Guide To Saving Money On Books

Guide To Saving Money On Books

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Love to curl up with a good book? Me too. Here are my top tips for saving money on books and even finding books for free.

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 favourite books, along with Good Omens (written with Neil Gaiman, another of my favourite 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.

This also got me thinking about the money we spend on books.

I’ve surely spent thousands in my life already .

Yes, some were thrifty purchases but others 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.

Guide to Saving Money On Books

1. Buy Books From Charity Shops

Charity shops are great places 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 charity 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 is also surprising how many newer releases you can find in charity shops – particularly if a film has recently been released of a 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.

Love to curl up with a good book? Me too. Here are my top tips for finding books for less

Charity shops are also great for sourcing children’s books – I know a lot of parents like to a book advent calendar instead of a chocolate one and there are some bargains to be had. My Hairy Maclary set mentioned above was just £3 from a charity shop for six books in a branded Hairy Maclary.

2. Buy From Your Local Indie Book Store

While your local independent bookstore may not be the cheapest place to shop, they are always worth a visit and will provide better customer service than any of the other options on this list.

If you can afford it, putting money into your local economy is the right thing to do. Plus, many will have a great second-hand selection for those who are looking for a more budget-friendly option.

3. Car Boot Sales

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 of entry/parking.

16 Car Boot Sale Tips To Make Extra Cash

4. Set Up A Book Exchange

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 a constant stream of books flowing in and out of the box. If you have a local pub or community centre you use a lot, this is something that could be worthwhile setting up.

5. Make Use Of Your Local Library

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 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 council’s website but I’m not sure if all are the same.

6. 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 outside of your usual comfort zone.

However, friends of mine that have joined them haven’t found them 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.

I’m not a fan of romance or chick-lit (works of Helen Fielding aside) and I’d struggle if there were two or 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 who haven’t even started the book in question.

7. Buy From Facebook Marketplace

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.

8. Free Amazon Books

While many 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 fingertips – 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.

9. Buy From Supermarkets

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 a holiday or a nice trip away.

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.

10. Buy Second Hand From eBay

Almost all of the books I buy are second hand and when I’m searching for a specific author or book in a series (rather than having a casual browse in a charity shop) eBay has become my go to.

Typically the books I buy are from Music Magpie or World of Books where there will often be a discount for purchasing more than one book and free delivery, making them much cheaper than buying from individual sellers.

11. Vinted

Is there anything you can’t buy from Vinted? (well, yes there is actually but that’s a post for another day!)

Vinted has books for as little as £1 and you could buy several from the same seller to save on postage costs and Vinted fees.

How To Find The Best Bargains on Vinted (8 Awesome Hacks!)

Do you have a favourite book? I’m always looking for new things to read so I’d love to hear your recommendations – Here are mine.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris – don’t be put off if you’ve seen the film, the book is a thousand times better. Plus it has three sequels.

The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly – Classic Fairytales mixed up with gruesome twists.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman – I’m currently rereading this one and it has one of my favourite endings to a book ever.

Going Postal – Terry Pratchett – My favourite of all the Discworld Novels – who wouldn’t love a book whose main character is named ‘Moist Von Lipwig’?

The Fault in Our Starts – John Green – I read quite a lot of YA and this is one I could read over and over. Sad, but perfect.

If like me you often end up with a glut of books you’ve read and don’t want to keep try making some money from them. Eileen at Your Money Sorted has this fab post: Apps that PAY YOU to sell books

2 thoughts on “Guide To Saving Money On Books

    • Author gravatar

      This is great, thanks Fiona 🙂

      I love Harry Potter and Discworld too!

      There’s also iBooks (via the app on iPhone/iPad). Their prices are pretty much always identical to Amazon prices (so if one has a 99p promotion for a book, then the other will too), but I use iTunes/AppStore gift cards to purchase, which I buy at 20 to 30% off their value, through promotions from PayPal/Zeek/Supermarkets etc. (more readily available than Amazon), so can save a lot compared to Amazon prices.

      I’m not sure how many libraries offer it, but in my area you can use your library card details to log in to an app called Overdrive, where you can loan (via download to a phone/tablet or via your browser on your desktop/laptop…..I’m not sure about Kindle) ebooks for FREE in the same way you’d borrow a physical book from the library (you get access to it for 3 weeks and can join a wait list if there is someone else who currently has it on loan, but I find I very rarely have to do that), but with 24hr access and without having to leave the comfort of your own home, it’s all done through the app! Also, if you don’t return (by selecting the option within the app) it within the 3 weeks then it automatically expires at the end of the 3 weeks, so you never get fined at all and the whole service is free! They have thousands of books (each library will have different licences for different books, so some may have access to more than others) and they often have new releases of well known authors within a few weeks of the publication date. Plus you can search for all books and it will tell you if your library has the licence to loan it and if it doesn’t then you can request it for consideration and the library sees this lists when they next decide to buy more books. I’ve read so many books, it’s saved me a fortune! They also have audiobooks for FREE as well. I’d never really used Audiobooks before, as I was happy reading (and audiobooks are expensive!), but have really enjoyed them through the Overdrive app. My favourite was having Stephen Fry read me the whole of Harry Potter – I downloaded all 7 books to the app on my phone, so could listen offline wherever I wanted – it was so enjoyable and didn’t cost me anything!

      Sorry, I’ve gone on a bit haha just wanted to share this with as many fellow book lovers as possible, as I think it’s a really underused service and has allowed me to read so much more than I could previously afford to! 🙂

    • Author gravatar

      Interesting tips on how to save money. It is always worth considering buying used books, then it is also an ecological approach to the topic.

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