I love to shop for books, it’s my guilty pleasure. If I was rich I would have a library like the one in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (I can dream!) Until then I shall have to settle for my crammed bookshelves and other spare places (not including all my daughters board books littered about the place.)
I have realised that being a book lover is too expensive and I have sworn off paying the full RRP
My favourite place at the moment is the charity shop at my local shopping centre, you can get books in there ranging in price from 50p-£1.50 (more for hardbacks,) and the money goes to a charity to do some good. They are always in fairly good condition and while some are already well loved they are clean. There are also a lot of second-hand shops who sell books charging a fraction of the RRP. Also look online or on notice boards for Fêtes being held locally, churches and school tend to do these quite regularly, as with the charity shops the books are all donated and the money will go to a good cause. You will get them for a fraction of the price, there may not be much choice but you will still have an enjoyable afternoon.
You could quite easily walk in to a second-hand book store, pick up and buy a random book. Go on take a chance, pot luck, after all you should not judge a book by it’s cover. If you find you hate it, you can pass it on to a charity shop to continue on it’s journey, or pass it on to a friend – the travel memoirs of a Peruvian dwarf may not be your cup of tea but I’m sure there is a blogger out there or a friend who would love it. If you want to make your money back, you can try and sell on eBay or Amazon (I’m sure there are many other places) Amazon are also doing a trade-in, where they swap your book for an Amazon gift card – you’re basically swapping it for another book!
The second best place to look is on Amazon. Don’t buy direct until you’ve checked out the old and new section. I’ve bought books on there for next to nothing. They all provide information as to the condition, so you can be discerning about what you’re buying. You can get books for 1p buying this way! (+£2.80 delivery) You can also look on eBay, I would normally leave this until last as you have no guarantee you will get a book in good condition. They may have said ‘good condition’ but you might have a different opinion of what ‘good condition’ actually entails, at least on Amazon if you don’t agree they will take the book back. I was once sent a book on Amazon that I believed was in bad condition, they had listed it as fairly good, they refunded the book and allowed me to keep it as a goodwill gesture.
If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC (as far as I know Android or Windows only – sorry Apple users), you can download an app for free that allows you to download and read Kindle books. While, any book lover will tell you, the electronic counterparts are nothing in comparison to the physical act of opening and reading a real book, the smell that comes with the satisfaction of turning a real page, but if there’s a book you’re desperate to read you could download the Kindle version. They often have good sales on the Kindle books, I bought the Kindle version of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson for 99p! Check out; titles for under £2.99 or ‘Kindle Daily Deal‘.
I know W. H. Smith is a High Street store, however, they sometimes have a good deal where you buy a book then get another for a £1. What I want to suggest to you though is the ‘Great Value Book Bundles‘ they have on their website, there are a few options to chose from, all pot luck, you could get ’10 Bestselling Fiction Titles’ for £12.99 – that’s basically £1.29 per book – for a bestseller! Get one you’ve already got? Then donate or sell!
Lastly, borrow from the library! However, if your library is anything like mine, there will not be much choice. Just the usual classics (you can get a lot of these for free on Kindle – see above) and lots of reference books – not much good for the avid reader. You could borrow from friends, you could set up or join a group where you all swap books. Why don’t you advertise on your blog? s with the charity shops the books are all donated and the money will go to a good cause and you will get them for a fraction of the price, there may not be much choice though.
I thought I would share the books I have bought recently that have been added to the pile of, as yet, unread books;
- The Godfather, Mario Puzo – charity shop £1.50, very good condition
- Going Postal, Terry Pratchett – charity shop, 80p, good condition
- The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson – Kindle, 99p
- The Toyminator, Robert Rankin – new, amazon.co.uk from a seller, £2 + free delivery
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John Le Carré – new, amazon.co.uk from a seller, £1.85 + free delivery
- The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold – charity shop, £1, good condition
- A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess – charity shop, 80p, like new
I spent £8.94
RRP is £59.93
That’s a saving of £50.99 or 85%
That’s basically a weeks shop for my household!
How do you buy your books? Have I missed anything off?