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I’ve written before about my love for reading, but I also have a side of me that loves bargains and hates spending unnecessary coin. What’s a man to do when he wants to buy and consume as many books as he can while preserving the health of his wallet? Use the Internet, of course! (Legally.)
Sure, free public libraries are always a valid option, but library space is always going to be limited. With the advent of the ebook, there are even ebook libraries that you can utilize free of charge. But, again, library selection is always inherently limited. Plus, there’s something to be said for buying and owning your own books – a joy that libraries cannot provide.
Fortunately, you and I are not the first ones to feel this way. There are many websites online that are designed to help you find the books you want for the cheapest price points.
I love the cleverness of this website’s name. It’s a site that specializes in finding the cheapest pricings of books across all of Amazon’s different regional sites. Even though you’re American, you may find your desired book for a cheaper price in the UK store. Or vice versa. A big factor, of course, is international exchange rates – and CheapRiver takes advantage of those to find you the best prices.
On the site, you can set your current country. This is used to calculate shipping estimates depending on the source Amazon store. When you search for a book, it compares all of the Amazon store prices and shows you how much you’d have to pay (in your home currency) if you bought from each store. By considering exchange rates and shipping rates, you are guaranteed the lowest Amazon prices.
BookFinder is a search engine owned by AbeBooks that flips through all major online book retailer shops and reports the best prices and best selections. There are over 150 million books in its search database – which is constantly being updated and tracks all sorts of books: new, used, rare, textbooks, and even out-of-print books.
Which online retailers does BookFinder pull its data from? AbeBooks, all of the Amazon stores, Rakuten.com, eBay, Overstock.com, Textbooks.com, and more. For a full list of retailers, check out their booksellers page.
AddALL is a free search engine that browses numerous online book stores for selection and pricing. Unlike most other book search engines, AddALL is an independent entity – not affiliated with any particular book store – so you can be assured (at least more assured than other websites) that its results are impartial and objective.
I like the AddALL search engine because it can search ebooks, print books, used books, magazines, as well as music and movies. You can set the shipping destination and AddALL will calculate both shipping rate and sales tax into your search, which ends up providing really accurate results and comparisons.
It’s not included in the screenshot above but AddALL even includes information for order processing time (e.g., “Ships in 2-3 days”) and shipping type and time (e.g., “Standard / 5-15 days”) on each result. Plus, they provide a direct “Click to Buy” link for your convenience.
If you’re into thrift culture – in this context, buying used whenever possible – then Thrift Books may be right up your alley. There’s nothing quite like the feeling (or smell) a fresh new book in your hands, but buying used books can be an extremely sound financial decision. You still get the full book experience with the sacrifice of sharp page corners.
Thrift Books is a used book online retailer that operates out of the US and provides free shipping to all of the US (for even more savings!) but they do serve countries outside of the US as well at flat-rate shipping per book regardless of size, though they do provide multi-item discounts for bulk purchases.
An interesting bonus that Thrift Books offers is the ability to order wholesale from them. Yes, if you need to buy masses of books at once, then Thrift Books lets you buy wholesale in the following categories: mass market, trade & hardback, overstock, kid’s, kid’s plus, and VHS tapes.
Books may have fallen out of mainstream popularity in favor of newer media like TV shows and movies, but they arguably offer the most immersive experience of any medium. Plus, books will last you for decades, making them one of the best value purchases in entertainment. I, for one, await the day when reading books becomes cool again.
For book newbies and book veterans alike, the sites above will help you buy the most books you can with whatever budget you have. Stretch each dollar and buy your desired books for as cheap as you can.
Image Credits: Dollar & Book Via Shutterstock