I have a book habit that isn’t going to die down any time soon. I always buy more books than I can read and I get excited just by being in book shops (handy, since I’ve got my own coming out later this year). But books are expensive. And if you want to keep reading when you’re on a budget, you’re going to have to cut corners. Here’s how to keep up your reading without spending.
1. Swap with friends
This sounds simple enough, especially if you’ve got friends with similar taste in books. But do make sure you’re on the same page as the friend you’re book swapping with. I like my books to look perfect. If you read my books in the bath, I’ll be fuming when they come back all wrinkled. If you do massive folds in the pages, I’ll never lend you anything again. Make sure you’re borrowing from someone who isn’t quite as book anal, otherwise you’ll get in trouble.
2. Join your local library
I know, it sounds so easy. But I bet you haven’t joined, have you? Our libraries are closing down, and I actually don’t remember the going to one since I finished University. But they’re not as dated and stuffy as you might be imagining. You won’t find all of the latest releases, but that’s no bad thing if it means you try something new.
3. Shop around!
Buying books online? Heading straight to a popular online book store? Stop it! Shop around. Just because they have some good deals, that doesn’t mean that another online bookshop won’t have what your after at a lower price. I know this because my book is currently available for pre-order at three different prices online. A few pounds might not seem like a lot, but if you’re buying many, just as with anything, it’s worth checking out the competition.
4. Don’t discount the discount stores
Book discount stores can be full of rubbish. Books no one wants, a few rubbish cards and ugly gifts. And a questionable ‘erotica section’. But on the odd occasion, they’ll stock something so brilliant you’ll be giddy with excitement. That’s how I feel about the leather collection of classic books I bought for £30 instead of £150. I adore them, they were in perfect condition and now I’ll always pop into one of those tired looking shops if I walk by.
5. Stop being a second hand snob
Want to stop paying lots for books? Then stop paying lots for books. Head to your nearest second hand shop and see what they’ve got. You’ll be surprised at how cheap things are, and you might just find a beautiful copy of a classic you’ve been meaning to read for years.
You’re unlikely to give up your mass 3-for-2 buying, but getting creative and cutting back in other ways not only saves money, it’ll open your eyes to books you’d never even considered before.