Even in the information age, with the wonder that is the internet, I still find myself needing to buy books occasionally. Today, I thought I would show you the process of thought I go through to decide when and how to buy a book.

1. Is it available for free (legally)? Run a google search – you’d be surprised. Then try

from digitaltrends.com

searching: “title” “pdf” and see what you get. Sometimes you find stuff published online as well as in book form. Avoid any “torrent” sites as those are likely not legal. Another useful hint to Google Books. Search google books for what you want in a web browser and it might have most of the pages available to read. If it has what you need, score!

2. How often will I use this book? Is it a one and done sort of thing?

One and done… Try the library! Yes they are still open, and most even lend digital copies nowadays! Then if you cannot find it, try to bum the latest bestseller off a friend. Only after trying these options will I turn to purchasing. For instance are you taking a class on underwater basket weaving and have to buy a textbook? Try renting it through amazon, or even buying a used copy of the latest version, and then selling it when you are finished with it. These options limit the amount of cash you spend on the book.

I will use it a few times a year… Look for the newest edition in the cheapest format. It might be cheaper to buy it in a used hard-cover edition than to purchase the digital book.

I will use it frequently… These are the items I try to buy digitally if it is possible. Sadly some publishers still aren’t into the digital game like they should be. Books I use frequently reside in a file on my Tablet (Nexus 10) and can be searched quickly at my desk. Its also portable, so where ever I am I have the resource.

Alternatively – If you are invested in a particular type of digital library, such as Logos (bible study software), Amazon Kindle, etc., then you may want to spend the extra $3 to get it in your preferred format. Me – I’m not that particular since any format works on my tablet, but your needs may be different.

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