How To

Being a Bookworm on a Budget

Olivia Páez

Staff Writer

Olivia Páez is a Cuban-American journalism major. When she’s not writing articles for her classes, you can probably find her devouring a novel or watching a classic film. Along with reading and watching films, she has a hodgepodge of interests. Some of them include writing, sketching, traveling, dressing up as some of her favorite characters, and caring for the environment.

Being a bookworm can be expensive between buying new releases, purchasing a sturdy bookshelf, investing in an ereader (if you enjoy digital books), etc. Avid readers can end up spending a decent amount of money, per year, on various book-related items, but never fear, there are ways to be a bookworm on a budget.

book buying budget

Used Bookstores are a Lifesaver

If you live near an independent bookstore that sells used or discounted novels, they can be an absolute treasure. Used bookstores often sell books at almost half the retail price and can help readers get novels at a cheaper price. Another alternative to find discounted novels are thrift stores, which may have hidden gems in their bookshelves and tend to sell them at a decent price.

There are also discounted websites that sell used books, as well, such as Book Outlet! Even big retail stores, like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, have a used book section, under listings which can help readers save some money when purchasing novels that need a second home.

Digital Books are Just as Good as Physical Books

A great way to save money is to read digitally! You don’t necessarily need an ereader, like a Kindle or Nook, in order to read ebooks. If you have a smartphone or laptop, you can download the Kindle or Nook app, for free, onto your devices and read novels from there.

Digital books also tend to have sales that lower the price of novels significantly, so be on the lookout for that, if you’re eager to read an ebook that you’re interested in.

Libraries are Important

If you live in a country or area with a library, they are a great way to read new or backlist novels without spending a dime. This is a great utility for bookworms to use if they want to try out novels that they aren’t sure about because it’s all free!

I also recently discovered Libby, an app provided by Overdrive, which some libraries use. This app allows you to borrow audiobooks and digital books from your library. You can borrow up to five novels at a time, and this has allowed me to try out new novels without making a dent in my bank account. If you aren’t sure whether your library has Overdrive, ask them!

And if you do live by a library, ask if they host library sales, as well. Every couple of months, my library hosts a sale where they sell used novels at a cheap price of one dollar per book. Library sales are incredibly underrated, and sometimes you can find gems there, too. Support your local library by checking out their sales, if they have them!

Patience is Everything

Most book are released as hardcovers, but over time, a paperback of the novel may be released, as well. Sometimes, if I know that I won’t get to that specific book immediately, I wait until the novel gets released in the paperback version because that tends to cut the price of a hardcover novel in half. Sometimes waiting will help you save a few bucks, in the end.

Another time where patience is needed is waiting for blessed holiday sales, if your country hosts them. Black Friday is the day where big bookstores have amazing sales and coupon deals, so waiting until the holiday season to haul a pile of novels can actually save you a lot of money.

Being a bookworm on a budget isn’t something to be ashamed about. Saving a few bucks, here and there, can help out a lot, so hopefully these tips help any bookworm hoping to limit their book buying budget, and if you have any other helpful tips, be sure to share it with others!