Money For Books: 6 Smart Ways Bookworms Can Pocket Extra Cash

Ways to make money
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I’ve always loved books, even if I wasn’t the strongest reader.

I’d thumb through the Scholastic Book Club flyers and circle my most desired choices: “Britney Spears: The Story of Britney Spears” and the latest Magic Treehouse book. I’d buy big reference books from Sam’s Club because they were pretty, and I liked the weight of the pages.

This obsession became more intense after I was fitted with my first pair of glasses — and learned to actually read. I started making pricy trips to Barnes and Noble. I stockpiled books and magazines. I made long reading lists — lists I’ve not been able to conquer to this day.

My obsession continued in life, as I majored in English and became a full-time writer.

But this isn’t the only way I could have made — and can still make — money from my love for books and words.

6 Ways to Make Money From Your Love of Books

If you’re drowning in books, that totally makes my heart happy. It can make your bank account pretty darn happy, too.

Here are six ways you can get paid to read books:

1. Give Your Books a New Life

monels/Getty Images
monels/Getty Images

I have a closet full of stuff I just can’t part with. Luckily, this is my childhood room at my parents house and not in my 500-square-foot apartment. But I can tell you my mom would be very happy if I cleared these out.

Sites like Amazon and Letgo make selling your used books super simple.

Go ahead and let the internet know you’re a pack-rat book-lover and start watching those crusty pages regain life.

2. Hunt for Other People’s Used Books

Senior couple looking at used books
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This sounds weird, right? But The Penny Hoarder’s founder and CEO Kyle Taylor wrote about making money as a “used book hunter.”

Basically, his first step was to clean out the books in his house, then get a feel for the books’ going rates. Try using a site like Biblio to figure out a book’s value.

Once you get the hang of it, hit up garage sales, used book stores, flea markets — you name it. Find books on the cheap. Use your phone to look up what these books go for online. If the resale value is good, buy it.

Finding these gems is a thrill.

3. Become a Virtual English Teacher

mother using a laptop with her daughter
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If a classroom full of grimy squealing kids isn’t your scene… we get it. You can still work as a teacher. Better yet: You work as a teacher, set your own hours and work from home.

There are several online-learning platforms focused on teaching English as a second language to students in other countries.

Angela Brumbaugh is a QKids teacher. She teaches 36 half-hour sessions a week and makes up to $20 an hour.

“The curriculum is set for you before class, and your job is to simply guide the children through the lesson, offering guidance, smiles and tons of encouragement,” she says. That’s a big perk for many: No lesson planning.

“The students are hard-working, curious and light up the classroom with their smiles,” she says. “Class time actually goes by fast, and the only con I can see is sometimes I wish I had more time to spend with them!”

4. Publish Your Own Book

lechatnoir/GettyImages
lechatnoir/GettyImages

I’m not brave enough to do this yet, but it’s certainly on my bucket list: Write a book.

However, one of our contributors, Steve Gillman, took the leap. He wrote a book about ultralight backpacking. It only took him a few days (holy cow), and he had it published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

Over time, Gillman’s banked up to $350 a month from the ebook in a very passive manner with no promotion. He outlined how to get started self-publishing on Kindle.

5. Start Freelancing 

lechatnoir/GettyImages
lechatnoir/GettyImages

If you have a way with words, consider freelancing. As a freelance blogger, you can work as much or little as you want, so this makes for a nice side gig.

To get started, check out these blogs that pay $100 or more per post.

Want to share your parenting expertise? Check out these parenting blogs and magazines looking for writers.

6. Share Your Opinions on the Books You’ve Read

SamuelBrownNG/Getty Images
SamuelBrownNG/Getty Images

Have you ever tried online book reviewing? Basically, you read a book, then you’ll get paid to write a review.

We rounded up some websites and publishers that’ll pay you to read and review books.

Bonus: Reading list dried up? Dive into our favorite books about investing.

More Earning Options For Bookworms >> Guide to Making Money From Home

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She was never a strong reader… until she was fitted with her first pair of glasses in second grade.

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