[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to Becky from Too Stupid to Live! She’s sharing some great tips for finding bargain books. Take it away, Becky!]
Of course there are easy ways to get books for under $5—perusing Amazon or the used book section of your favorite bookstore (mine being the Ripped Bodice in LA.) However, here are a few tips to find a bargain that may make you go, “Oh yeah! I didn’t think of that!”
Get on Your Knees… at the Library
When I first started my podcast, my dad gave me some sound advice. With profound wisdom, he said, “You know, the library has books for free.”
And he is not wrong! But should you want the pleasure of owning a book, libraries do have book sales. And the books are cheap. I’m talking like 10 books for two dollars.
As for the getting on your knees part, if you’re perusing the books on a table and think, “Wait, where is the romance?”, chances are there are boxes of books UNDERNEATH the tables. So bend down!
Kelly Reynolds (who you know as the host of Boobies & Noobies) and I went to a book sale at the Malibu Library a while back. (Yes, Malibu does have a library.) We probably spent hours on the floor, going through box after box, and finding so many treasures!
Slide Into… Estate Sales
Whenever I see a sign that says, “estate sale”, I for sure perk up and speed over. There’s nothing like going inside a stranger’s nice house, looking at their scary art, and wondering, “Who were these people?”
You know how a lot of people say they got into romance because they found their mom’s/aunt’s/grandmother’s collection of romance novels? At estate sales, it’s basically the same thing except it’s a mother/aunt/grandmother you never met and aren’t related to. While estate sale staples like vintage clown paintings or taxidermy deer heads are pricey, the paperbacks are usually under a dollar. I recently found some pulpy books from the 1950s/60s that cost as much as they did in the 1950s/1960s!
Insert… Your Email on a Mailing List
This may be a given to some, but if you aren’t subscribing to authors’ newsletters, you may be missing out on some great deals! Authors will tell you when their books are on sale and if they’re running free promos. Plus, a few promote fellow authors, especially new ones whose books tend to be free or cheap.
Additionally, keep an eye out for when authors share that a book is part of an anthology. Obviously those are a great bang for your buck! (Pun intended.)
And I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t suggest you subscribe to the Smart Bitches Trashy Books mailing list. You get weekly updates on promos.
Here’s one final tip on finding a cheap/free read. And this is also advice to myself. When a friend tells you about a book and they say, “Oh, I’ll let you borrow it!”, TAKE THEM UP ON IT! We always get in those situations when a friend says next time they see you they’ll bring you a book, but then that never happens. So, get assertive. Make them swear on their mother’s life, send texts every five minutes, or even use the ending of your Frolic article to remind them of their sacred promise to bring Shelley Laurenston’s The Unleashing next time you see them.
Happy cheap reading!
Check out Too Stupid to Live on your favorite podcast listening app! We recommend starting with this episode.