One of the first things that we do as readers is to develop habits around discovering books. Think back to before there was #bookstagram or Booktube and picture where you would discover most of your next reads.
I remember getting my first library card as a kid and having my mom take us to get books all of the time. I would wander the shelves, pick one out, then immediately start it on the way home. A week or so later we would be back for the next round.
As I got older, my family started making trips to Barnes & Noble, where my dad could browse the financial section, my mom could look through magazines, and I could get lost in stacks of whatever genre I felt drawn to. I would often wander over to the magazine section later with a stack of 3 or 4 books. Of course, my parents always encouraged me to only buy what I would read, but I simply made the argument that I would read all of them and then come back once I had finished.
Today, I have bills and budgets… but my thirst for reading will never be quenched. This means discovering new and more financially-savvy ways to accommodate the habit. So, I thought I would share some of my favorite book buying tips.
You should know that I have many quirks… One of which is that I really don’t like borrowing from friends, nor do I like borrowing from the library any longer. I’m the product of a Beauty and the Beast generation, in which I dream of my own library filled with stories. I want my kids to be born into a life filled with books, and when better than to start building that library than now.
I make this comment as a PSA for those who love to borrow. This may not be an article for you, but nonetheless, this will have some interesting tips.
And now that I’ve said my piece, on we go!
Let’s start with where I find myself buying books most often…
Amazon Prime | www.amazon.com
I once asked a few friends how they organize the books that they want to read. I was having a hard time accurately documenting books for my TBR list and wanted to know what other people did. Then, someone suggested using the Amazon app and scanning the bar codes on the backs of books to immediately get pricing and add it to your list. This seemed like a good plan, so I tried it.
I’m now obsessed with my Amazon app, and I am constantly using my Amazon Prime account for free shipping and quick delivery.
So lets talk Amazon (and maybe getting a Prime account)…
- Amazon’s application has a camera feature built in so that you can easily scan the bar codes on books and immediately find the best pricing options.
- Organization is made simple with the ability to pre-create wish lists and add to them right from the pricing page. You can also share these wish lists very easily (*cough* easy birthday present ideas *cough*)
- If you purchase a book off of your wish list, the book is then automatically removed so that you don’t get a double by mistake.
- Amazon Prime membership… really, that’s enough said, but for those of you who do not have it — you should get it. Basically, even faster delivery for no cost at all. There are even added benefits of movies and tv shows, but I just use it for faster delivery.
- This only saves books within your Amazon account. There is no easy share list to make sure that Goodreads or Facebook, etc. is up to date. (Not that it really matters, but it might be nice)
- It is much more difficult to find special editions. You would need to know the ISBN or other details to specify.
Book Outlet | www.bookoutlet.com
I discovered this company through #bookstagram and Booktube. I was watching reviews and looking through photos, and there were so many people who were discussing the deals that they had found. I ended up popping over and getting a huge haul on my first visit because there were so many titles that I had on my TBR list at ridiculously low prices.
- The most obvious…. AMAZING book prices.
- They also have quick shipment times, and their customer service is great.
- The selection is very in tune with what is currently popular in Young Adult, but they also have a large variety of genres.
- You can get even more discounts if you share their website with friends.
- Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find signed copies by the author.
- The selection is limited to what Book Outlet has in stock at the moment. It’s not an endless collection of titles.
- They update their selections often, which can mean a high turnover rate on a really popular book. Basically, it is possible to miss out on these deals.
- Almost all books have a marking on them somewhere, mostly because of stock purposes (I think…), and sometimes the Scratch/Dent copies aren’t in great condition. **Though this should in no way detract from purchasing from them because the prices make up for it
Book Depository | www.bookdepository.com
When I first discovered #bookstagram, I quickly became obsessed with the idea of bookmarks. Prior to this, I basically used bookstore receipts. But seeing all of those lovely bookmarks made me
wish I actually had one.
Then I saw someone post a photo with a really unique looking bookmark. The shape and materials were standard, but the print was GORGEOUS. So, I made a comment asking where it was from. Turns out… EVERY book that you purchase from Book Depository, no matter how many in each shipment, gets a bookmark with it. How cool is that?
Plus! When you order from Book Depository you can find really great deals, some even better than Amazon. So, lets get started with the pros and cons…
- UK editions with BEAUTIFUL covers… This is where I was able to find the Throne of Glass covers in white!
- Each book is usually sold at its best price, sometimes even beating Amazon.
- Free shipping for anywhere that Book Depository ships to. FREE SHIPPING!!! What?!
- Excellent customer service. One time I had a book lost in the mail so I had to contact their customer service, and within the day they had another copy sent out.
- I live in the United States, so shipping does take some time.
- It is a UK based company, so their selection does differ from titles that we see in the United States. However, that can also mean really unique titles that you can’t find here yet.
In the end, the only time I buy anything from the book store itself is if I’m in a compulsive
buying kind of mood, which only happens when I don’t want to wait for overnight shipping or if I’ve had a really bad day….
if there is a new book release! I know which Barnes & Noble gets the least amount of traffic in Los Angeles but is big enough to have a hefty stock of large fanfare titles, which means that I never really pre-order.
Hopefully this helps.
I just wanted to share some little finds that I’ve discovered over the past few months. Always keep an eye out for good deals (like emails from Book Outlet, or Prime Day on Amazon).
And, as always, keep on reading!