Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Tightwad tips: summer reads on the cheap


With one day of school left, I'm starting to think about what books I might want to pack along for trips, or for just laying out on a blanket in the back yard while the kids play in the wading pool. I've been curling up with the Kindle right before bed (still only part way through Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James), but I'm looking forward to having more time to read for pleasure.

As stated in a previous post, the cheapest place to find a good read is the public library. Some libraries even offer books and magazines left to swap by other patrons. However, if you must purchase a book---because the library doesn't have what you want, or they are charging for inter-library loan (as ours just started to do), or you need to add a favorite to your personal library--used bookstores are an inexpensive alternative.

Our small town does have a couple used bookstores, but finding what I want is a hit-or-miss proposition. Sometimes I've been able to get store credit for my old books; the amount varies depending on the resale value of what I bring in.

That said, I buy most of my used books online, and most of those at Half.com. What I love about Half.com is anyone selling an item (they also sell movies and music) lists the condition and the price they are offering, and buyers can choose the price and/or condition that suits them. One of my favorite sellers is Green Earth Books, which carries a substantial catalog, many of them for 75¢.

Audrey recently discovered the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant, and after multiple re-readings of the half-dozen on the shelves at the library, I bought her a bunch of the ones she hadn't read, all for 75¢ each plus shipping. 

Oh, and I picked up the third volume of The Tightwad Gazette (also for 75¢) to round out my collection--for research, you understand.

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