Friday, August 28, 2015

Celebrating Book Bargain Hunting Week

Bargain Hunting Week is celebrated during the first week of August, but if you're anything like us, you're always looking for a great deal, right?! In order to honor this fabulously thrifty holiday (and yes, I know, we're late!), we decided to share a few of our favorite places to save a few bucks on some books.

Drew's favorite ways to save:

* Here in New York, there are some great indie booksellers and plenty of used bookstores - but you can't go wrong with the Strand. They have, reliably, the best deals on books. Used books are never more than half-price and quite often they're significantly cheaper than that. And if you explore, you can find half-price new hardcovers and even a section of Advance Reader Copies... but I won't tell you where; you have to find it for yourself.

* Online, I'm a big fan (of course) of Powell's - but also of Book Depository. Book Depository is great for finding international editions at a reasonable price - and they've got free shipping. I have saved many a dollar by building up a Book Depository cart of UK covers and buying when they're all on sale.

* Final special shoutout to something that I've only recently become familiar with: stoop books. It doesn't happen so much in Manhattan, but books left out on stoops in Brooklyn is a legitimate trend - and my friends and I have all found free gems by walking down the right street at the right time.  

Bronwyn's favorite way to save:

LA’s reputation may be all about the entertainment industry, but we are, in fact, a very literary place. If you’re looking for used books, check out Stories in Echo Park or warehouse-sized The Last Bookstore downtown. You want books in other languages? We’ve got entire stores devoted to books in Armenian, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, and more. For great indies, there’s Skylight Books in Los Feliz, Eso Won Books in Leimert Park, Tia Chucha’s in the San Fernando Valley and Vroman’s in Pasadena. Prefer to borrow your books? LA County is home to more than 240 libraries.

But for a great selection of books at bargain prices, my favorite place is the Friends of the Santa Monica Library Bookstore. Many libraries have “Friends of…” groups that hold periodic book sales. A few have their own bookstores. But the FoSML Bookstore outshines them all. The selection is always outstanding. On a recent visit I picked up The Watchers by Tahar Djaout, The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller, City of Thieves by David Benioff, and Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co. by María Amparo Escandón. They have trade paperbacks in every genre you might want, plus decent sections in politics and health. Prices start at a quarter and run to a couple of bucks for hardbacks in good condition. You might have to shell out ten dollars or more for a high-end art book, but it will still be a bargain. What’s more, every dollar you spend there goes to support the local library system.

Lori's favorite ways to save:

I'm a sucker for a great priced book. And when I discovered that the Bethlehem Area Public Library  (in Bethlehem, PA) held bi-monthly book sales in their basement I nearly cried. For the first few months, I hit it up religiously and brought home stacks of books for ridiculously cheap. Classics, current trade paperbacks, poetry, you name it, they have it, and you're gonna get a great deal. This book sale is the reason I now own more books than I could ever hope to read in this lifetime.

And if you don't yet know about Better World Books, you're doing yourself an incredible disservice. This online book site not only sells books on the super-low and has free shipping all over god's green earth - yes free, internationally, no matter how much, or little, you spend - they also go Book for Book, where they donate a book for every book you buy to some awesome charities. They support worldwide literacy and are incredibly eco-minded. 

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