much to read, so little time :)

  2. Two other sources for buying used books are and

  3. Tracey - I started donating our books because we just weren't reading them fast enough & there was piles of books all over the house! On top of that we get at least 15 from our local library each week. Hmm.. maybe we're a little book crazy ;o)

    The Prudent Homemaker - I've used & like & I just checked-out which is new to me & looks great as well. Thanks so much for the sharing :)

  4. I can't believe you're able to part with books. Books come in my door and rarely leave, except the library books, which get returned, usually about when they are overdue!

    I'm very selective about what I buy now though as there is little bookshelf space left in my home. I bought a lot more books when my kids were younger. Now we mostly borrow from the library - I'll only buy books I know I want to refer to many times.

    The books that do manage to leave my house are the ones used for my children's book business. That's another great way to save on books - book party hostesses get really great benefits.

    Happy Reading :-)

  5. I love used books too!!! We have several terrific book sales in our area. I haven't been able to hit many sales this year with four little ones. My husband did keep the children for two hours while I went to one. I bought 70 books for $8.00!!! Now that is a deal!!!

    Have you heard of Paperback Swap? I have traded some of my extra books there for ones on my wish list. You can read about it on my blog!
    Gina at Home Joys

  6. I love books too. They are like my best friends. I completely forget myself and get relaxed with books. Nice sharing. Keep posting.

  7. I have used Accounting, Business and Stats books to donate. Please suggest a place in the Kitchener Waterloo area I can give them to.



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