I made a special effort to buy a new hardcover book last weekend because I was able to get the book on sale, plus use a coupon and get an additional coupon good for a future purchase. In all I paid less than half the original price for the book with the discounts and have a coupon for 20% off of a future purchase good for a week or so. There are restrictions for the coupon such as no gift card purchases and ereaders aren’t included but brick and mortar book stores are trying to be more competitive with online booksellers.
When I was in my 20s there was a large local bookseller that had discounts and offered points for every dollar you spent. The amount you had to spend was reasonable and points accrued quickly. Some stores moved away from that, but booksellers like Borders have been offering triple rewards points or offering specials along with more coupons. For items that you know you will not return or even when making purchases for yourself, coupons from bookstores are good deals. Yes, you can borrow books from the library but when you have longer tomes of 1000 pages or so and only a limited amount of time to read, buying your own can save you stress and fees especially for new books which you sometimes aren’t able to get right away or aren’t able to renew when you do. The book I purchased was over 1000 pages and will go in the cue of other lengthy reads. It’s also by a favorite author, so I wanted it anyway.
For shorter books that you can reasonably read in fewer than the minimum amount of time you can read a book then buying your own might not be such a great thing.
Weigh the cost of the book and its length (along with your reading speed) to determine if buying your own book is the best route.