Let's Talk: Books on a Budget

Let's Talk is a new semi-regular discussion post. This is where you can suggest a topic in the comments. I will select one that might be interesting to the book community and I'll create a post. Then you can get in the comments and join in the discussion! 

This week - Let's Talk... BOOKS ON A BUDGET.

I am quite open about my income. I don't mind people knowing that I was a child within a low income family, nor do I mind being open about the fact that I had a lot of money issues as a young adult. Finances have always been tight for me and books have never been a priority within the budget, even if they are a priority to me.

I have been reading for most of my life. I wouldn't say it was an escape because I had a very happy childhood, but I did love to spend time in different worlds. I adore stories and the characters within them. I am an introvert, and books are my happy place.

Of course, having little spare money meant that I had to find cheaper ways to find books.

  • Libraries.
    • Pros: The library has a good selection and it's FREE. I can always order a book through them if it is not on the shelf. I can return books that I don't like very much. 
    • Cons: I have to return the books that I do like and that hurts. It takes months for brand new releases to become available and even then they are likely to be on a waiting list. If they are I can only take them for a limited time. 
  • Charity Shops. 
    • Pros: Usually they have amazing sales on like 3 books for £1. I can return books that I don't like and don't forget helping charities is amazing. 
    • Cons: There isn't usually a lot of choice and honestly, most of the books are awful or in really bad condition.
  • Sales.
    • Pros: Cheap, brand new books and amazing deals. 
    • Cons: When I was younger they were very rare. As an adult, and with the rise of the internet, they still sometimes only happened when I didn't have any spare cash. 
  • E-books.
    • Pros: Lots of free and cheap options. Lots of sales and deals. 
    • Cons: As a child these did not exist. As an adult I don't have a kindle so I have to use my tablet, which hurts my eyes. Also navigating the free or cheap options is hard because so much of it is really bad.
None of these options gave me any access to the newest "must read" books. But they still gave me books and I am always grateful for that. 

Now cash is less tight and my OH encourages me to buy books when and if I want them. But after almost thirty years of buying books on a tight budget it is hard to break the habit. 

What do you do when you can't really afford new books?

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