Tuesday, 7 March 2017

How To Buy Fewer Books

We’ve all been there: we’ve filled our hands at Waterstones with 3 for 2 offers, we’ve got a bit One-Click happy on Amazon, and we’ve pre-ordered books months in advance, forgetting about them all until that day they all appear on our doorstep. Suddenly, you have a TBR of owned books taller than you. It’s time to stage an intervention.

Months ago I put myself on a book-buying ban, and whilst it was slightly successful, going cold turkey was not the best option for me because it resulted in me binge-buying a ton of books. What I’m suggesting instead are tips on how to cut down on the books you buy, saving money and providing time to finish the books you own.

  1. Borrow from your library

I know not everyone has as easy access to a good library as I do, but if you do, I urge you to use it. Borrowing books from the library is like giving a book a test-run, and if you don’t like it, you haven’t spent your money or used up space on your bookshelf! Plus, you can help your library out by requesting books, particularly #ownvoices and diverse books which they might not know about - this way, you’re making a great book available to others who may need it.
Also! Some libraries have Overdrive, which is an online catalogue of ebooks and audiobooks which you can borrow anywhere in the world with your library card.

  1. Only buy books you’ve already read

Sometimes I just get the craving to go into a bookshop and buy a book (yay capitalism!). Now, if I get that craving, I usually buy a book that I’ve already read so that a) I know I liked it and b) I can start sharing it with all of my friends right away. It doesn’t make your TBR any bigger, but you benefit from having lovely shiny books to bookstagram to your heart’s desire.

  1. Buy secondhand!

I might be slightly biased here considering I work in a charity bookshop...

Secondhand books are usually about half the price of their RRP, if not cheaper, and if you go to the right shop you can find a lot of books which are in pristine condition. Like with libraries, by buying books at a charity bookshop you are automatically helping others too so it’s a win-win situation.

  1. Book swap with friends

This tip is twofold: acquire new books AND get rid of ones you don’t want. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure and all that. This is also a great opportunity to get together with friends and talk books!

Do you put yourself on book-buying bans? How successful do they turn out to be? Let me know by commenting below!
Happy reading,