So, in the past six months, I’ve expanded my home library significantly. From a mere 10 paperbacks, I’ve added over 300 titles to my collection.
And if you know me, you might be tired of all my bragging about it.
But if you’re not tired, chances are that you’re curious about something. And my guess is that it’s the same thing as I’ve been repeatedly asked about in the past six months:
How do you get your books?
Isn’t shipping expensive?
How do you afford it?
So this is me, giving away all my book buying secrets. This will be a small series of Blogposts, since I want to give the online sellers (amazon, book depository, marketplace and awesomebooks) their own post. If you were looking for tips and tricks on that, I’m sorry to disappoint you. But fret not, it’ll come soon!
1. Buy books while travelling.
If you’re one of the lucky people who get to see the world, then make it a habit to look out for bargains in bookstores in other countries. Even if you live in the US there’s a big chance you’d be surprised at something found in Ireland.
When I was in Ireland, I spent a lot of time inside Easons, and I’m fairly sure that I bought the four books on the picture above, for less than 10£.
There are plenty of reasons why it would be a good idea to browse through foreign bookstores.
– You might notice books that you’ve never heard of before. Of course, there might be far between them, but don’t give up.
– You save on shipping.
– You save on VAT, but remember to look up the rules for import to avoid extra charges when you travel home.
But don’t worry, even if you don’t travel much, there’s still plenty of ways to appease your hunger for books, without crushing your budget.
2. Buy Local
This one is a no-brainer. If you’re looking for English books, and you don’t know where to begin—then I suggest your local bookstore.
Most bookstores have a small section for foreign language books. And if they don’t, they can always order it home for you.
I don’t know how things works in other countries, but here in Denmark, a translated book can easily cost around 30£ to buy. Whereas a book in the original language (English) might range between 5£ to 15£.
The truly great bargains are usually found in the physical stores, though (unless you live in UK or US, of course).
While it’s convenient to buy online, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll end up paying full prize. However, when a local store is overstocked, they tend to sell books insanely cheap. (Online stores do this too, but there’s still the postage to deal with.)
It might take a while to find the gems hiding at 1£ or 2£, but it’s well worth it.
3. Thrift stores and local secondhand stores.
If you don’t mind used books, there are lots of money to save buying from secondhand stores. The two above piles where bought in two different secondhand shops, and in total, I paid less than 10£ for each pile. (I believe it was around 7£ for each stack)
The downside of buying secondhand books is that they can be worn out. Unless the store actually takes some pride in their sorting work, it can also be hard to sift through to find the really good books.
Over the last two months, I’ve been searching for a bunch of secondhand stores, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a few that actually sort them by language. All in pristine condition.
4. Buy Used Library Books.
Unfortunately I don’t have a picture for this, because I haven’t actually been to a library sale yet. (It’s next week). But from past experiences, I can say that you can find some insanely good bargains there. Again, the books are worn. And perhaps more than just a bit since they’re being sold on. However, they’re really cheap. I’ll make sure to snap a picture if I find something next week.
So, that’s the first post. This was mostly what you could do to find bargains in physical stores.
The next blog will be about the online sellers I’ve tried. I don’t know yet if I’ll get to all three in one post, since that depends on the length of the post.
Where do you find the greatest deals in physical bookstores? Feel free to share your experiences.