Originally Published: 07/13/09
I want some new beach reads but don’t have the money for lots of new best-sellers. Any ideas?
Hit the Library: At absolutely no cost, you'll be able to check out for free almost any book you'd want to buy. If the book you want isn't currently stocked, ask the librarian to order it. It shouldn't take more than three weeks to arrive.
Swap: Make it easy on yourself and swap with neighbors, work colleagues, family and friends — or join the Paperback Swap Book Club. List the books you have to swap, and choose from among three million titles others are swapping. All you pay is the postage when you mail your own book; receiving a book is free. You can also trade hardbacks, audio books, and text books. Swaptree and BookMooch offer similar services.
Shop at Used Book Stores: You may not find current best-sellers, but the shelves will be full of plenty of other great reads, from Pulitzer Prize winners to trashy novels. Check your local yellow pages for the nearest used book store in your community you can browse. BookSpot links to several online used booksellers with extensive titles on their virtual stacks.
Buy It, Read It, Return It: If you travel much, take advantage of a policy various airport bookstores have adopted: Buy the book, read it, and return it to any other participating airport book shop within six months. You'll receive a 50% refund, effectively cutting the price of all those best-sellers in half.
At a loss for what to read? Check out some of my all-time environmental favorites:
How do you keep up with your reading, without breaking the bank? Any suggestions on making your reading low-impact? Share all your green reading tips below!
Diane MacEachern is the author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, and a popular blog, Big Green Purse.