Top 10 Dos and Don’ts of books on a budget.

Sign dollar and the books on scales. 3D image.Bit of a different top ten this time. hopefully this helps the rest of my Broke book-loving friends

10) Do make use of the library. it is FREE enough said. i am lucky enough that my library is great. it is HUGE. and has a fairly good range of books. so far the only downside to my library is they are yet to stock any New Adult books which are my favorites at the moment. just because you borrow a book from the library does not mean you can’t buy it. i look at the library as a great Try before you buy system and if you are like me and going through more than 4 books a week it can quickly save you a tone of money.

9) Don’t walk into bookstores. you are broke. you have no money. you can’t really afford to buy any books… there is no harm in window shopping? you will just browse?? you just want to check the prices??? NO avoid the siren call of the bookstore. nothing good can come out of walking into the arms of the beautiful creature waiting to drown you in debt.

8) Do  swap books with friends. so if for example i have 400 books on my shelves and you have 350 books on your shelf and John Smith over in the corner there has only 250 books on his shelves if we combine our collections all of a sudden we have 1000 books. sure we might have some doubles but the more people you are sharing books with the more variation you will have. this comes with the added bonus that you get recommendations. you are friends with these guys. chances are you will have some things in common.

7) Don’t  make friends with people who work in bookshops. i don’t care if they are nice, lovely wonderful, amazing, funny or any of those wonderful qualities you use to choose friends. They will be amazing at their jobs. they will have amazing recommend AMAZING books that you just HAVE to read and how are you to resist when the book is sitting right there in arms reach and what are a few dollars really going to hurt anyway right?

6) Do have a list we all have To-Read lists. I for one know my To-Read list is now longer than my Read list and growing longer everyday. but you need a second much shorter list a wishlist… or To-Buy list  most books on this list i hate to say must have been read already although there are a few exceptions. Books in a series that you have already bought (because you need the entire set), Books by your favorite Authors (i know i am going to love that new Snyder book so why wait),  books under $3 if a book you have been interested in reading shows up at an outrageously cheap price you would be a fool to decide to wait until after you read it and pay 3 times the price.

5) Don’t shop online without a specific book in mind. while checking prices online can be a great way of not only saving money (check out Fishpond for discounts for up to and over 50%) but also accessing books you may be unable to find in-store. it is dangerous to be able to shop at any time for as long as you like particularly when you can’t actually see quite how much you have bought. it is easy to get click happy (particularly with cheap books such as eBooks) and it adds up quickly. This tip probably works just as well in-store but when shopping in-store not only can you see just how much you are buying (if you can no longer carry it it is time to stop) and you are also better able to judge if you will like what you are buying. you can flick through it and see just how big the book is. while some online stores now offer those free samples (particularly of eBooks) not all of them do and it is hard to visualize just how big 386 pages is.

4) Do wait for sales and shop around. so the latest book in your favorite series has just come out and you race around looking for it because you need to have it NOW. but stop and think do you really need it the day it is released? buying a book the day it is released generally leaves you with only a few options of where to get it. the evil wonderfulness that is a book shop. most book stores will charge you the RRP which is often at LEAST $20-$30 now this may not seem much to pay for the next installment of a great story but if you wait a week or so department stores will start getting them as well usually at a reduced price. i made this mistake only this week going on a spending spree at Dymocks totaling nearly $100 only to see the books pop up at Big W the next day at nearly half the price and i had yet to even start reading any of these books. if you are determined to buy a book waiting a few days or so (until you are ready to read it) can save you a bucket-load… and if money is not your thing just imagine all the extra books you could buy

3) Don’t buy books because they are on sale. we have all done it seen a book that while only mildly interested us we have snatched up because it was 10, 20, 30% off. because hey it’s cheap if we don’t like it at least we didn’t pay full price. but the question is did you really want it? and could you really afford it? the answer is usually NO. only 2 days after spending all that money in Dymocks i get an Email from them telling me of a sale i get any 1 full priced book for 30% off “hmmm” i thought to myself ” well i can’t miss this” and raced myself down to the store and browsed through the collection to pick my 30% off book now i am smart so i figured i would outsmart them and buy the most expensive book that i wanted in order to save more money… (yes i also had to spend more) now the only problem was i found 2 equally expensive books that i wanted to buy and i could not choose which one i wanted… so i bought both… Yes the bookshop won. moral of the story. Sales are the shops way of making you spend MORE. sure take advantage of them but don’t go shopping just because there is a sale.

2) Do create a budget. this is one of my favorite tricks on this list at the beginning of the year i started putting at least $10 a week into a bank account i use only for books. now while that isn’t much (when you consider how many books i buy) by putting away money i am controlling my spending and i get used to missing that money out of my day to day expenses. the best part is that you are still allowed to buy books. and trust me when you are working on a budget you will be more clever with what you buy. i know there are books coming out that i will want to buy so i may save my money for a few weeks so i can buy them when they come out.

1) Don’t be afraid to try eBooks. until i got my eReader (i use a kobo) for Christmas i was firmly in the belief that they were evil. now that i have one i must admit i have fallen a little bit in love with my guilty pleasure. not only are eBooks often cheaper than hard copies (not that i have yet to pay for an eBook) but so many books are not available in print, so i actually have more to read. plus there are so many free eBooks available both through the regular stores for classics to copies given out buy authors for free merely for a review.

* I may or may not follow my own advice


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