How to Read on a Budget

Reading and a love of books does not have to cost you a fortune. I know the internet makes it seem like you have to have a massive library to be a book lover or book blogger, but that is just not true. Yes, I made a post a few weeks ago about how I recently bought a house big enough to contain a library, but I know not everyone is that fortunate, and most of my collection comes from secondhand sources. I rarely buy new, full price books and I often donate piles of books to charity every year, but that is not what this blog post is about. Reading on a budget. This is how to find all the books you can read for little to no money.

1. Libraries.

Stating the obvious I know, but did you know that many libraries now-a-days have their own apps? You can borrow ebooks and audiobooks entirely for free without even making time to visit the library itself. It saves both time and money. No worrying about returns either, the books simply disappear from your phone or tablet when your borrow time it up. They add new books regulary and some even take requests.

2. Youtube

You can find books on Youtube? Yes. Many classic novels are so old that copyright no longer applies to them so people regularly upload full audiobooks of them onto Youtube.

3. Secondhand Bookshops

I am stating the obvious again but I have a few tips for browsing secondhand bookshops, which I should probably make a separate post about. Firstly, make friends with the owner/manager/most regular member of staff. I am on first name basis with all of the managers and main members of staff in all of my local secondhand bookshops. It means that I can simply ask them if they have a specific book and sometimes they will even make a note of the title and author I am looking for so they can set the book aside for me if it comes in. Also, if you are looking for a classic novel, look at the beginning of the school summer holidays or in August. The start of the summer holidays is when students get rid of the books they no longer need, and August is when schools have a clean out before the start of the school year so you might end up with identical multiple copies in the shop. September is a horrible time to look for classic novels, so dont get your hopes up during that time of year.

4. Supermarkets

This applies mostly to the UK as I do not know the sort of things international supermarkets sell, but UK ones sell books. Larger Tesco and ASDA stores often have a section of their shop dedicated to books. The books they sell are usually the popular new releases, mostly crime fiction, some YA and lots of contemporary, but you will find the occasional gem in there. The best part is that they are almost always half price. Have a look next time you go grocery shopping, you might just find something.

5. Kindle/Ereader Online Stores

This is similar to the Youtube point. Ereaders like Kindle or Nook that have online shops that allow you to download books for your ereader often have classic novels available for free. This is due to the copyright rules due to them being older novels.


I hope this list of tips helps you find your next big read. If you have any of your own advice leave me a comment to let other readers and I know about it.

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One comment on “How to Read on a Budget

  1. […] How to Read on a Budget by Bernadette at Spine Cracker. This is a really great, comprehensive post on how to find free or inexpensive books. We all know I buy way too many books, but I definitely want to start taking advantage of free books (aka the library) and this was a great reminder. […]

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