SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME.I am a huge book hoarder. A quick calculation based on the amount of books I read last year tells me that with the amount sat unread on my shelves, I don't need to buy another book until 2017. Does that stop me, though? Never.
I invest a lot in my collection but at the same time try to keep a balance between the 'experience' of buying a book (more on that in a bit, but let's face it....it's a big part!) and getting my money's worth. So where do I get my books from?
The library | Let's start with the most thrifty way of accessing books - through your local library. They're free to join and many offer a transfer service from other libraries in the borough if a book you want isn't available at your local one. I love that you can walk into a library anywhere and enter a safe haven of books; there's a real sense of community, peace and sanctity inside a library, and before I started regularly buying books I would visit the library once a month on 'Library Tuesday' when they were open late and come home with a random selection of books. That's the other beauty of a library - when you're not committing your cold hard cash to something it's far easier to be experimental with your reading tastes and try out new authors and genres.
Bookshops | One of my favourite places to be and the one where you get the aforementioned 'experience' of buying books...if you get a good one! I recently visited Kew and found myself in the loveliest independent bookshop where it felt like every book was really thought about and carefully chosen. On a bigger scale, Waterstones tend to crop up everywhere and I regularly find myself wandering aimlessly amongst the shelves for a good while before getting sucked in to their "buy one get one half price" offers. Buying books from bookshops can be expensive, so I'm always looking out for ways to show support yet save a bit of money. Waterstones offer a points reward system, as well as a stamp card where you earn a stamp for every £10 spent (easily done!) and once you've reached 10 stamps you get £10 to spend. It's scary how quickly I rack up those stamps! Another way to save a bit is to check Waterstones' prices online - if a book's cheaper on the website you can choose to click and collect it in store where you'll still pay the online price. Usually they'll have the book reserved for you within an hour or so, so it's worth doing! I've saved quite a bit doing my book shopping this way, although it doesn't seem to be the case that online prices are any lower at the moment.
Online | As with most things, you can get a much lower price for books online. Websites like Wordery or The Book Depository are my favourite for finding a bargain and if you keep your eyes peeled for discount codes you'll save a little bit more. Both offer free delivery on millions of books including new releases.
Supermarkets | You won't get the enjoyment of exploring the books, but you'll definitely save some money if you buy them during the weekly shop. For starters, I always feel like it's guilt-free if you pick up a book whilst doing the food shopping! Paperbacks tend to be around £4 for a current release and there are always offers on to help you get more for your money. Hardbacks are much cheaper too, and older releases often have an even lower price.
Charity shops | Charity shop hauling is one of mine and Lizzie's favourite things to do. Armed with a list of books to look out for, we love heading to local towns and villages to trawl through the charity shops and find some bargains....have a look at this video to see what I bought last time! Prices can vary, so if you're somewhere with lots of charity shops be sure to check them all out to find the best price. In many cases the same titles crop up over and over, so you're bound to find it in multiple shops. The quality of the books can also differ, but if you're willing to overlook bent corners or broken spines you might get yourself a new book to read for next to nothing.
Amazon | Amazon is kind of my last resort when it comes to buying books. I've got a kindle, so if it's a book that I'm not sure about or just fancy on a whim I'll quite often check the kindle price to see if it'd be more sensible to buy through there. If there's only a couple of £££ difference I'll always buy it as a paperback, but it's worth doing if you're really trying to be careful with your money. One thing that's great about the kindle (beside being able to read it in the dark!) is the option to download a free sample to see how you get on with the first chapter or so. I would have saved myself a lot of money had I done this for all of the books I've bought but never gotten into!
Have I missed anything? Let me know where you get your books from!