It was too much for one post, so I broke my bookish happiness into two. Part 1 was how to make time, part 2 is about affording it.
When I really get in a reading mood, I can blaze through a book or two a week. At $10-15 each, books can add up. Honestly, that’s just not an option. Here is how I keep my hunger for books fed and affordable:
The obvious first choice is the library. Any book you could possibly want to read can be found there.
Holds – If your library doesn’t have the book checked in that you want, request a hold and they will call or email you when it comes in.
Inter Library Loan – If you have a small library with a smaller collection, you can use an inter-library loan. Usually it’s free and you can get your book in a short time with no cost. Some restrictions may apply–like not being able to renew it. But for the most part, it functions just like you checked it out from your own library.
Audio books – The Ames Library is really wonderful because on top of their extensive collection of audio books on CD. They also subscribe to Wilbor and NetLibrary. I can almost always find the book I want. I also like that I can check things out from home. On busy days can get an audio book without adding an extra errand.
When I find a book I love, I am now turning to the Paperback Swap. I’ve heard about this so many times, but it was only with the impending move that I finally decided to list some books and give it a try. I’ve already sent out two books and two books I want are on their way to me! The whole thing is free. You can purchase credits though if you don’t have a lot of books you want to swap.
You get 2 credits when you list your first 10 books. They make this process surprisingly easy, you plug in the ISBN, confirm the details, and list it.
1 credit = 1 book; 2 credits = 1 audio book
You can search for books and “order” them or no one has one listed you can get on the waiting list for one.
You receive a request for a book and have 48 hours to respond whether you can send it out in 2 days. Then you have 2 days to get it in the mail. For a small fee, you can get shipping confirmation–which allows you get your credits as soon as the postman scans the book.
For every book you send out, you get 1 credit.
For me, I’ve been trying to pare down my library to a more manageable level. The paperback swap has allowed me to get rid of books I don’t think I’ll reread while acquiring no more than the number of books I send out.
And I’m setting a limit on it. I could see how I could have books listed and sitting in a box that no one wants. I’m giving it a 1 month term, then they all get donated to the library book sale. Hopefully over time, my overall book count will go down. I’m trying to own things I really truly love. No more “meh” possessions unless they are utilitarian.
You can see the books I have for swap here. I’ll be adding some craft books soon too.
I’m probably the kind of person Borders really hates. I signed up for their mailing list and when they send out their 30 and 40% off coupons, that’s when I take a trip to the bookstore. I’ll grab some tea from the cafe and buy books off my list. Sometimes I just can’t find the books I want on Paperback swap and I want to include them in my library.
Keeping a Booklist
I’ve found that it’s a good idea to keep a list of books I’ve checked out from the library. When I do go to Borders, or get a new book credit on Paperback Swap, I know just what to pick out. Just last weekend, I didn’t have my list, and guess what? I could not for the life of me find a book I wanted to take home with me. No worries, next time I’ll be ready with list in hand.
How do you save money on books? What’s the best way to feed your reading habit?
And again, what is your recommended read for me? Some of the books I’ve recently enjoyed: “Life of Pi,” “Survivor: a novel,” “The Alchemist,” “The Glass House,” “Devil in the White City”
Now that I’ve fully shared my love of books with you, how I find time and find the money, I’ll get back to crafting in tomorrow’s post. I hope you don’t mind this detour too much!