Both my husband I are major bookworms. We have three bookshelves filled with amazing finds and fantastic reads. While he loves traditional fantasy books, I gravitate more towards manga and graphic novels with a healthy mix of classics. No matter what genre of text, books cost money. Here are five ways to save money on your reading habit.
1. The Library
Libraries are one of the most wonderful places in the world. They allow you read endless books for free (or a small library card fee). Better yet, you do not keep any of those books. All those books you think are going to be great that turn into mediocre reads: you can just return them! If you do find any gems, then there is nothing stopping you from putting it on your 'to buy' book list. I find that most books I read are one-timers: it takes a very special book to become a repeat occurrence in my word. The library is like a dating website: I weed through all the possible options until I find the one.
2. Library Book Sales
Every library that I have lived near has a large library sale at least once a year. Books are super cheap and condition varies depending on how popular the book was and how many copies they have. My old library had a 'fill a box' option on the last day of their big sale: fill a box full of books for a flat $10. Library sales are an inexpensive way to add books to your own collection without paying full price. They are also a wonderful way to support your local library and keep it open for the next generation. Library sales also include incredible diversity from children's books to manga to biographies and more. Expect to pay only a few dollars per book.
3. Go Used
While it is so incredibly tempting to buy books brand new with companies like Amazon.ca and Chapters Indigo giving us books at just a click away, try going used. This is not only for the benefit of your pocket books but also for the benefit of the environment. Every used book taken home is a used book kept out of a landfill. Get to know your local used book stores very well and see if you can leave a list of 'wants' with them. Check out local garage sales, local classifieds like Kijiji and Craigslist, and online used bookstores. I purchased The Complete Winnie The Pooh off of Kijiji for 50% off the retail price and have spent many an hour in my local used bookstores. I also like purchasing from scratch and dent sections at places like Book Outlet because these books, unless bought, will probably end up in a dump somewhere. Used books tend to be 50 - 75% off their original retail prices.
4. Go Digital
The digital world is blossoming with potential. Buying eBooks from companies like Amazon.ca and Kobo can save you both money and shelf space. While I have not found Kobo's options substantially cheaper than the physical copies, the coupons and sales they have can certainly tip the scales in favour of eBooks. If you love the classics, then I highly recommend eBooks. You can get a plethora of classics for free because the copyright has expired on them. There is also the option of audiobooks. Companies like Audible are popular and you get a book credit for a set price. Depending on what you want to read, this can be another option for saving money.
5. Book Trading
When knee-deep in your own library, do not forget about your friends. Lend books out, ask to borrow books, and exchange books with your friends and family. Not only will you spend $0 on your next good read, you will also be able to talk with someone who has already read the book. I also encourage you to offer books you no longer want to friends and let them know you are open to adding new books to your collection if they are getting rid of any.
Do you have any tips on saving money on books?
(Image Credit: Danarki - picture of author Neil Gaiman doing a reading at a Library)