Last night I went to my first book group gathering with a bunch of lovely, interesting ladies. It was so nice to just sit around the table and chat for a bit. I do that at work, but at work we talk mostly about serious things. It was nice to relax.
Anyway, here is a list of resources we came up with last night for finding cheap, free, and eco-friendly books (thanks ladies!), and I thought it worthwhile to share with you all…
Where to Find Cheap, Free, and Green Books
1. Trade with friends, family, and co-workers. Duh, but sometimes we forget. I’m going to ask my mom if she has the book we’re reading for next month before looking anywhere else! We’re also setting up a lending library at work, to make it easy for everyone to bring in and exchange books regularly.
2. Free Used Book Exchanges. BookMooch and PaperBack Swap are both good options (BookMooch is run by some lovely people, I know less about PaperBack Swap but I’ve heard good things and they have a better website). It’s free. You enter in the books you have to exchange, and the books you want. All you pay is the postage (which is a cheap “book rate” when you’re sending books.)
3. Your Local Library. So many books, so easy. Most local libraries now have their catalogs online, where you can peruse, reserve, and renew books all online! Some will even send you email reminders before they’re due.
4. Half.com. Buy and sell used books at half.com. I haven’t used it, but one member of the group swears by it (and I trust her)!
6. Biblio. Matt just ordered a textbook on Biblio.com. He ordered the very same textbook he would have found in the US for $35. Rather than $165 at Amazon! The only difference is that the book is printed on thinner newsprint paper versus the glossy textbook paper you normally find in the US. You do have to weigh the ecological benefits of the more ecologically sound paper with the further shipping distance. And arguably the economic and social issues with buying foreign products (though I’d argue the book companies could take a hint from this and maybe cut down on the trees they cut down). Yet the cost is so different, it gives you economic freedom to do more with your money. You can also choose carbon-offset shipping. And they have many used books.
7. Amazon Used, Rare, and Green. If you are a lover of Amazon, or you have a gift certificate left over from the holidays, try their amazing selection of used books. In the books section, when you search for a book in the top of the site, use the pull-down menu to select “Used Books” before clicking “Search”. Amazon also has used textbooks, bargain books, Amazon Green, and Rare Books. Audio Books can also be a good eco solution.
8. Your Local Independent Book Store. IndieBound is a great place to find your local store – many indie stores sell used books.
9. Blog Giveaways. I’ll be doing more of this in the coming months, as I’m receiving more and more requests to review books. There are several other blogs with great books to giveaway – keep your eye out (and let us know in the comments if you have specific sources).
10. Ok, I have 9. Please help with the tenth! Where do you find used, cheap, free, and ecologically sound books?