Saving money on books
Now this is going to be one of those, “no kidding you dufus why are you even posting this – it’s pretty obvious” kind of posts, but honestly I always forget about it and well it just saved me money this weekend. I actually don’t read books, for whatever reason I can’t just sit down and read a book. I usually get bored out of my mind after the first chapter and the only book I know that I have “read” since school (even then it was slim pickings (cliff notes)) is “The Little Book that Beats the Market” by Joel Greenblatt. The only reason I finished that book is because it was maybe 100 pages long, the pages were very small, and it actually was 90% substance instead of having to read 200 pages of fluff to get to the good stuff. I don’t know if I have ADD or am just an unintelligent caveman who can’t read books, but I just don’t read books.
However a few years ago I found out that they make books on tape. This is great because I can be driving in my car, laying on my couch, or doing countless other things and can listen to books. I have found this to be extremely helpful and is probably the only reason I have “read/listened” to a few financial books in the last few years. The audio books are often abridged version so they cut out the extra fluff from the books and get to the point. They downside though is that they are relatively expensive when compared to paper book version of the book and only some of the newer or most popular books come in audio format.
Getting to my point usually once a year or so I decide I’m going to get educated and purchase a couple books. Usually means audio books, I do fall into the trap of purchasing real books occasionally to save money or if they don’t offer an audio book, but these always sit on my shelf unread because again I can’t sit down and read books. I usually do my shopping on Amazon and also usually make use of the used books vendors that sell on Amazon. I’m usually able to get a used book/audio book for a fraction of the new price and I have yet to get a used book that wasn’t in mint condition. So I usually think I’m getting these books for a pretty good deal (usually about $5-$7 after shipping).
Then this last weekend I had a revelation just as I was about to checkout with my audio book copy of The Millionaire Next Door. I remembered hearing something about these places called libraries. Basically they are just big buildings that store books and they let you read them for free. In fact you can even rent them and take them home for a certain period of time and that’s free too. They also happen to carry audio books, in fact a library in my area even carries an audio cd version of The Millionaire Next Door. Seeing as how I don’t listen to my audio cd books more than once I figured I could try this library thing out. Sure enough I got my copy of The Millionaire Next Door for free. Granted I had to actually go get it from the library, but my parents own a store directly across from the library so I just had my mom run across the street and pick it up for me so I didn’t have to pay mileage. Even if I did though, remember gas prices are cheap.
Anyway I know this was probably a complete waste for 90% of you, but honestly I always forget about libraries.