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tips for spending less/nothing on books

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tips for spending less/nothing on books

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
10 replies 2.9K views
caroline1973leftycaroline1973lefty Forumite
332 posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
not sure if this post is in the right place so feel free to move!

It seems to me from the number of helpful threads about selling books, that there are a few people on here who might, like me, be book addicts, with more books than we need to keep! I can't quite bear to sell my books yet (particularly if i will be selling at a loss) but here are the steps i hope to take to reduce their expense - which might help someone else! be interested in any other tips from fellow book addicts trying to reduce their habit?

1. read the books i already have! (would keep me busy for months if not years)
2. always carry a nice book so that i don't 'have' to buy one when i'm travelling somewhere.
3. avoid bookshops (sooooo tempting....) and especially 3 for 2s which i never seem to read
4. if you do go in bookshops, read the books in the shop instead of buying them. particularly good for all those glossy lifestyle type books that don't have a lot of text you'll actually read. bookshops have kindly made life much easier to do this these days by providing comfy armchairs and coffee shops.
5. if you end up seeing a book that you really want to read at home, write it down in a notebook and then check if it is available in the library, or cheaper elsewhere, rather than buying on impulse.
6. (should be number one tip really) - use the library! :j Most are underused (use them or lose them) and often have surprisingly recent stock including all the best sellers. Often if they don't stock a book you want they will order it for you for a small fee, unless it is very obscure. for obscure stuff see if you can get a readers ticket for academic libraries.
7. A big help is your library's online service (usually accessed via your local council's website, try if you don't know where to start) - with mine, you can search the entire catalogue, reserve books, renew them, and order books, not just from other libraries in the same borough, but from 4 other boroughs too, for a nominal charge ie 60pence. As easy as buying them online! I just managed to find all of the books i was going to buy this way.
8. swap books with friends or on
9. if you just have to buy a book NOW try a charity shop or charity bookshop, many are very good for example you can find the oxfam bookshops on their website i think there are nearly 100. obviously jumble sales and car boots can be other fertile hunting grounds. though for me, buying books from charity bookshops is part of the problem!!
10. ebay might be the cheapest site if none of the above options hit the spot, (if it doesn't have it, and you can wait, then set up an alert email to be notified when it does get listed). amazon can be amazing for those really obscure books, greenmetropolis has the occasional bargain. for new purchases, i usually check amazon, tescos and bookpeople. the latter is good for those glossy lifestyle books (are you seeing a theme here?!)
11. lastly, set up a bookswap shelf at your workplace. this site has some useful tips

anyone got any other tips?
"The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed" - Ghandi


  • sandiebsandieb Forumite
    728 posts
    And there's also for selling buying books - priced £3.75 ish
  • do_it_today!do_it_today! Forumite
    786 posts
    Thanks for this! will check out the online site
    :j Where there is a will there is a way - there is a way and I will find it :j
  • OzzyfanOzzyfan Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    51 posts
    You could go hunting for books!
    A lot of towns also have bookcrossing drop off points which can make the books easier to locate :D

    Thanks for all the tips caroline, I find it hard to part with my books too!
    waiting for my 1st competition win... :smiley:

  • elonaelona Forumite
    11.8K posts
    Don't forget the new and used section on
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
  • what about car boot sales - books are so cheap here, especially the more glossy/hardback stuff
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • StormStorm Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Depending on what sort of books you're after some may be out there as e-books (especially those out of print)

    I don't do this but my mum does with a load of out of print stuff that costs minimum £30 each when they turn up for auction on Ebay - she actually prints them off, but you could just read them on the screen.

    Otherwise - look around on the web, people post all kinds of stuff, especially short stories
    Total Debt 13th Sept 2006 (exc student loan): £6240.06 :eek:
    O/D 1 [strike]£1250 [/strike]O/D 2 [strike]£100[/strike] Next a/c [strike]£313.55[/strike]@ 26.49% Mum [strike]£130[/strike] HSBC [strike]£4446.51[/strike]@15.75%[STRIKE]M&S £[email protected] 4.9%[/STRIKE]
    Total Debt 30th April 2008: £0 100% paid off!

  • Hi any students out there looking for cheap cook book inspiration to save them from a life of Pot Noodles (I don't need saving from Bombay Badboy mind you!!) should get the Women's Institute of 650 Favourite Recipes, I bought it recently on Amazon for £2.99. It's got recipes in it that you will find in Jamie Olivers books like Chicken Maryland, which is cool and easy to make, and allows you to get ****** while you wait for it to cook in the oven.

    What more can you ask for? I wish I had it while I was at college.
    Cheap is good but free is best!
  • nethesinethesi Forumite
    100 posts
    definately agree with the library suggestion. I joined one about a year ago and I an borrow 20 books at a time and in the unlikely event that I actually know hwat I want to borrow I can order it for 50p ish.

    Also lots of libraries have DVDs and games you can borrow for a week for a couple of pounds! Worth doing to chekc if you actually need to buy something!

  • I've recently converted my OH to using the library, especially on non-fictional reference books that he might use once then never need again. He likes having the shelves filled with books though so we often buy at car boots and I found a small goldmine of books that I wanted at the charity store recently.

    I also sometimes send my own cheaply bought books to my friend who lives 150miles away for her to read as we have similar tastes! She says she keeps meaning to return the favour with her own old books but hasn't got round to it yet...

    ETA: Just remembered my gym also has a book swap set up but it's quite a small place so is probably easier to manage there than most gyms!
  • looby75looby75 Forumite
    23.4K posts
    freecycle :D

    There is a longstanding arrangement on my local freecyle about swapping books. Seems to work really well.

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