Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Friday Questions > Question #25: Priorities

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message 1: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) With the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, etc) how do books fit into your budget?

Do you strictly check out books from the library? Do you only purchase used books? Is there a website you could share that you get good deals on books?

That's more than one question, huh? I, personally, am trying to find creative ways to save money on books but still support my addiction. I thought I would get the opinions of you fine bibliophiles.

Have a great weekend :)

message 2: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia (cissygold) I am lucky that I have a large group of friends who read. We are always borrowing books from each other. This keeps down the cost. I have also participated in a book swap. Basically it was kind of like a chain letter with books. I sent one book to someone and my friends' name to 10 of my friends and they in return sent my name to 10 of their friends. I think I got a total of 25 books, most I had not read all I enjoyed.

Also, my book club does a summer "beach read swap" that is good for another 3 or 4 extra books.

Finally, or library has a program where people give them books and the library resells them for $1.00.

message 3: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments I am a library addict. Sometimes I have big fines and the librarians tease me about the wings they will build onto the library named for me. But I figure it's cheaper than a trip to the book store which I can't seem to do for less than $50. Also, the fines I pay help support the system.

message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments I'm trying really hard to use the library. Sometimes, our library doesn't have books and it's actually more cost effective to purchase the book instead of paying for interlibrary loan and waiting so long. I'll admit that I'm more willing to let my kids buy books than I am to buy them myself--hoping to instill a love of literature in them!

message 5: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (A_Bishop) | 152 comments I can't borrow books because it pains me to have to let them go. It also bothers me when I see a book in the store that I know I've read, but do not own. I also have a problem with paperbacks. I don't know why. I buy a lot of books from ebay. You can get some really good deals on rare used books there (especially if they're a little obscure).

message 6: by Fran (new)

Fran Smith (mfran) | 352 comments I get them from the library, then, if I really love it, I by myself a copy used at or amazon to keep on my shelf or lend out.

message 7: by Dawn (new)

Dawn rizzi (dawnie278) Bishop,
I feel the same way and I don't know why but the authors I love I keep once there read like a collection. Others I trade away. You should try bookmooch , thriftbooks and or bookins as well for hard to find titles. Happy reading

message 8: by KrisT (new)

KrisT I am a library girl. I do buy at the library book sale once a year but they sell for a dollar a box so you can't resist. If I really really love a book I will look for at these sales.

message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy Library only--I rarely read books twice so it doesn't make sense to buy for me. i love making online reservations for books i want to read and getting the emails when they are in! A lot of girls on my wedding baord use paperbackswap.

message 10: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments I agree with you Amy...I love to go into the library and find my books waiting on the shelf. It's so nice to be able to go on-line and put them on hold! It's a great service....

message 11: by Maria (new)

Maria (minks05) | 84 comments i'm an extremely lucky person. the library system in the city/county that i live in is fantastic, thanks to the forward-thinking of one Andrew Carnegie. that being said, i do about 75% of books from the library. my family is really good about giving me (and my 5 year old!) gift cards to B&N for special occassions, so that helps. also, i have a HUGE list of TBRs, so i almost always manage to find at least one of them on the bargain tables in various places, so when i do spend money, i don't often pay full price. i also have a Half-Priced Books a few minutes from me that i can go to when i want to find something that i can't get at the library but don't want to pay full price for.

message 12: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I am a library girl, unless they don't have a book. Then, I buy it through the two bookstores in town. I also look online for them.

message 13: by Samara (new)

Samara I'm a book-buying addict. I try to remind myself that I just need to go to the library, but if I'm out and see a book I want or looks interesting, I tend to buy it. I figure I could be spending my money on worst things than a book. I do try to get bargains as much as possible, Costco is good for that a lot of times. I usually get 3 or 4 there whenever I go (once every 2 months or so). Since I live in a really small town in the middle of nowhere, I spend a lot of time on Amazon & Chapters too. :)

message 14: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 30 comments Depending on what state I am in life and how much money that I have, I usually depend on the library for my books and even when I have worked, I tend to frequent the library more than the bookstore. Its now to the point where some of the staff know who I am and only have to ask if I have something in for me.

message 15: by Dawn (new)

Dawn rizzi (dawnie278) I myself went on a book buying binge over the last few years so I am trying to do this 50 book challenge to clean up some of my inventory. i must have hundreds of dollars of books just waiting to be read and collecting dust. So i made a pack with myself no more buying until this challenge is over. Maybe by then all my new ones that I want will be on sale or bookmooch.

message 16: by erin buchanan (last edited Jan 27, 2009 08:57AM) (new)

erin buchanan | 188 comments I'll use the library for a book I'm not sure I want to buy. Go to a university library if you can - they have more stuff and can inter library loan books they don't have (it's slow as hell though sometimes).

