GUYS, it’s time for a reality check. Over the last few months, I’ve been spending anywhere from $80 to $150 CAD per month on books. To put this in perspective, the only other bigger spenders on my budget are rent and food. I pay more for books than I do for my car insurance, pole dancing membership, and Internet. Seriously.
As much as I believe in enriching the brain as well as our bodies, there must be a way to read voraciously without breaking the bank. Here are some of the things that I’ve brainstormed:
1. Go to the library.
To be honest, I don’t think the library is used enough! Previously, I’ve denounced the library because:
a) It’s far and I… just don’t want to walk/drive there.
b) I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks because, well, life gets busy and there isn’t always time to sit down with a book!
c) I want to read books that are recently released. Libraries only have old books.
NEWSFLASH YOU GUYS! If your library has OverDrive, you can also get eBooks and audiobooks. And if you don’t have the time to visit your library in person, you can actually download these from your phone!
Also, some libraries have an AMAZING selection, both old and new! For example, when I signed up for OverDrive, I found out that my library actually has an audiobook copy of They Both Died At The End (which was, like, just released 2 weeks ago), my soul screamed in happiness, and I snatched it up shamelessly 🙂
This is for those who love the experience of reading books and don’t mind not actually having the book to keep.
2. Buy used books.
I absolutely love used books. Firstly, they are CHEAP. And I’m a cheapskate at heart 🙂 Finding the right book does require some digging, since used book stores are usually not as organized as your conventional bookstore. But hey- isn’t that part of the fun?
Whether old or new, you are reading the same words and the same story 🙂
This is for those who love the experience of reading physical books and don’t mind the old-book smell and the occasional coffee stain.
3. Reread old goodies.
Do you have old favourites on your bookshelf that you haven’t touched in ages? Better yet, do you have the memory of a goldfish (like me) and barely remember any books that you’ve read more than a month ago?
IF SO, maybe it is time to reread some of those books that you used to love. The economist in me rationalizes that you will be getting the most bang out of your buck if you read a book two, three, or four times, rather than just once.
This is for all bookworms who do not have a photographic memory 🙂
4. Do not buy books. (Aka. Book-buying ban)
[Cue scary music]
A book-buying ban is not for the faint of heart. It is one of those things that are easily said, but difficult to do.
Personally, it has not worked well for me: I equate it to being on a strict diet where I cut out only my favourite food in the universe. I do well on this diet for a week, maybe two weeks, maybe even three. But then I decide the world is unfair and go on a book-buying binge :’)
This is for those who have willpower and discipline.
5. Take advantage of sales.
If the time is right, there might be a sale at your bookstore or online retailer! Audible, for example, occasionally have $5 sales or 2 for 1 sales, both of which are good deals!
On the flip side: sales can lead to overspending if you buy books that you never intended to buy in the first place!
This is for those who love books but can resist over-spending.
6. Create a budget.
In recent years (due to a thing called adulting), I started creating a spreadsheet for my earnings and spendings each month, and it made a world of difference to me. I definitely won’t get into technicalities here, because entire blog posts (and websites! and books!) have been dedicated to this subject. But in short, we want to answer these questions:
a) How much do I earn each month?
b) How much do I spend each month on essential needs? (Ie. food, electricity, room over our heads)*
c) How much do I want to save each month? (For a house! or a car! or a vacation!)
d) How much spending can I allow on books each month?
*As much as we would like to think so, and I hate to have to say this, but for the sake of this blog post and this blog post only: Books are not essential needs.
This is for those who need to meet #adulting demands and believe in the power of spreadsheets.