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How to Make the Most of National Read-A-Book Day on a Budget

October 12, 2018 | By Daniel Dewitt

National Read-a-Book Day only comes once a year, but it’s a great chance to promote literacy, encourage your kids (if you have them) to read more and catch up on whatever book you haven’t been able to. It’s a day to celebrate reading in all its different forms, whether that’s ebook, hardback, or comic book.

Unfortunately, as we all know, books aren’t cheap. Go to your local bookstore and you can be out fifty books just picking up a few. Online isn’t much cheaper either, and while shipping is usually free nowadays, it still tacks on a few days for the book to get to you.

Luckily, there are ways to devour the written word without it costing you a small fortune. In honor of National Read-A-Book Day, here are a few ways you can save money on books all year long.

Use Your Library

The single most effective way to save money on a book habit is to make full use of your local public library. The fact of the matter is that we all already pay for the public library system with our taxes, so you might as well get the most bang for your buck by taking full advantage of it. Getting a library card is trivially simple, and once you’re set up you can check out any of the thousands of titles the library carries.

Whether you’re researching for a class, money-related matters like installment loans, or a hobby like cooking, the library system is bound to have a book on it. If you don’t find what you’re looking for at your local library, don’t despair, either. The library system shares books, so if you can’t find the book you need, you can log in into the system and order the book so it’ll be shipped to your nearest library location.

Especially if you have kids, the library is a great place to promote reading with its endless options and ease of browsing. In today’s digital world there’s something special about the tactility of running your fingers over a real, physical copy of a book.

Go Digital with Ebooks

While not as cheap as the library, ebooks still tend to be cheaper than old dead-tree media because of the lower cost of materials. After all, an ebook doesn’t have to be printed, bound, and shipped, and takes up virtually no shelf space. Not taking up shelf space is actually one of the big upsides of ebooks: they’re much easier to store and access than dead-tree books, as a single e-reader can hold thousands.

And speaking of ereaders, don’t feel obligated to spend money on them. Virtually all ebook services like Amazon or Barnes and Noble offer a desktop app you can use on your computer or laptop that can be downloaded. If you do want a dedicated ereader though for whatever reason (ease on the eyes and portability being the two major ones), the basic kindle model on Amazon is remarkably cheap. Just be sure not to be tempted into buying one with more features than you’ll actually use.