Buying books on a budget is something that has become pretty close to my heart over the past few years, as I’ve gotten more and more into books and had a tighter and tighter budget, being a student that works part time. I used to buy plenty of books from Waterstones and Amazon at the full price, but I’ve found that it just isn’t cost effective, and I can get books cheaper elsewhere! After finishing my degree and going on to be a masters student, I’ve had a significant dip in student finance coming my way which has meant everything has had to tighten up – including my book buying! So here are a few tips on how to be a total bookworm when you’re on a budget.
Use your library
Yes I know, this one’s totally obvious. I don’t usually like reading library books – the collector in me doesn’t like to read a book that can’t then sit on my bookshelves as a trophy, shouting ‘well done, you read me!’ every time I glance over at it. But from time to time there’s a book I think I want to read, but I think I might end up hating. When that happens, it’s good to get it from the library, so if I do hate it I haven’t then wasted my money on it.
Also, your library can do a bunch of things you might not be aware of. Like let you borrow audiobooks! I really love audiobooks and I’ve managed to get a few free ones from Audible by redeeming various codes, but I can’t afford the monthly fee – and then I realised that I can get audiobooks for free from my library. And I can download them online – I don’t even have to leave the house.
Take advantage of points systems
Find out which places give you points or rewards for buying or donating books and use that place as much as possible! I’ve heard that in America, lots of second hand book stores give you points for donating books, which you can redeem on MORE BOOKS. I am so jealous of this and why don’t we have it in England.
For you poor old Brits like me, I’d recommend Waterstones. I don’t usually buy books from there anymore, but they usually have a bunch of books on offer for buy one get one half price. I don’t like to just buy this for the sake of it, but when this BOGOHP table happens to feature a bunch of books that I want to buy anyway, I pick them up there and collect the points. They really add up, and I’ve got quite a few free books from Waterstones with my points!
Lower your standards
This one was super hard for me. Yes, I love getting a brand new, pristine edition of a book that has been touched by no human but myself (and the people that made it and shipped it and probably a few others), but if I want more books for my buck, I’ve got to go for the used books. Sometimes I’ll have a look on ebay, they don’t always have the book I’m looking for but they often have pretty much new books for cheap prices. I’ve also started using the used & new section on Amazon. If the book you want is a few years old, it’s likely that some sellers will sell it for just a penny plus the £2.80 shipping fee, so you get a book for less than £3. I’m happy with that!
Look around the internet places
In the book community, there are always giveaways going on, whether that’s on someone’s blog, their channel, their instagram, or their twitter! Keep an eye out for these, lots of people give away copies of new releases – you never know!
Also: book swaps. People do these from time to time on blogs and on twitter, or if you can’t find one, host one yourself! If you’ve got a few books you’re not keen on, put them up for a book swap and get a book you want in return.
And my most recent tactic:
Wait until it’s your birthday (mine is next week so that’s handy) and then send everyone a link to your Amazon wishlist which shall be full of only books. They’ll get the idea.
Got any book-buying money-saving tips of your own? Let me know!