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by Sara Stringer

As a book lover, I often overspend on books, much to the chagrin of my wallet. Before my eReader, I was spending hundreds of dollars a year on hardcover favorites and trashy paperbacks. It wasn’t pretty, but as a voracious reader that was the amount of books I needed to sustain my appetite.

I can’t tell you the countless times I went into a bookstore hoping to only purchase one book and came out with a sack full of them. Only, with books, you never have buyer’s remorse, because they’re such fantastic things. You simply become broke over time and are left scratching your head, wondering just how you became so carried away.

Since I received my eReader for Christmas a year and a half ago, I’ve learned to save so much money on books. I don’t just buy eBooks. I also buy paperbacks and hardcovers, but I’m buying them less and employing some savings tips I’ve picked up along with way. For you book shopaholics out there, these tips are designed to help you satisfy your literary cravings without depleting your savings.

Read Free eBooks

Even if you don’t have an eReader, Kindle and others offer their applications for free. This means you can download free books onto your phone, tablet, or computer. There are millions of free eBooks out there. Some may even be available from your favorite authors. For romance lovers, nearly every Jane Austin novel is available at no charge, as an eBook.

Go to the Library

Libraries are now lending to eReaders, so even if you’ve made the change to digital, you can still borrow your favorite authors. If you haven’t made the switch from paper to digital, then the library is home to thousands of free books, just waiting to be borrowed. Your continued patronage keeps this wonderful establishment in business, so visit often. Plus, your library card is free, it’s among the original no annual fee cards.

Buy Used Books

Amazon.com has so many used books, all sold at a magnificent discount. If online shopping isn’t your thing, you can find used books at garage sales, book swaps, and used book sales. Many consignment shops and thrift stores are also home to a large amount of used books. You may even want to call up a few of your literary inclined friends and host your own book swap, trading your collection for a new one.

Employ Smart Savings Strategies

If you really can’t curb your addiction to hot-off-the-racks, full-price bestsellers, then maybe you need to employ smarter savings. You can pick a date each month to do your book shopping and then save for this date. Save what you can and spend only what you save. Be smart with your money. If you lose your job, don’t take an early payout on your 401k. You should be asking yourself questions like, “can I rollover my 401k into a Roth IRA?

Join a Rewards Program

Again if buying used just isn’t for you, it’s time to get smart about how you’re spending at the bookstore. You should join your bookstore’s rewards program. These programs are typically free to join and result in discounts, free shipping, and sometimes even free books.

Wait…

Finally, it’s all about when you buy, as opposed to what you buy. Of course, James Patterson’s newest novel is going to cost a lot more when you buy it the day it hits the shelves. New releases sell for more than older titles. So, wait for the price to go down and you’ll save big.