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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Booking it

I've mentioned finding good deals on books in a few of my posts; sifting through boxes of books at garage sales and library booksales as well as putting the new arrivals on hold for a quick read. But for the avid reader (yep, that would be me!), there are lots of other good sources for a free read or at least a cheap one!

For years, I would buy new books at Barnes & Noble and, though it is still one of my favorite "hang-outs," it is not always realistic on a budget. I do, however, occasionally go in and search the bargain shelves and tables. The less than new releases often make great gifts (particularly the large coffeetable books) for a fraction of their original price.

I have found, however, that I don't really ever reread a book whether I buy it new or used. It typically gets donated to my library, passed to friends or becomes fodder for my own garage sales. That being the case, if I can't get a free read, I like to go to the used bookstores. We have two in our general area that I am familiar with (and there may be more) that are eclectic and offer a huge variety. My favorite is called Changing Hands and while it also offers new books, it has a great selection of used books and they are checked so they are in good condition. They also are attached to a coffee shop and often sponsor events that are widely publicized in the East Valley of Phoenix (book-signings, speakers, activities for kids, etc.).

The other bookstore has a number of AZ locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff and is a particularly popular college hangout. They offer music performances, activities and several have coffeeshops. They have a huge selection of books, movies, music, old toys and the list goes's all used and you could wander one of their stores for days just as an outing (no joke, you might wander for days without a map...wild layouts!). They also buy your old books, etc. The cool thing for those of you not near one of their stores or even in another state is that they have a website and soon will have an online store! Check them out at:

Finally, I also believe in exchanging books with my family and friends, all of whom read as much as time allows. Just be sure you all label your own books if you want them back and make sure you know what you borrowed from where!

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