The Art of Finding Great Book Bargains

The Art of Finding Great Book Bargains

I am an expert of many things- such as the art of procrastination, the art of ice cream eating, the art of being awkward- but the one I’m most proud to say I’ve mastered is the art of finding great book bargains. Book shopping is my super power and I pretty much have a laser vision for awesome titles for cheap prices. Being well-versed in book sales and bargain hunting, here are my tips for all you mundanes who hope to find some nice discounted books!

  1. Keep yourself updated for book sale and discount announcements. Follow your favourite book retailers and subscribe to their newsletter via email so as not to miss any sale news!
  2. Make it a habit to visit your local second hand book store as often as you can. You never know when they’re restocking with newer old titles you might be interested in.
  3. Should a book sale last through a course of time, go ASAP. You don’t want left overs, don’t you?
  4. Spend wisely. Just because there’s a sale doesn’t mean you absolutely have to buy something. There will be book sales that just suck and have no good titles at all so know when to surrender and save your money for another time.
  5. Familiarize yourself with good backlist titles. Books on sale are usually titles from 2 years ago or longer so knowing your fair share of past releases will help you find some good ones at book sales.
  6. Leave no stone unturned. You might be surprised to find a gem in there somewhere.
  7. Know your publishers and imprints. Trust me- this is a good trick when rummaging through book sales, especially when you’re looking for YA titles. Sometimes you aren’t familiar with any of the book titles or authors but when you spot a book by Speak, Harper Teen, Razorbill (some of the most common pubs whose books I find on sale) you’ll know it’s your genre. Peruse and see if the book interests you.
  8. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Since a lot of books on sale were published a few years ago, chances are, the cover designs look very outdated. Still, if the title, the author or the synopsis on the back cover caught your attention, give it a chance.
  9. Grab all the books you’re possibly interested in. You don’t want anyone else to find them while you’re still contemplating whether or not you’ll buy them. (Be a nice book shopper and put them back later if you’re not getting them though.) Ponder on that later when you’re done combing through the titles on sale.
  10. Finally, inspect the titles that you’ve taken hold of. Look them up. Check Goodreads or Google while on the go and read about other bookworms’ thoughts on the bargain books you found. Consider if they’re worth buying at their price.

So there you go! With all the upcoming book sales now that the holiday season is near, I hope you’ll find these tips helpful and find lots of great book bargains!

What are your tips for finding great book bargains?

12 Responses

  1. Thanks for this…so helpful! Hmm, we don’t have many secondhand bookshops around where I live (the ones we do have are filled with specifics…however we do have a charity shop which I need to frequent more I guess. These pieces of advice will surely help so thank you very much! :D

  2. great tips Hazel, i do agree that it is good to be updated of great bargains…i subscribed to their newsletter so that i can be informed beforehand of any sales that are coming and i frequent the nearest booksale shop in my area :) i don’t mind the covers as long as the author and the kind of books i’m looking for are the ones i’m getting. i do check with GR in my mobile if i’m uncertain about certain books that i find that caught my interest. every time i go to the mall i make it a point to visit the book store and check if they have any sale pile.

  3. I agree with you. I browse the title and publishers name when I check books on sale corner. I put them all on my cart then before checking out, I will review them all and remove anything I don’t like.

  4. These are fantastic tips! Goodness I really love bargain books! Especially when I visit Book Sale and I find YA Hardcovers for really cheap, I pretty much go bananas inside my head. Hahaha…

  5. What great tips! I’m definitely with you on knowing your publishers and imprints; sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a book is YA or not when it’s secondhand, and being able to recognize YA publishers and imprints can really help with that. I also think you make a good point for not judging a secondhand book by its cover; I have a tendency to do that myself with books in general, but it’s good to keep in mind that cover design trends change over time, and a good quality read can still have a cover you don’t like. Great post–and happy book shopping! :)

  6. This is such an informative post, Hazel! I’ll be sure to carry these tips with me the next time I visit the bookstore – which is probably soon since the holiday season is upon us!

  7. Hazel, your tips for finding book bargains are great! I found myself nodding a lot as I read them, since I pretty much operate the same way whenever I go to a book sale or bargain bookstore. I’m lucky enough to live in the US, where there are sites like Book Outlet that sell books for pretty dang awesome prices too! I’d pretty much use the same tips, albeit modified to work online ;)

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