Jump to content

Looking to save money on buying books


Guest notorious546
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest notorious546

Any ideas on how to save money when buying books. I've tried to buy used from Amazon where possible but seems like the strategy doesn't work too well for many value investing books. Kijiji in Canada doesn't have much either. Any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Local library?

 

Not sure how Canadian libraries are organized but in Pennsylvania it works like this. There is usually a local library that's part of some county system. The county system is part of a state network. You can request any book at any library across the state to be delivered for free. You read it for free and if you return it in time it costs absolutely nothing.

 

In Pittsburgh there is a "Business Library" downtown with a floor of every business book you could imagine. They have a storage room with annual reports for companies going back to the 1940s. A ton of information, all free. I like to go and spend time there, some unique books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because we are bookaholics, we use the library.Our local library lets us put the books on hold,(done on line),then sends us an email when they are ready for pickup.  They also will get the books from other libraries.

We have hauled several pickup loads  of books to the local thrift store.We are trying  to decluter

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would look into getting the books from the library or some type of library loan program. Thrift stores may be a good option. Maybe. On the other side, I see books as a good "investment". There are a few books that have each given me ideas that have paid for my entire library many times over. In order to pay for the books, I've made the decision not to have cable. That savings is about 2-3x what I estimate to have spent on books in the last ten years. So, I didn't really offer cost savings per se, but there are ways pay for such things in life.

 

PS - Oddball I really need to visit the business library in Pitt. What is the address, or website?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Schwab711

If you want to own it, for hard to find books, there's a trade off between price and how quickly you want it. There are a lot of sources for great deals on books at a local level but it's difficult to get something specific outside of borrowing from a large-enough library. Local book stores will generally haggle (if any are left in your area), your library may be willing to sell it "if it's going to be discarded soon" (folks in these jobs are often very nice), ebay, local flea market (go to the garage sale-like ones; the best ones don't have new hand bags or bongs if that helps), abebooks and post general want ads on craigslist. If the market for the book is liquid (always one for sale), then amazon/ebay/abebooks are really the best in my experience. Feel free to contact sellers on ebay/amazon if you would be willing to pay a reasonably close but lower price, a lot of these folks are very willing to hear out creative deals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't care to buy books, you could always steal them. John Chew at CS Investing uploads finance and investing books to his website as if there's no tomorrow.

He really does.  On one hand I appreciate it and I know we are value investors and all, but of all the people who can afford these books...Even the hungriest among us are not starving artists!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the other hand, the authors are also hardly starving artists.

 

I prefer to buy books, as the cost is so minimal, with Amazon discounting (and even better sometimes, buying iTunes gift certificates for deep discounts on eBay, then using them to buy books on the Apple iBooks store). I like having books in epub form, perfect for highlighting in iBooks, and cloud-synced as well.

 

I wonder how John Chew has gotten away with it. As Lu Xun wrote, "to steal a book isn't really stealing" (窃书不算偷), but you'd think in a world where Klarman gets super-pissed and threatens to sue if you post his annual letters on a site, CS Investing would have been shut down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how John Chew has gotten away with it.

 

I could be wrong but he doesn't post them out in the open. He has a cloud storage account and password protects it. The only way you get to download is for him to send you the email link.

Of course he does send it to anyone who asks, so it may only be a matter of time before an interested group finds it and uses it against him.

 

I've also noticed he changes services every couple of years (part of his strategy to avoid detection?)

 

As far as buying books goes, I started an Amazon and Chapters/Indigo book wish list and made it public.

My mother in law buys me Chapters gift cards for Christmas and my birthday.

If people know your interest in books then these may be good options.

 

I'd say book swaps but we all know as value investors we rarely let a good book go.

 

Also, Abebooks and Book Depository sometimes have books cheaper than Amazon. Abebooks even lists used sellers.

Last I checked Book Depository was free shipping, Abebooks you have to watch out for shipping costs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not sure what types of books you are talking about. For books more than 20yrs old typically you can find it used online for less than $10 including shipping. For example, one up on wall street by Lynch. For newer books ya I find the library the best bet. And I'd own them for like 1/2 yr because I just keep renewing them online. The problem with that is as an person working on investing all the time you need books as a reference, you need to be able to access it on demand.

 

Also I joined Amazon unlimited 30 day trial with the intent of cancelling in 30 days.

