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Whether you are new to the Internet or a staunch veteran of surfing the WWW, here are my secrets to finding the lowest possible price for books both locally and online.

First, let's talk about local. The best place locally to buy used books (besides used bookstores) is your public library. Most of the time, libraries will have book sales at least once a year or they will have a backroom crowded with inexpensive book buys. My own local library sells hardbacks for 50 cents and paperbacks for 25 cents.

Many of these library bargains have never ever graced the shelves as they were donated by locals after yard sales or simply when some family decided to thin their own home library. So, the next time you visit your local library, inquire if they have yearly book sales or a stockroom full of used books they would love to part with to make more room for other things. I think you'll be surprised at the answer you receive.

Now, on to online purchases: there are many search engines for new, used, and out of print books but the best prices I have ever found are at the many online auctions on the WWW. The sellers at these online auctions are usually never book dealers; they are simple ordinary citizens like you and me who are looking to thin their own collections.

I have purchased many bestselling hardback books at various online auctions. While new hardbacks are sometimes $30.00 or more in today's market, I have scored many of mine at online auctions for as little as $2.00 each plus a minimal shipping fee (usually no more than $2.50 shipping). These are brand new hardbacks read only once or twice and usually first editions. By purchasing this way, I am able to read the book and then I might even resell it, making back my original investment...or more!

And that favorite childhood book you wish you still had? Those are at the online auctions as well. To illustrate, I searched new and used bookstores for two years for a copy of the Easy Reader "The Adventures of Silly Billy", a book from my childhood that I simply adored. After I became connected to the Internet, that was the first book I looked for; I found it for $1.50 at an online auction. The time-saving factor of shopping online is a bonus as well.

The next time you feel like adding to your own personal library, check online auctions as your first stop. And support your local library by buying from them as well.

Happy reading!!