I’m all for saving money wherever I can, but saving money on books is a new thing for me. I used to routinely pay the RRP for brand new books, and I would never even consider buying used books. But that was before I paid for them all on my own, and now, with my wages, I will do anything I can to get a bit more for my money.

So here’s a few of my tips of ways to get books when you are on a budget!

Buy Used Books

I think this is the most straightforward one, and it’s the one that I was most against before I started trying to save money. I always wanted a book to be mine and mine only, and in absolutely pristine condition, even after I had finished with it.

I’m glad to say, I’m past that and more than happy to buy second-hand books. A book is a book, and it still contains exactly the same words, no matter how creased the spine, or how yellowed the pages. Quite a few times, I’ve also bought pristine books second-hand, which means that I can still have perfect looking ones while only paying a smaller amount.

Some of the places I buy them from are:

  • Charity Shops
  • Used Book Shops
  • Amazon
  • eBay

I think with charity shops, you tend to get more value for money. I usually pay between 50p-£2.50 per paperback, and £3-5 for hardbacks. Fair enough, the ones on the cheaper side aren’t in the best condition and I’ve been known to opt for the more expensive ones. But when they’re that cheap, you can afford to.

My copy of Anybody Out There was just £1 from a charity shop, and barely even looked like it had been read!

I like used book shops, but they tend to have less of a variety than charity shops. The prices are fair – I bought a few paperbacks the other week from one that were £2.50 each, and it was also £2.50 for a recent hardback, which is cheaper than what I would have paid in a charity shop.

Amazon and eBay are both a bit more risky. I’ve been ripped off quite a few times when I’ve bought used books off them, especially from larger sellers. I’ve paid £5 for a paperback and it’s turned up ripped, creased, and dirty when it has been described as ‘very good’. It’s helpful to be a bit more cautious when using online sellers of second-hand books, and I will always try looking in physical shops first for the book I’m after before ending up there.

Book Deals

It’s always worth keeping an eye out for deals on books. For me, my favourite way is to collect all of my TBR on an Amazon Wishlist, and on there, it monitors the percentage price drop since you first add the book, which means you can easily keep an eye out for when it is at it’s cheapest.

If you read eBooks, it’s worth signing up to BookBub, where you get emails about the latest deals on eBooks, including the occasional free books. It’s worth signing up to for at least a few months just to see if you get any deals on books that you like.

Amazon also often have free trials of Kindle Unlimited and Audible, so sign up to those if you get the chance! Just make sure, if you don’t want to carry on with the subscription once you have to pay, set a reminder on your phone for when you need to cancel your subscription so you don’t get charged.

Loyalty Cards

I’m only familiar with one book loyalty card, and that’s the Waterstones Plus card. I don’t buy books from Waterstones really often – it’s more of a treat – but I love my loyalty card.

For every £10 you spend, you get a stamp, and every ten stamps, a £10 credit added to your card to spend. The student card is even better because along with the stamps, you also get an extra 5% off.

I wouldn’t have even discovered Outside, my favourite book of this year, if I hadn’t have found it on the buy one get one half price table at Waterstones.

The card is useful even if you don’t shop at Waterstones very often, because the points still add up quickly.

Selling/Trading Unwanted Books

This is my latest discovery – selling my books. Recently, I sorted through my bookcases and cleared around forty books and sent them off to Ziffit, where I got £60 in return. If you have a lot of books that you’re not too bothered about, and especially titles from the past few years, selling is definitely a good way to earn back some money that you can then spend on even more books!

Make sure that you are also keeping an eye on #BooksForTrade on Twitter, as there are plenty of other bookish nerds who are looking to swap their books, and even some who send you them and all you have to do is pay postage. I’ve also seen a few for sale on this tag, and they have been so cheap! It’s great to regularly check the tag for any books you’re looking out for.


Always keep your eye out for giveaways! I’ve managed to get so many books just by entering loads of them, and it really does help save money in the long run!

Some of the best places to find giveaways are:

  • Twitter
  • Goodreads
  • Caboodle (National Book Tokens)
  • Publisher Newsletters

Most of the giveaways I’ve won have been through Twitter, and I’ve found that there’s a massive range on there. You get quite a few that not many people enter, which boosts your chances.

I won an ARC of Wakenhyrst on Twitter and I absolutely loved it!

I don’t really love Goodreads giveaways, mainly because the majority of them are US only, and they have so many people entering that you barely stand a chance. I’ve been entering them for a few years and I’ve never seen anything, and I also don’t know anyone else who has ever won!

Caboodle (UK Only) is really good, because the more you enter giveaways, the more you are able to enter. You earn points for entering and by doing this, you also get exclusive offers on book tokens. So it’s a bit of a win-win when it comes to money saving!

I’ve signed up to a lot of different newsletters from publishers, and quite a few of them have monthly giveaways. This is another one that I’ve never won anything from, but it’s worth giving them a try.

Do you have any ways to save money on books? Let me know in the comments!

Join the Conversation


  1. I use all of the same ways as you, plus a couple of extras: Readers First, where you read a little excerpt and then tell them what you think about it. You can get either the ebook or a physical book. All pre-releases.
    The Pigeonhole serialise pre-release books too – a book is split into 10 parts (staves), and you read a stave a day. You get to comment on what you read along with other readers, and often the author too! I’ve had some great books on there.
    NetGalley seem happy to give me books – I review them on Smashbomb, Goodreads, Amazon (and any other book shop online) and link on to Twitter. I write reviews anyway, so it’s not really extra work.
    And the good old library! My library posts on their website the books they’re stocking about a month in advance, so I preorder them. It only costs £1 up here in Cheshire, so its a bargain in my opinion. And of course I can read older books for free! It also ensures my house looks a bit less like a library. That’s actually a lie – it DOES look like a library 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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