We ALL know the feeling. An amazon wishlist longer than your arm, a plethora of new books published every Thursday each desperately pawing at your conscience telling you it’s imperative you offer them a home; walking into a bookshop and feeling that leaving without books is a crime…It’s part of being a book lover, we have an insatiable appetite for all things bookish yet sadly it’s not the most cost effective hobby.
I am currently unemployed and, quite frankly, poor. I have no savings to my name and less than £200 in my bank account which does need to last me until my next job. Umm, HELP!
So, how does one cope with the lack of money but need for books? Here are five of my top tips for saving money whilst also reading books!!
1. Read what you already own.
BUT LAURA WE WANT NEW BOOKS. Ok, ok, I know! I know that you want the latest books but hang on a minute, look at all the books you currently own. The majority of those you bought when they were new but haven’t actually got round to reading them yet. Why not make a small pile of books you forgot you had or books you just never got round to reading? Then it feels a bit exciting, books that are still brand new, unread, totally yours…why would you want to abandon them for new ones?! Love your old books first.
2. Use the library.
I am so lucky to have a local library still and I appreciate that, for some, libraries are no longer available. Libraries are the perfect way to read new books without having to spend a single penny – they’re free to join, free to borrow from and the only time you have to pay any money is if you return the book late, or, like in my local area, reserve a book or ask the library to order a book in and pay a 35p charge. (35p to reserve a new book compared to £8.99 buying it new…hmm I know which I prefer!)
The awesome thing about a library too is if you don’t enjoy a book you can return it feeling guilt free as you haven’t spent a single penny on it!! And, if you do love the book and want to own it, then it can go on your wishlist to buy yourself a copy when you have funds.
Also, if you don’t have a local library, why not start one up? If there are a group of local people who love books too then why not use the local village hall or set up a small library in the doctors surgery or cafe…
3. Share books.
This is a hard one if you hate sharing books (I hate lending books to people because I’m scared they’ll damage them) but if you have friends you can trust then why not do a monthly book swap? Decide which books they own that you want to read and they choose books that you own that they want to read and then you swap. This is a super fun way to get to read the books you want, and why not even turn it into an event? Every month meet up for a coffee and have a big discussion about the books you’ve loved and why. It’s great fun!
4. Be savvy.
Shop in charity shops and at boot fairs. Sometimes you can find people give away brand new books to charity shops after reading them once and you can snap them up for a bargain! They might not be in perfect condition but, when it comes down to it, if you read the book and love it SO much then you can always buy yourself a new copy! The same goes for boot fairs, people can often be quite ruthless and get rid of things for cheap prices and TOP TIP, if you tend to head to head to boot fairs towards the end of the day people can sometimes literally GIVE YOU THINGS for free. There have been times when I’ve been to boot fairs and people have been so desperate to get rid of stuff so they don’t have to bundle it all up and take it home again that they will literally beg you to take things from them so FREE BOOKS!
5. Look out for freebies.
Amazon always have free ebooks on their site and authors can sometimes run free ebook trials for their books too. Even if you don’t have a kindle you can read ebooks on computers or phones and even tablets. So always keep an eye out for those as you can sometimes snap up some great deals. The same with giveaways on websites like Goodreads and on Twitter, if you’re lucky you can sometimes win some great things that you haven’t had to pay a penny for!
So, I hope these tips come in handy – some may seem like common sense but they are things I have to keep reminding myself of as I go back into ‘MUST NOT SPEND MONEY’ mode. So maybe they’re things that might just remind you that to read books you don’t actually have to spend any money!