Dust Off Your Library Card
If you can no longer justify paying $22 for the latest hardcover, request the book at your local library. Don’t have a card? You and one-third of Americans. Get one now (it’s free). There are more than 16,000 libraries nationwide, and some offer much more than books. Your local branch might allow you to:
1. Borrow newly released movies, the latest cable-TV shows on DVD (Mad Men, perhaps?), and CDs.
2. Download e-books from your library’s website. The loan period is usually two weeks.
3. Listen to podcasts of library lectures you don’t have time to attend. (One example: The Los Angeles Public Library offers a free download of “An Evening With Toni Morrison.”)
4. Try out a Kindle, models of Amazon's e-reader start at just $79.
5. Check out puzzles and games, like Clue, Monopoly, and Yahtzee.
6. Borrow a museum pass. Many city libraries have city passes, which will get you into local attractions, including zoos, aquariums, planetariums, and more for free.
7. Get free delivery. Some libraries can send books, games, and CDs to you via a mail-order program.