I absolutely love to read. I don’t, however, love the prices of the best-selling novels. Trying to choke down the prices at large chain bookstores is just too much to bear in this economy. Here are some alternatives to paying big bucks for good lit, all while staying current.
Get Creative With Your Book Club
In my book club, we establish our book list for the year in June and begin our meetings in September. We do this for two reasons: one, people read more in the summer and two, if we set up the book list that far in advance, we have time to get creative with how we get our books.
One idea for saving money on books is for each person in the book club to buy one copy of a book (12 months, 12 members, 12 books) and then rotate the books around until everyone has read them. This takes some organization and structure, but it is doable. Another idea is to put all of your books on the wait list at your local library and read them as they come in. Our local library charges fifty cents for holding a new book for you. Not bad when you compare that to the charge of buying a book. A third alternative is to advertise on your social media websites. You would be surprised how many responses you will get to a post that says, “Hey Locals: Does anyone have a copy of the book __________ that I could borrow?” Finally, try book-swapping. On sites like Goodreads.com you trade books with other readers; you just pay the shipping.
The Future Of E-Books
As an English teacher, I may have been one of the last remaining hold outs against ebooks. However, once I gave in and tried it, I was hooked. Buying ebooks costs less than actual paper books. Couple that with online discounts, and you can save a bundle. Also, many libraries are now loaning ebooks. If you are into the classics, or your book club throws in a classic once and a while to make y’all feel “scholarly,” keep in mind that most classics are available online for free due to copyright expirations.
The Gift Of A Good Read
Another money saver is allowing others to buy books for you. In lieu of gifts, ask for books or gift cards to bookstores. You can share your wish lists of books on your blogs or social media sites for people to peruse during birthday and holiday seasons. Another fun idea is hosting a book swap. If your friends or family members are avid readers like you, make your next gathering a book-trading event. Rummage through your collections and bring books that you are willing to trade or loan. Everyone can set up a table of their favorite literature and then guests walk around and pick out what they want to read. You can always add stipulations to the party rules such as, books must be current, or books much be enjoyable reads that are recommended, etc.
By adding a little time, energy, and research into how you obtain your books, you can become not only rich in mind but also rich in wallet. Read on and save on, my literary super-savers!