Getting lost in a book is an amazing experience.  Living the character’s steps and indulging in their world can have lasting effects on your own life long after you have closed the cover.

But with household budgets being tightened all over the world, how can you find the books you want to read and stick to your budget?  Julia Harris from Saving Mummy has some easy options for feeding your book habit – without taking out a second mortgage.

Tips for books on a budget…


Your local library is a goldmine for all things books – and it is free! Most libraries also have an online service now where you can search directly for your book request in the comfort of your own home.  You can even reserve a copy when it becomes available.  This site, http://www.nla.gov.au/libraries/ allows you to search library collections close to you – Australia-Wide.

Sale trolley (at the library)

Local libraries often have ex-library books for sale too.  Prices range from the 50cents – 5.00 range – great bargain!


Wanting to purchase and read straight away? E-books are the ticket.  A quick search can reveal a range of prices with some books free or .99cents.  Cheap and quick to have you reading now.  http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/eBooks has a great range of free e-books for Australian readers.

Book Swap

Organise a book swap with your friends or local community.  Use a simple system to ensure equality and swap away!  No cash at all required!  www.reidgirlshandmade.blogspot.com.au has a great tutorial (and printables) for hosting your own book swap.

BookSwapAustralia, BookMooch.com & PaperBackSwap.com

Interested in exchanging your own books for the price of postage? www.bookswapaustralia.com.au, www.bookmooch.com & PaperBackSwap.com are for you. Simply post up books you would like to exchange and whenever a member requests one you earn points for mailing them.  Redeem your points for any of the titles listed.  All you pay for is the postage.

The Book Depository

Looking for new books?  The www.bookdepository.com has a massive amount available online.  You only pay for the cost of the book – free postage worldwide!

Garage Sales

Garage sales are another source of cheap books.  Especially great for kids books!  Prices generally range from 10cents to $2.00.

Friend’s library

Do you meet up regularly with a group of friends? Craft group? Mother’s group? Playgroup? Why not set up a simple library between you!  It would cost nothing.  You could even tailor it to a certain ‘type’ of book – ie. Craft or parenting books.

Birthday requests

Do you have a birthday, special occasion or Christmas present coming up?  Put in a request for a book voucher!  You can then use your gift to purchase the book you are really dying to read – brand new and without costing you a cent!  Most bookshops for example, http://www.dymocks.com.au/ and http://www.angusrobertson.com.au offer gift cards for purchase.

  • A very good article,l have been buying books at the op shop for $2 and they are in great condition! So good!


  • I don’t seem to use many actual books (most of what I need is online) but when I do need a book I get it from book depository


  • I have been buying books at full price, it got to the point when I couldn’t stop reading books, I’m having to change elsewhere to find books, went to savers today and got books for $3.99 each. the markets I have got books from $5 to $8. library have been a saver for my pocket. my son finds the library boring, this morning I had to explain to him, a library isn’t supposed to be fun with a café and a playground, it wouldn’t be a quiet relaxing library. because of my son’s learning ability, he dislikes books….we will get there some stage soon but apart from that, I said to him looking for a book is an excitement, you want to look forward going home in your own comfort and start reading a book….im loving country romance books! wish I was living in the outback!


  • I love reading and I use the local library a lot indeed!!


  • I like reading! Really good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this!


  • Go to Vinnies.
    2nd hand books for $2!!


  • i will swap books with friends so that we all get to have a good read


  • Libraries are good for the holidays too! I have bags full of DVD’s, books and CD’s from the library. Inside fun time; when it gets to hot outside.


  • Thanks for sharing this informative article. I absolutely love libraries; such fantastic places which are full of wonderful books, DVD’s, CD’s and other resources. I love searching the library catalogue and ordering books and other resources.


  • thanks for sharing your helpful ideas.


  • Love our local library, always there!


  • We have a library which people can donate books to that everybody can read if they wish to.
    At a later date some that are of no interest to others are collected and given to a charity, not always the same one.


  • also check if your library has ebooks. so convenient and easy to use!


  • Ive only just started to read so these places will be good for me to have a look at thank you


  • We are at the library weekly now with 2 young kids, it is the best thing the council do. Thanks


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