Song of the Day: "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles
1. Find a local Used Book Store or Book Swap Shop
If you're like me, this is not a great option. I promise I'm not a snob, but I don't like used books. I like to be the first to read my books, and I can't stand the way others treat them (i.e. ripped pages, food and drink spills, pen marks, etc.). If you don't care about those things then great! The prices are usually unbeatable. If you're able to find a book swap shop, even better. It's basically trading books so it will cost you nothing.
2. Find a Discount Bookstore
If you prefer new books, try and find a bookstore like the one I used to work for. The company I worked for (Bookwarehouse) has locations all over the US. http://www.book-warehouse.com/ . If you can't find a store in your state, I'm sure there are other discount bookstores you can try and find using Google. These bookstores can save you anywhere from 50-80 % off. At my store, the novels usually ranged from $3.99-5.99 for the trade papers, 1.99-2.99 for the mass markets, and the hard covers were usually $7.99.
I'm not a frequent user of amazon.com but they still offer some excellent prices on books. You can also choose from new or used books.
Not only is Walmart a great place to save on all your household needs, but it's also great for your books purchases too! Walmart usually sells books at a rate that's well below the price of what the larger chains sell them for.
5. The Big Dogs- Barnes & Noble and Borders
You can still save at the larger chains. If you sign up for emails from Barnes & Noble, they often send out coupons for 10-15% off your purchase. They also have weekly coupon for 30% off, but the list of books is hand-picked by the company. AND my personal favorite way to save would be Borders. If you sign up to receive emails, they send weekly coupons that are usually between 25-40% off. PLUS they always send at least two coupons a week. If there isn't a Borders near your residence you can use the coupon at borders.com and pay absolutely nothing for shipping if you spend $25.
Of course these aren't the only ways to save on books. There are also websites such as half.com and Ebay. Where do you buy your books?