15+ Best Ways How to Save Money on Books & Magazines

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Do you love reading but end up spending too much on books and magazines? Here are some creative ways to cut costs on your reading materials while still enjoying the joy of books and magazines.

Visit your library

The best thing you can do for your budget is to join your public library. There you can borrow books and magazines for free from local library branches. You can also enjoy author readings and other community events.

Borrow ebooks & emagazines for free from your library

Due to the pandemic, many libraries increased their collections of ebook and emagazines. It’s a great way to read books. You can read on your phone, iPad or Kindle. Sign up to your local library and start borrowing digital media. Here are some of the book applications that you can access via your library.

  • Axis360 eBooks – If you want to choose from some non-fiction titles, this is a great app. It contains bestselling authors as well as full-colour travel guides, children’s stories, cookbooks, study material and self-help. It runs on iOS, Android and Kindle devices.
  • BorrowBox – Enjoy Australian fiction by best-selling authors as well as ABC publications, picture books, biographies and true crime stories in Bolinda Digital’s Borrow Box App. You can read ebooks or listen to audiobooks on iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets and Kindle Fire.
  • Overdrive – Enjoy a wide range of fiction and non-fiction in this comprehensive e-library collection. Offered by selected libraries in Australia.
  • RBdigital eBooks – This app contains lots of breathtaking crime thrillers, sweeping romance novels and beloved classic

Borrow & lend ebooks

If you have the Kindle app installed on your tablet or smartphone, you can borrow and lend books from friends. This means you or your friends can buy ebooks and share them. But you can only lend a Kindle book to another reader for up to 14 days and they can only borrow it once. The borrower doesn’t need to own a Kindle e-book reader to open the book, but they will need to have the Kindle app installed on their device.

Save with a membership

Save money on purchasing books by signing up for a customer membership with book retailers. Dymocks offers Booklover program and Angus & Robertson offers a loyalty program where you can earn rewards and access special members-only promotions.

Buy used books online

Visit your favourite online shopping sites like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace to see what books are available to purchase. You can usually some great deals especially if people are selling books in bulk.

Visit a used bookstore

Trawl through your favourite bookstore and see what you can find. Used bookstores are full of literary gems. Make friends with the owner or manager and let them know if you enjoy certain authors or genres. They may be able to keep copies of books for you to pick if they receive a selection. You can sometimes trade your books in for credit at used bookstores if they are interested in the books you have to trade. In Newcastle, used book shops include Cooks Hill Books in Cooks Hill, Qs Books and Rices Bookshop in Hamilton, The Press Coffee Shop and Book House on Hunter Street, Arcade Books in Toronto and AgnesBooks in Morisset.

Borrow or leave a book at a Street Library

“Take a book, Give a book, share a book” is the motto of the Street Library movement. It’s basically a micro library that you install in your front yard that’s accessible to the street. People can walk by and take or donate a book to the Street Library as they wish, without checking them in or out. It’s a creative way to swap books and get to know your neighbours. According to the Street Library Australia website, there are 2000 street libraries across Australia, in front of people’s homes, childcare centres, schools and even beaches. Here’s our guide to local street libraries in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter.

Organise a book swap

Get a group of literary friends together and organise a book swap. You can make it an informal event where everyone just bring books that they want to get rid off and let everyone choose what they want. Or establish some rules, that everyone has to bring three books that they can trade for.

Ask for books for presents

If you love your books, ask for them for your birthday, Christmas or any other special occasion. You can create a book wishlist on Dymocks, Readings and Angus & Robertson. Once you have created your wishlist, you can share it with your family or friends by emailing, printing or making it available on the internet. This makes gift-giving so much easier as your family and friends will be purchasing something for you that they know you want.

Attend a charity book sale

Charity book sales are a great way to stock up on pre-loved books and magazines and help out a charity. Lifeline organises book sales across Australia and sells a range of fiction and non-fiction books, including children’s books, textbooks, magazines, comics, CDs and DVDs. Contact your local Lifeline shop for more details.

Look through your local charity op shop

Books are some of the most commonly donated items to op shops so visit your local shop. The stock might change from week to week so pop in frequently and see what bargain books you can find. It’s also a great place to donate your books once you’ve finished reading them.

Contact your local library

For free books that you can keep (not just borrow) contact your local library. In order to make room for new books, sometimes they give away old books and magazines.

Enter giveaways

You can save money on buying books by entering giveaways. Enter competitions by booksellers like Dymocks and by publishers like Allen & Unwin and Hachette.

Get a magazine subscription

If you love your magazines, don’t buy them individually. Instead, order a magazine subscription which usually works out cheaper. Sometimes, you might find you’ll receive more of a discount, the longer the subscription.

Share with a friend

If you and your friend both like the same magazine, share the cost of the subscription and pass it on once you’re done reading it.

Read books for free online

Need more free ebooks or audiobooks, visit these sites for additional titles.

  • Authorama features completely free public domain books from a variety of different authors, collected here for you to read online or offline.
  • Digilibraries offers a digital source of free eBooks for any taste, a vast range of titles in digital format
  • Project Gutenberg – has over 60,000 free eBooks including the world’s great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.
  • LibriVox – free public domain audiobooks recorded by volunteers

Want more tips on saving money? Check out our article How to Easily Save Money – 101 Tips to Save on Family Expenses.

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