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There are lots of places to get books, and each has its pros and cons. Whether you prefer audiobooks, digital books, or physical books, here are my favorite places to get books for cheap.

A row of books with headphones on top

Reading is one of my favorite things. I’m always reading at least two books (usually more) and can’t go anywhere without bringing a book along–just in case!

Reading is just SO important. I talk all about why in this post. But sometimes, even when you want to read, the idea of having to get a book keeps you from reading. It’s yet another thing to add to your to-do list!

Today I want to break down one of my favorite topics: where to get books. I’m subdividing it by book type–physical book, digital book, and audiobook. So choose your favorite book type and find my best tips for always having a book ready and waiting for you!

Places to Get Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a great way to sneak in reading while doing tasks you’d be doing anyway–things like driving, doing dishes, folding laundry, and working out.

I have three favorite ways to get audiobooks.

1. Your Local Library

Yes, you can get audiobooks through the library–and not just the old school kind on CDs. You can actually “check-out” audiobooks on your phone to listen to and “return” later. How cool is that? The best part: it’s free!

All libraries do this differently, so I can’t go into much detail about “the how” in this post. But check with your local library and they’ll be able to give you more instructions. (Note: My library uses two different apps: Libby and Overdrive. Many libraries use these, but there are lots of other ones too.).

The downside to this method is that they often have very long hold lines. So for popular books, you can be waiting months to listen a book. And then it seems to always work out that four of the books you have on hold all become available at the same time and are due before you can get through all of them.

2. Scribd

Scribd is a subscription service app you download to your phone and/or tablet for $9.99 per month. It has tons of new and popular book titles available, in both audiobook and digital book format. You can download multiple books at once and there are no due dates (as long as you’re still a paid subscriber). We LOVE Scribd in our house!

3. Audible

Audible is Amazon’s audiobook library and works on a credit system. So for $14.95 per month, you get a credit for one book. But instead of “renting” them, you own the books FOREVER, even if you cancel your membership. Credits never expire and can be rolled over month to month.

Use this link to try Audible for 30 days and get two FREE audiobooks. Even if you cancel, you still get to keep the two books. Yep, that’s two free books, just for trying! I always recommend you put a note on your calendar a few days before trials expire to remind you to cancel if it’s not a good fit for you and your family.

How We Utilize These Three Services

My husband listens to about 2 audiobooks per week, so we have and use all three options in our home. This is how he does things:

  1. He always checks the library first. If the book is available with no hold, he gets it there.
  2. If there’s a long hold, he checks Scribd.
  3. If it’s a book he knows he’s going to listen to again, he goes to Audible.

For instance, he listens to the whole Harry Potter series at least once every year, so he’s purchased all those on Audible because they always have a huge wait at the library. Now he can listen to them whenever he wants–and in the correct order, instead of having to wait for them. Older and less popular titles he gets from the library, and newer or popular titles he gets on Scribd.

Places to Get Digital Books

The first two options are the same as the first two above: either through your local library or through Scribd.

The next option is Kindle Unlimited. It’s a monthly subscription service through Amazon that gets you access to millions of titles for $9.99 per month. You can read an unlimited number of books each month, and even have access to some magazines and audiobooks as well. This is a great option if you read a lot of digital books. Try your first month free using this link.

The final option is to purchase books through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. There are a lot of really great deals! If you sign-up for the newsletter on Book Bub, they’ll send you an email each day with free or cheap ebook deals. You can even select certain genres and they’ll only send you promos about books that may appeal to you. It’s an awesome FREE service!

Places to Get Physical Books

Free Option

The library! Utilize the library!

My best library tip? Put books on hold so you can get your hands on popular books. Trust me, you’ll never find them just sitting on the shelves!

But also browse the library. Make it part of your routine. Library day is one of our favorite days around here!

Cheap Options

Thrift stores are an awesome place to find good books. You might have to sift through some old, smelly books, but you can usually find some gems! Goodwill is my personal favorite for books.

Used bookstores. Half Price Books is one of our favorite stores, and they have them all over the country. You an also find out what’s local to you and give them a try.

Amazon also usually has some really great deals on books–some new and some used. When it comes to books, you’re probably going to get the most bang from your buck there!

Don’t Rule Out Other Bookstores

I’m also a huge proponent of keeping physical bookstores alive and thriving! So don’t discount local bookstores or Barnes and Noble. There’s something about browsing bookshelves, being able to pick up brand new books and feel them in your hands, when deciding what to buy that can’t be replicated online.

So don’t forget to give them a try too!

Just Read

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t really matter where or how you get books. What matters is that you’re reading. Don’t let not knowing where to get books keep you from enjoying them. Pick a place on this list, get a book, and start reading!

For more tips on reading, check out these posts:

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