 

And if I really have to, then ya I do put up the $10 cost and buy it on kindle.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are ok with extralegally downloading there is always The Pirate Bay.  If your ISP blocks access (Comcast does) use the TOR browser, and it is a good idea to use a VPN such as Private Internet Access when using bit torrent. 

 

More legally, I've used Half.com a lot to buy used books. You can get softcover books for about $1 and hardcover for a couple of dollars.  If you can buy multiple books from the same seller you can usually save on shipping.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you get a chance to travel to Asia, there are cheaper editions available there. I pick up books from India whenever I visit.

 

This is a good tip. I bought plenty of second-hand books (both in Dutch and English) when I was in Thailand last year. 50-100 Bath per book max. The hard part is getting them all in your backpack.  ;D I've also found some good used books on amazon at steep discounts.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For India please check out flipkart.com and amazon.co.in. Both offer a popular mode of payment called COD (cash on delivery). So you won't need to pay upfront or use credit cards. The delivery to metro areas in India is very fast and at a slight premium same and next day is also available.

 

Some of the popular finance and computer science/engineering books are available with street vendors in India in all metros. Avoid these. These are local unauthorized reprints and the print quality is very bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are ok with extralegally downloading there is always The Pirate Bay.  If your ISP blocks access (Comcast does) use the TOR browser, and it is a good idea to use a VPN such as Private Internet Access when using bit torrent. 

 

More legally, I've used Half.com a lot to buy used books. You can get softcover books for about $1 and hardcover for a couple of dollars.  If you can buy multiple books from the same seller you can usually save on shipping.

 

Thanks for the sites!

 

I'm  Canadian and the Amazon.ca used books prices when I included shipping are more expensive than the U.S.  I use thriftbooks.com instead, I always compare to amazon.ca before I buy a book and 9 times out of 10 thriftbooks is cheaper.  Up until the end of last year thriftbooks also discounted shipping when buying books from the same location, however they don't do that any longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you stea

If you are ok with extralegally downloading there is always The Pirate Bay.  If your ISP blocks access (Comcast does) use the TOR browser, and it is a good idea to use a VPN such as Private Internet Access when using bit torrent. 

 

More legally, I've used Half.com a lot to buy used books. You can get softcover books for about $1 and hardcover for a couple of dollars.  If you can buy multiple books from the same seller you can usually save on shipping.

 

 

If you steal books by torrenting them, make sure not to use uTorrent. Apparently (http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/6/8161251/utorrents-secret-bitcoin-miner-adware-malware) they install a hidden bitcoin miner on your computer that runs even when you don't have uTorrent open. No honor among thieves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you stea

If you are ok with extralegally downloading there is always The Pirate Bay.  If your ISP blocks access (Comcast does) use the TOR browser, and it is a good idea to use a VPN such as Private Internet Access when using bit torrent. 

 

More legally, I've used Half.com a lot to buy used books. You can get softcover books for about $1 and hardcover for a couple of dollars.  If you can buy multiple books from the same seller you can usually save on shipping.

 

 

If you steal books by torrenting them, make sure not to use uTorrent. Apparently (http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/6/8161251/utorrents-secret-bitcoin-miner-adware-malware) they install a hidden bitcoin miner on your computer that runs even when you don't have uTorrent open. No honor among thieves.

 

It seems that this rumor is unsubstantiated as it isn't reproducible, (maybe it was just a rumor, maybe it was a download from a third party distro site, or maybe utorrent changed their installer after word got out), but if you are worried about it as this articles says you can check to see if EpicScale is installed on your PC and uninstall it if it is.

 

uTorrent caught installing a Bitcoin miner

 

"BitTorrent replied later to the thread saying that they’d tested their installer and verified that EpicScale couldn’t be installed without user permission. I tested the install this morning, too: neither an upgrade nor a clean install pushed EpicScale onto my PC. This may have simply been a screw-up by a distribution partner. Maybe someone at BitTorrent forgot to check a box somewhere? Whatever the case may be, the problem appears to be fixed for now. However, if you’re noticing your fan running a little loud, you might want to pop into add/remove programs and make sure that EpicScale didn’t sneak onto your system."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite spot for cheap business books is my local Goodwill. I'm lucky because I live in a relatively affluent part of Atlanta and the people who donate to the store seem to donate a large number of business related books. It is really easy to come across a lot of the classic books by Jim Collins and Peter Drucker and every once in a while I'll find a book on value investing. I usually don't find anything but when I do the book is $2.00 max.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...