I think we can all agree that reading is a fantastic and rewarding hobby but between pre-orders, new releases, recommendations, and a tbr that grows closer and closer to wrapping around the globe every day, it’s very easy to go well past one’s book budget and still feel like you’re missing so many books you need to read. I’m not saying don’t buy books – support your favorite authors! Support new authors! Buy books when you can and within reason, for sure! I do these things to make sure that I still can afford to support authors for years to come without struggling with a crippling debt problem and trust me – if I bought every book I wanted to, that’s definitely where I’d be at right now. While the list below is certainly not exclusive, it is a few tips I have for staying (relatively) on budget without experiencing bookish fomo.L
Honestly, this one feels kind of obvious but utilizing your local library can save you a ton of money. While I’m not implying that you don’t know about your library or how to use it, I’d like to highlight a few features available that everyone might not know about. Your library might not have all these things available, but it’s definitely worth checking out! (see what I did there?)
–Libby/Overdrive: a lot of libraries are now starting to have ebooks and audiobooks available for rent through the Overdrive and Libby apps. They’re super easy to use and all they require are your library card. Not only does this make it easier to have books on the go and allow you to check out from literally anywhere, it also makes it so that you can check out books on your own schedule, even if that doesn’t align with the library’s hours. This has been a godsend for me as I work overnights and sometimes getting to the library when it’s open is an absolute hassle.
–Requesting Books: Don’t see a book you want to read in your library’s catalog and think it would be better with it? Know of an upcoming book you’d like to see at your library? Request it! A lot of libraries allow patrons to request books to add to their collection. There’s usually a form you can fill out online but if you can’t find one, you can always talk to a librarian.
–Interlibrary Loan: If your library doesn’t own a book but another library does, they can sometimes borrow it over for you. There tend to be limitations on how new these books can be (my local libraries have an ‘older than 1 year’ policy). If you can’t get an interlibrary loan, try requesting the book!
–Friends of the Library Book Sales: A lot of libraries have non-profit charity groups called ‘Friends of the Library’ that help support and raise money for the library. One of the ways they accomplish this is by selling used books that patrons donate. This is done either throughout the year or at huge book sales a few times throughout the year. I’ve found some pretty great books at these sales for pretty cheap – usually a dollar to a couple dollars each.D
I’m currently signed up for four different daily emails that give me lists of ebooks that are on sale. These lists are typically catered to my personal genre preferences I set upon registering for the service. Now, are you going to find ‘wow super, amazing, wondertastic finds every day? No. But every so often I do have TBR books end up on these lists and I’ve found some gems hidden in there as well. For example, earlier this week Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi was on sale for $0.00 and, as I write this up, A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is on sale for $1.99. You definitely have to sift to find something that suits your wants but when you can find really good books for $0.99 to $2.99, it’s worth it in my book.
There might be more of these services out there but the lists I get daily are from:
Early Bird Books
Kindle Daily Deals
Book Riot Deals newsletter which can be found here
Don’t feel like sifting through those emails to find the deals or having your inbox exploding with more book mail? I tend to tweet out deals I think are especially spectacular over on twitter. Shamless self-plug? Yes, absolutely.
In addition to the above resources here are some miscellaneous ways I’ve found to get the books I want without breaking the bank.
-Shealea tends to curate giant collections of sale books not only on twitter (keep an eye on the #QuickKindleSteals hashtag) but also on her blog where she has a cute emoji system (I love emojis, in case it’s not obvious) to convey information about the different books she’s sharing.
-A lot of book subscription boxes will offer discounts on past boxes/books. This can be a fun way to get cheaper book and book swag without having to rely on a mystery and a promise of a book you’ll enjoy. I know that Uppercase box frequently has sales on past merch and even recently were selling signed hardcovers for $5 each.
-It may seem obvious, but used book stores and even regular consignment and thrift stores can have some really great books. I’ve found this to be especially true ever since Marie Kondo got everyone into organizing their lives. Do these books spark joy for me? Guess I’ll have to find out!
What do you do to save while supporting your book habits? Anything I don’t know about that you’d like to share? Let me know below!