Book Review

How Books Made Me A Better Shopper

The year is 2007, I have a Barnes & Noble Membership, with the member’s discount I pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and life couldn’t be better. I had no concept of the money my Mother spent on me in those years of youthful ignorance, especially on books. I loved Manga, and Manga did not love my Mother at $9.99 a volume, not including tax.

Now, there is no shame in buying new books, of walking into a Barnes & Noble or Waterstones, grabbing what you want and checking out with it gripped in your hands like a coveted prize! I still do this when the fancy takes me, but the fact of the matter is that I have to be more frugal if I would like to keep up my book purchases.

Enter in my years of undergrad and being utterly horrified at textbook costs and constantly poor. Now City of Bones certainly didn’t cost Mom three to five hundred dollars, but I realized that I couldn’t afford the luxury of buying new books. I relied heavily on the library more than ever during that period, and I still do, on average I go to the library once a week and have been for about five years.

One day though, I entered my first Goodwill (before I knew their sadly deplorable views) and I realized I could indeed afford books again! They were cheap, usually in pretty good condition and just there for the taking.

Eventually, I branched out to buy at Half Price Books and the best one of all, the little store inside my library’s main entrance. I was buying books I had wanted for years, snatching them up for a couple of dollars (these days for me it’s in pounds instead of dollars) and if it was something that I knew I wouldn’t read again, I got to donate back to the library I used so often, so my money and books kept going back to it and that was important to me.

These days I’m no longer near that library or its dear little store, I’m across the pond but our library here as a small shelf to buy books, and as a family, we go often down the High Street to do our ‘Charity Shop Finds’ that I’ve now taken to blogging about. We also utilize eBay and Amazon of course, mostly still buying used. There’s three of us to buy books for and we have to be mindful of our spending in our case. Recently I purchased a history encyclopedia for my Mini-me and it was 2 quid (about 2.56 in dollars) and free shipping via eBay; where our main seller we purchase from is bookstores that promote literacy here in the UK.

And it’s not only books we save money on, but we’ve also taken buying smarter with other things too thanks to books! Toys, games, clothes, you get the picture.

Let me make it clear though that if I can afford it and it’s a new upcoming author, I buy new/pre-order but I’m in a financial situation that dictates I don’t always have that choice. And I would never ever ever ever [you get the point] judge someone for only buying new or buying a billion books a month, it’s none of my business how other people spend their dough lol.



By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

8 replies on “How Books Made Me A Better Shopper”

100% YES. Things change as you have to spend your own money, that is for sure. And at the pace I read, no way could I buy them all. But I like to support the local libraries – I don’t want to see them become a thing of the past. So I definitely borrow more than I buy.

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Yes, entirely this! I have a weird system now where I’ll read a book from a library and then if I love it, I go out and buy it. It’s really helped cut down on the excess books and also the anxiety of buying a book that’s so expensive that I may not enjoy.

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yes to all of this! in the end, if your book collection makes you happy and doesn’t break the bank, that’s really the only thing that matters 💖

my parents were both avid readers (my dad still is, my mom’s getting back into it after changing to a lighter work schedule) so while I had lots of books as a kid, I have a strong appreciation for a well-cultivated personal library of favorites. my bookshelves at home include a lot of books that I was gifted but don’t love – which I’ll probably donate, most likely to the local library, when I get around to cleaning them out! there are so many places to give or get books, and I love it.

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I am all for reading books however it works best for you! I also had massive textbook sticker shock, and as a result of that I got used to just buying everything I wanted used on Abebooks or Better World Books (granted I wasn’t reading new releases really until 2 years ago). Now that I have a career and am at a place in my life to splurge, I do buy most of my books new because my collection makes me really happy! I am pretty frugal in all other areas to afford to spend a bit more on books, but I definitely know I wasn’t in this position 2 years ago and recognize how fortunate I am. Great post!

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Yes to this! I go to the library every other week to find books and buy books the odd time in charity shops. I only really pay for full price book if it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for ages or if I have a gift card. I’m the same with clothes.

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