We’re all readers here. We’ve all watched with dread as, over the years, book prices have slowly been creeping up. There’s no denying it: books are expensive, and I know that in areas outside the UK they can be even more so. And reading can be a very active hobby, with all the book conventions and merch. It’s almost a sort of lifestyle. A lifestyle I am very invested in emotionally.
Before I start, I think it’s important to note that I understand how great it is to be able to support the authors you love. However, there are other ways that you can show your love for a book, for example if you’re a blogger, writing a nice review is not only good publicity, but also really lovely for the author! So if you are looking for some ways to make reading a less expensive hobby, here are some suggestions for both readers and bloggers.
Ever feel stuck when people ask what you want for your birthday or Christmas? The answer: vouchers. It always becomes quite tricky when you have to choose a book for a book-lover, but this kind of solves the problem. I don’t just mean National Book Tokens or WHSmith vouchers – using Amazon vouchers means you can acquire books without even leaving the house! At my school, we get rewarded for various things with book vouchers at the end of the year, and it is probably the best thing about my school.
If you’re an avid reader, I would strongly recommend getting a kindle. Whilst nothing beats having an actual physical book to read, kindles are much more portable as you can store so many books in one place (this is especially useful if you are going on holiday and you get through books quite quickly). Obviously, if there is little or no price difference between the kindle and paperback of a book, probably just buy the paperback, however a lot of the time an eBook form of a book is around half the price. If you are keen to read on a kindle, my advice would be to keep an eye out for sales, as there are frequently discounted eBooks to be found on kindle.
These tend not to be books that have been released really recently, although you never know! I wouldn’t go into a charity shop looking for a specific book, as it’s quite unlikely you will find it. However, I think that if you are walking past a charity shop, it is definitely worth going in and having a look at the book shelves, as you will discover some amazing books (at really great prices).
NetGalley is an online platform, and another totally legitimate place to read books. Now, I do not use NetGalley, one of the reasons being that I am under 18, and you must be at least 18 to use this service. However, I have looked at the website, and it states that the site is for ‘anyone who reads and reviews books’ – meaning that if you are a blogger, and there is a book you are just desperate to read and review, it is possible to request it on NetGalley and read it as an eBook. I do not know the finer details of how this website works, but I think it looks like a great idea, and it is used by many other bloggers (it also allows you to give back to the author and publisher of a book by writing a review). To find out more just click here.
This seems like such an obvious suggestion, but sometimes it seems as if nobody goes to the library anymore. I have friends whose parents will buy them books whenever they ask, because they do it so infrequently, but between my sister and I, if every time we wanted something new to read our parents went out and bought some, over the last 15 years or so we probably would’ve bankrupted our family. So as a child I grew to rely heavily on my local library to provide me with books on a regular basis, and I still believe that. Although, it is true that if you are looking for very recent releases, libraries aren’t always going to have a copy.
As is the case with literally everything, there is also the option of buying books second-hand online, for example off of eBay, although I have never done this, and would personally feel quite wary doing so (because I don’t think I could handle the disappointment of having a second-hand book that had been ripped or something similar).
Ultimately, nothing beats waltzing into Waterstones, and leaving with a stack of beautiful books. But hopefully these suggestions have been of some use to you, and if you have any tips of your own please feel free to share!