How To Buy Books

  1. Go to Bookstore (bricks-and-mortar or online).
  2. Pick Book.
  3. Exchange Cash or Credit for Book.


I kid, I kid!

This post will be mainly about how I buy books to stretch out my dollar as far as I can without going to an online store. I still like to touch the item before buying it, which means I end up spending more than I should, so I try to be as thrifty as I can. And if you’re insistent on owning the book like I am, you’ve probably noticed that reading can be a pretty expensive hobby.


Behold, my tips!

  • The key to buying anything that’s not brand new and from a main retailer is patience. If I can’t find the book straight away, I have to resist the urge to go racing to my nearest commercial store and having it ordered. It also requires sifting through a few duds before you find something that you want.
  • If you’re ok with the varying qualities then Second Hand Bookstores are a goldmine. On a side note, I love it when the book has some kind of personal message or a photo in it because it feels like it’s meant something to someone once.
  • And any charity sales too. The volunteers usually don’t price their stock more than $5 to encourage as much sales as they can. I once went to a fundraising sale where they handed out cardboard boxes at the front door because walking out with anything less than a stack made you the odd one out, everything was that cheap. The annoying thing about these is that you have to get there on the first day and quite early too as all the good stock will be taken, unless the organisers have had a huge donation and would bring out fresh stock as the day wore on.
  • Discount stores are also a treasure trove too if you don’t mind that some of the covers are no longer in print because they’ve been replaced by something fancier. Discount stores are usually treated by publishers as a dumping ground so you may see one copy of a book or a thousand copies, there’s no in between.
  • Any Pop-up store is also good value. And because the owner usually has a short lease on the spot, everything’s discounted aggressively to drive up purchases.
  • If you live in Australia, you might be familiar with Elizabeth’s Bookshop (they’re the ones responsible for the funny signs). I think they’re a little on the expensive side (some of the tatty Penguin novels still go for $10 when I can get a brand new one for the same price) but they usually have an interesting range.
  • If you’re really patient like I am, any book that has been made into a movie will eventually make it’s way to discount stores and the second hand pile. Generally the life cycle can take between six to twelve months, so it does mean that you miss out on trending topics.
  • The same goes for any top sellers (although I feel a bit skivvy when I see second hand Fifty Shades or Mill & Boon novels because any stain marks on these books will unnerve me).
  • If you’re more selective with the quality and less patient, try waiting for major retailers to have their specials, for example, I’ve noticed that Dymocks usually have their 3 for 2 special at the Financial Year and New Year Sales.
  • I never buy any Classics for more than $10, even if it’s brand new. Classics are the staple of Second-hand bookstores and Discount stores because like Mark Twain said “A classic is something everybody wants to have read, but no one wants to read”.
  • With that being said, I generally buy my non-fiction brand new and as they come out. I think it’s because non-fiction dates very easily and there’s a limited time frame that you can read them before they’re quickly replaced with a brand new theory.


How do you cut costs when reading? I love cost cutting tips in all its form so please feel free to share below in the comments!


On Another Note…

To be clear, to subsidise my spending, I never sell any of my old books. I don’t follow the “One in, One Out” Principle.


2 thoughts on “How To Buy Books

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