I know this is a little late, but I've made myself take some time to write up this post. Our topic his week is about reading on a budget. I'll first outline when (and where) I do spend money on books and when I don't.
A lot of times, when I go to a signing, I'll buy the book(s) there (although, if it's at a Barnes & Noble, I usually buy it beforehand). I know that, without the sales they bring in from the great signings, that they might no longer be able to host them if everyone bought the book before the signing from a different seller like Amazon or B&N. Ill also buy books if they're in the bargain section of B&N or I have a coupon from them, and even then I usually only buy a paperback.
The truth is, I don't spend a lot of money on books. I've spent a decent amount of money recently on books because of all the book festivals I've gone to, but that's a rare occurrence that I hit three festivals within a couple months of each other. And if I do buy books, I always go for the cheaper price, which is usually on Amazon. I know, I know, but it's also because the closest independent book store to me is forty-five minutes away depending on LA traffic. I don't have the time or the money to trek out there just to shop for books, and then end up spending more money that I just don't have.
The other reason I end up not spending a lot of money on books is because I receive a lot of what I want to read for review. Yes, that's a cop out, and if I absolutely LOVE a book, then I will eventually buy it, probably when it comes out in paperback. The fact is that I just don't have the money to spend on all the books I want to read. Having a review copy not only gives me an opportunity to read a book that I might not have bought because I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not, but it also helps out the publishers to find out what us "professional" readers like.
So, what can you do to spend less money on books?
- Buy ebooks. I myself love the feel of turning the page, and taking in that smell of a new book. But I also can appreciate that ebooks are just cheaper. So if you're trying to stay on a budget with your reading and you're burning through books, consider buying ebooks. If you love it, then you can buy the real thing. I also would be bored out of my mind if I didn't have my Kindle for my upcoming trip to Europe. They can store so many books that I know I'll never get bored!
- Get recommendations from your trusted reader-friends. I feel like this can really cut down on the amount of books you buy. I'm sure you have some people you trust to give you advice on what books to buy (even if you only communicate with those friends on Goodreads, they still know your reading tastes better than a non-reading friend), and they'll tell you if they've read the book and how they felt about it. That's why I started this blog, for people to take my recommendations seriously.
- Check out books from the library. I already feel bad enough that I don't go to my own local library (the school one doesn't count, especially if I'm only there to study), but it's an awesome way to rent a book. And if you don't like it, you won't have wasted any money. If you do, you can feed the book publishing industry some much-needed dough.
- Look for ebook sales, not only on the websites of whatever device you have, but also on authors websites and Facebook pages. A lot of times, an author will let you know when one of their books are going on sale, a price set by the publisher for a limited time. There's also a free ebook section on Amazon, and most classics are usually free as well.
How do you read on a budget? Let me know in the comments!