Love to curl up with a good book? Me too. Here are my top tips for finding books for less
I was recently asked to take part in a series by another blogger that involved talking about which six famous people (dead or alive) that you’d most like to have dinner with. And without hesitation, the first two I thought were not celebrities as such, although they are famous, but two of my favourite authors – J.K Rowling and Terry Pratchett. It made me realise how important books are to me and how they have shaped my life.
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I’ve mentioned before on the blog and on my social media that I’m a massive Harry Potter fan. I’m also a huge Terry Pratchett fan. While I’ve not read every single book in the Discworld series I still have a huge appreciation for the amazing detail of the world contained within. Going Postal will forever remain one of my favorite books, along with Good Omens (written with Neil Gaiman, another of my favorite authors).
This in turn got me thinking about reading and books and the huge impact they’ve had on my life. I was quiet, shy, bookish child. I’d rather be at home with a book than out playing. As a teen I went to several midnight releases of the Harry Potter Books (and maybe one as an adult!) Even now I don’t consider a bath to be relaxing unless I’m reading something good. I think reading to children is really important too. I’ve already bought a set of Hairy Maclary books for my daughter and shes not even here yet. Another a few weeks and I’ll be reading them to my bump.
This also got me thinking about the money we spend on books. I’ve surely spend thousands in my lifetime already and I’m only 30. Yes, some were thrifty purchases but other were others were last minute airport buys because I was in holiday mode and fancied something new to read.
In this post I’m sharing my top tips for saving money on books – both old and new and for adults and kids. Hopefully you can pick up some tips.
Charity shops are great a place for sourcing books but I have noticed the prices creeping up in recent years so it is worth shopping around. My local Oxfam charges £1.49 per book, whereas other shops in the town do three paperbacks for £1. Also be prepared to do some sifting – I don’t think I’ve come across a chairty shop book stand in the last three years that hasn’t contained at least three copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and at least two of the twilight books. It also surprising how many newer releases you can find in charity shops – particularly if a film has recently been released of book – you’ll see the movie version in WHSmith for £8ish but could probably find one with the original cover in a Charity shop for much less.
Charity shops are also great for sourcing children books – I know a lot of parents like to a book advent calendar instead of a chocolate one and there are definitely some bargains to be had. My Hairy Maclary set mentioned above was actually just £3 from a charity shop for six books in a branded Hairy Maclary
Often the supermarkets are the cheapest places to buy new releases – usually coming in at around £4 a book rather than the £7.99 or £8.99 places like WHSmith’s and Waterstone’s charges.
I also find Asda will often have three for £10 on new releases which is great if you need a few books for holiday or a nice trip away.
O2 Priority Moments App (O2 Customers only)
The O2 Priority Moments app had lots of fab offers on books in the run up to Christmas 2017 a trend which seems to be continuing well into this year. This saw lots of books, both adults and children’s, reduced to just £1 when showing a code on the app. At the moment they seem to have a least one adult novel for £1 each week and one new release for £2.99. (all prices/offers correct at time of writing 18/01/18)
Even if the book on offer isn’t your cup of tea I think a brand new book for £1 makes a great gift or stocking filler to put away for Christmas.
Boot sales are one of the cheapest ways to pick up books, especially if you read a lot. They’re often 20p or even less – however don’t forget to factor in the cost of getting there or the cost on entry/parking.
When I was working at the pub we started up a book exchange of sorts. Customers brought in books they had finished with and popped them in a box. Anyone could then help themselves to a book, in return for a small donation to one of the charity boxes on the bar. This seemed to work quite well with constant stream of books flowing in and out of the box. If you have a local pub or community center you use a lot, this is something that it could be worth while setting up.
I wasn’t sure whether to include the Library in the list. Local libraries are of course the most obvious source of continuous free reading material for both adults and children and also provide lots of other services too. While they don’t always have the newest releases there is still plenty to choose from. Just don’t forget to return them and end up with a fine!
Top Tip – You can actually renew your library books online if you don’t think you’ll get them back on time. Simply google the name of your local Library for more info – mine is done through the local councils website but I’m not sure if all are the same.
Give the Book Club A Miss
Book clubs may seem all well and good. The opportunity to socialize, talk about books with fellow book lovers and perhaps read a book or two that’s outside of your usual comfort zone. However, friends of mine have that have joined them haven’t found them too much of a success. Firstly they usually focus on books that are relatively new releases meaning buying a new book every fortnight might be more than what you’d usually spend. This then may well be spent on books you simply don’t like. Personally I’m not a fan of romance or chick-lit (works of Helen Fielding aside) and I’d really struggle if there were two three of these on the reading list. Couple that with the fact that sometimes life, work and kids can all get in the way of quality reading time you could find yourself turning up to meet several people haven’t even started the book in question.
Local Facebook buying and selling groups can be a great source of free books. People often avoid selling books on eBay because of the weight meaning postage costs will be high. Facebook groups tend to be local and more often than not items are up for collection. Look out for freebie groups that might allow you to grab some books completely free.
Free Amazon Books
While there are many that would argue reading a book on a Kindle or similar device doesn’t quite feel the same as the real thing, it does mean having a huge catalogue of books at your finger tips – perfect if you’re travelling light and don’t want to haul three or four different books around with you. As well as regular promotions for books for just 99p there are also several titles you can download for free as they are currently out of copyright. These include classics such as Peter Pan and Les Miserables.
There is also an ever changing array of free books that are simply on promotion, are short stories or the author just doesn’t want to make money from them.