9 Ways to Save Money on Books


I love books. But I also love money. And foods. As a student, I need to always spend my money on food instead of anything else I want. I need to push away my desire to buy new books just to make sure that I will always have my meals of the day, preventing bad gastritis attack. However, does that mean that I need to push away my desire to read new books too?

No! There are actually many ways to save money on books. This post is actually inspired by readbycindy's tweet a few weeks ago and her video talking about how she managed to pay off $145000 student loan in 3 years which is basically: DON'T BUY BOOKS (and of course you need to find the money). And I saw her videos, she literally didn't buy books, the only physical books she owned was a gift from people, I think but she still managed to have a Booktube channel, a bookstagram account and read tons of books. It was such an inspiration for me because she managed to contribute to the book community without spending too much money on books, which is amazing.

So here are the ways we can save money while still reading tons of books:


Library: the most obvious and popular option. Of course, we still need to renew our library cards after a few years and there's the thing about the limited time of borrowing (but we can extend it). But still, I found that my local library really helped me in reading more books. We can read a book, free of charge and if we don't like the book, it's okay, at least we didn't waste any money on that book. I know some people are not privileged with easily accessible transportation to go to libraries and there's also the thing with crappy libraries... which brings me to my next suggestion:


Digital library enables you to read books in the form of e-books and audiobooks and I know some people hate using these forms of book but beggar can't be chooser, if you're too lazy to walk to the library (like me) or the nearest library you can borrow tons of new and interesting books are hundreds of kilometres away (also like me), my only choice is to just borrow from a digital library. The most famous one and the one I'm using is Libby (available in the App Store and Google Play Store).

Libby enables you to use your existing library card to borrow books. In Malaysia however, the digital library available on this app is limited to five: Sabah State Library, National Library of Malaysia, Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor, Penang Digital Library and Forest City. I use Sabah State Library and National Library of Malaysia and so far, it's going good.


I usually used this before I started reading more English books. Since every reader around me mainly read Malay books and I have tons of Malay books, my friend and I usually just swap books (I lend her a book and she lends me her book).


I know, the majority of people really dislike reading an e-book. I love physical books better too; we can smell the book, hold the book and it provides a better reading experience. Although I love physical books more, I usually opt for e-books lately if I choose to buy books (usually when it's a new book and it's not available from the library). E-books are cheaper than physical books and you can get it right after you purchase it. FIXI books are available on Google Play Books so you should really check them out if you're a fan of their books. I usually get books from Amazon and use the app Kindle as my reader. For books that I got for free, I use MoonReader as my reader.


I haven't go to many book sale in the past but the only one that I went to (POPULAR book clearance sale at a mall because they're closing their branch there) had some really interesting offer. There were hardcover books that usually have RM70+ price and in the book sale it only priced RM12+.

Don't forget about Big Bad Wolf! BBW for the first time came to Sabah in June but unfortunately, I was broke during that time so I didn't go. But I know that they usually have a 50% to 90% price drop for many interesting books so anyone who has the chance to go should really go.


DISCOUNT + FREE SHIPPING?! Count me in. Oh yes, this is one of my favourite online bookstores. There are always up to 60% discount for both hardcover and paperback books, they ship free to almost every country, including Malaysia, what's not to like? Although the shipping can take longer time because it ships from countries like the US, Switzerland, Australia and the UK, it's worth it. If there's any problem with your book, you can always contact the Customer Service which is really awesome, by the way, speaking from my own experience. 


My second favourite online bookstore: BookXcess Online. I think in Peninsular Malaysia, there are some BookXcess stores. In Borneo, however, there is none. That's why I mostly opt for online bookstores to buy my books. BookXcess offer up to 90% discount for their books, with normal shipping cost. They are awesome as well.


I don't have any experience of buying preloved books yet but I do know it's a really good option. I follow a lot of preloved bookseller accounts on Instagram and a lot of them offer books in good condition with definitely affordable prices.


This is the last option I can think of. I never did this because I love to know that a book I bought is always in my bookshelf; I'm okay with lending it but I don't really like the idea of co-owning a book... But maybe it's just me😂 I saw a well-known author recommended his readers, who are mostly still studying, to share money with their friends to buy his new books. I thought it was a great idea, especially for students. If you like this idea, you may try it!


  1. nice tips for me to save up more money,, ihikss

  2. Definitely agreed with you. BBW & BookXcess absolutely offer us at amazing price we can get for a book. I did read book on PNM digital library especially on malay/Fixi novel.

    Anyway, this is really the best tip you share, Afifah! :D

    Fatina Mudz || Amazing Distance

    1. I know right? The first time I discovered BookXcess and BBW, I was mind-blown by the discount!

  3. great tips! bookxcess murah murah i love it!


    1. thank you! bookxcess is definitely a lifesaver for me :)

  4. Lots of great advice here. Buying books with a friend is a great idea!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. thank you :) buying books with a friend definitely will help a lot, especially for students.


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