I am a college student with very little spending money on a month to month basis. This predicament, however, has not lessened my desire to build up my arsenal of books. Over the summer, as a treat to myself for completing my Associate's in Accounting, I went on a book shopping spree. I bought around a lot of books; enough to fill half of my first bookshelf and to fill the two new bookshelves. I rationalized my unprecidented and crazed shopping in the following ways:
1) I just earned my Associate's Degree (the first in my family to do so)
2) I have never bought myself even a single book
3) I never paid full price for a book
4) I bought most of them on sale
5) Allocating the total costs including shipping- I paid around $2.03 for each book (and many were brand new)
6) I could have spent my money on worse things (candy, drugs, alcohol, etc.)
7) I had just realized that I had barely read more than 10 books willingly (I guess reading just felt like a chore next to all the textbook chapters and I prefer actual copies of books over ebooks)
I should mention that I bought all of the books online through various outlets. I would have bought books from a thrift shop or used book store if I had any in my small town. My thoughts on some of the stores I purchased from are as follows:
This is a great online book store where you can get brand new books at a deeply discounted price. I found a bunch of $1 books that sounded very interesting. The only problem I have with this store is the cost of shipping which is $3.99 base plus $0.50 per book after the first two books. In total it is still very much worth the prices. I would not recommend to those who cannot stand a black dot or mark on the bottom or top of the book. These are usually located on Bookoutlet books because they get them as overstock which is how they can afford low prices. It is not a place where you go to find something specific, but rather if you are browsing or looking for new books.
This is a nice online store where you can get used books for around $3.00. You get the option to pick from which store your item shipps and what condition it is in. There is a $0.50 discount you are given for each additional book you order from the same store. I believe there is also a new customer 20% off discount that can be used for the first order. It should also be noted that shipping is free.
This online store is a bit more difficult to browse and find good titles but you can find great deals. I recently bought a very good paperback copy of Wicked for $1.50 and a brand new Pendragon Book 1 for $0.95. It is also a great place to buy cheap classics. I love the dover thrift editions which usually rand from $0.50-$1.50 each. Recently I also found a beautiful bind up of all seven of Jane Austin's novels for $3.00. The shipping costs are $3.99 no matter how many books you buy. If you spend $50 or more then the shipping is free. I think it should also be mentioned that the way they package books is very nice. Basically, they will place all of your books on this large piece of cardboard and wrap the entire thing with plastic (it is so much fun to open).
I also bought a few books through Better World Books (which is a business that gives a free book away for each book you purchase), Amazon, and Ebay. I really wish I felt some sort of shame about the amount of books I purchased this summer but I just do not. After about 2 years of not having any new books to entertain myself I went a bit crazy. To be honest it could have been worse. At least this month I did not buy nearly as many (but I still bought about 40).