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  • Austin Hamblin

Reading on the cheap..

I am one of those people who always feels like I need to read/own a print copy. I’m not a big fan of reading digital mainly because it hurts my eyes and I already have bad enough vision. Besides, I could use less screen time I’m on my phone messing around on facebook way to much. Buying print books can get seriously expensive, especially if you read a ton. Over time I have been able to find a few different ways to get things for cheap. I figured this might be useful for someone so I thought I should write about it. I should note all of these things are legal no pirating going on over here. Remember you can always borrow books from friends!

The Library: This one is a no brainier your local library has tons of books, audio books, movies, and comics/manga for you to check out for free. If your library doesn’t have a specific book you are looking for they can order then in through an ILL (inter library loan). This will most likely cost you a little bit. I know at my library we charge $2 and it’s to cover the cost of postage to mail it back. Sometimes libraries have used book sales as well which is something to keep an eye out for.

Goodwill/Thrift Stores: Seriously check Goodwill I have been able to score some awesome books for only 50 cents or a $1. This way is extremely hit or miss, but with the cost being so cheap you might not feel as bad about trying something out you otherwise might not have.

Garage Sales: Just like thrift stores this is hit or miss, but one of the main things I see at garage sales are kid books. Makes sense once kids get to a certain age they won’t care about the old baby/picture books they may have loved when they were younger. Kids books are super expensive and can often be ripped/destroyed by kids so garage sales can be a great place to find some books for your kiddos.

Public Domain: Any books which are in the public domain are free to read. Some notable books in the public domain are Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. You might find some digital copies which cost money because anyone is free to publish new editions. Some publisher might put them up and charge while others won’t. If you check ibooks I know they have tons of things for free. Usually it would be the first in a series. Kindle has the same setup.

Half price books: If your fine with reading a used copy of a book you need to check out Half Price Books. They literally have something for everyone. From magazines, fiction, and nonfiction, to comics, manga, and kids books. I usually raid the clearance section to see if they have anything good. I have been able to pick up things I really wanted to read for much cheaper than retail.

Webcomics: Tons of free webcomics to read on sites like tapas. As far as the quality goes some will be better than others you might have to search through some not so great stories/art. It's just like everything else.

ComiXology: Amazon’s digital comics platform. You can buy comics from every major publisher as well as manga. They have massive sales where you can get volumes of comics for dollars. They also have various first issues and things you can download and read for free. You can also purchase ComiXology Unlimited which provides you will tons of comics to read. Think of it like Netflix, but with comics.

Shonen Jump App: The manga publisher who puts out a weekly and I think monthly magazine. This publisher is known for such mega popular titles like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece, My Hero Academia, and Yu Gi Oh. For two dollars a month you get the entire back catalog of the English translated manga as well as translations of the weekly magazine the day it comes out in Japan.

Here are a few links to purchase print books/comics for very cheap:

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