Half price books ( is the best used book store on the planet. I'll usually buy about 50 dollars there and get 10 books or so. I rack up books at christmas and birthdays, so I only used book shop ( is a great site too).

I want to buy a kindle though, since there are so many free e-books and then when you buy books on amazon you aren't cluttering up the house!

Dawn - I'm doing the same thing!

message 17: by Dawn (new)

Dawn rizzi (dawnie278) You can also try , ebay , , , and

If anyone is interested in anything I post on my 50books let me know. It's something I am going to get rid of ill send it one of you all.

message 18: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) I rarely purchase a new book. I purchase used books mostly. I live in granola country (Boulder County) so I'm programmed to save trees. If I do purchase a new book I donate a tree.

I'm trying to utilize the library more but when it comes to books I suffer from Mine-itis like in that Sesame Street episode. I'm working with my therapist to get over this ridiculous affliction.

I am a Bookmooch member and have gotten some great books through that site. Thanks for the other websites, Dawn. I haven't tried Does anyone have experience with

I love the classics so I can usually get them used for a dollar or less. Keep those expired copyrights rolling :)

message 19: by Dawn (new)

Dawn rizzi (dawnie278) No I have not used paperback swap yet but all the others i meantioned above. I have. If your looking in the $1.00 price range thriftbooks is normally good for that. I myself am trying to start conserving with my book spending habits until i read some of the 100 or more still brand new on my shelves hence why i joined this group. Talk to you soon

message 20: by Tani (new)

Tani I combine methods. :)

Recently, the library has been a big thing for me. Unfortunately, I'm finding that even though borrowing books is free, there are some drawbacks. Mostly, I hate reading on any schedule other than my own, especially since I'm still relatively new to this full-time employment thing. (Seriously, evenings is not the schedule for me. I have no self-motivation in the morning before I go to work, and no energy when I get back at night. It kills my reading time.) However, the library is definitely great for those books that I don't want to buy but do want to read.

I've also taken to going to the area used bookstore. Actually, I just went today and picked up 8 books for a little over $9. I've been kind of focusing on classics from this store, since they're the kind of thing I tend to start and then stop an alarming number of times. That way I don't have to pay a bunch to read them, but I also don't have to worry about when they're due back. is my third cheap option. I usually use it for books that are out-of-print or just really hard to find around here. I've gotten some really nice books from there.

Oh, and I can't forget the summer lawn sales! I got a lot of great books this year. (Now I just need to stop going to the library so that I can read some of the books I own!)

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy | 11 comments I love to Buy books! I am a book addict. I too like many of you, have many that I haven't read. I do have the barnes and noble membership card and that saves me $$ on books. A typical trip to the book store runs me about $50. I rarely purchase hardcovers...unless they are a brand new book I am dying to read.
Check with local libraries. I just went to a sale this weekend at my local library and they had a deal. All of the books you could fit in a brown paper grocery bag for $5! They had a huge variety of paperbacks and hardcovers. I must have fit 30 books in my bag. It was awesome!
I also browse used bookstores, but I feel that mine at least is a little pricey.

message 22: by Ann (new)

Ann (engel-ish) I'm strictly library too. I am so spoiled...I can reserve books online and have them delivered to and picked up from the middle school where I teach. The library just raised its fines to $.20/day, so I'm going to have to be a little more selective about how many "to reads" I check out at one time :)

message 23: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments Engelish, I'm jealous that you get books delivered to your school! I, too, work in a middle school! I'm afraid if I got books delivered there, I might not get a lot done that day. I must say, I'm always willing to do the computer testing for my school. The kids have to be quiet, rarely need help and the only things you can do as monitor are read or work on the computer! The other counselor hates getting stuck in there because he's not a 'reader'. I'm almost embarrassed by how quickly I'll volunteer!

message 24: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments It is a rare thing for me to purchase a brand new book. However, I work at a library, so it is easy for me to find a book to read. At my library we have a continuous book sale corner which is restocked once a week. The books are a dollar and I buy between 1-3 a week. Lots of the books are withdrawn bestsellers that the library buys 40 copies of for early demand and then after a few weeks, half of those go into the continuous book sale. It's great! We also have interlibrary loan at my library. It isn't super fast, but it is free! I saw in an earlier post that some people have to pay. I also buy books at regular book sales or yard sales. That's another way to pick up the bestsellers from the last few months. I literally have over 500 books I have purchased used. As soon as I read them I pass them along to others. After all, it was only a dollar!

message 25: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (ludubinski) | 46 comments You would think that as a librarian I get all my books from the Library, but I still buy at least four to five books a month! Amazon has great values, and I often buy from booksignings directly from the authors that I attend at my library and elsewhere.

I do donate many books back to the Library to have them added to the library collection or for their ongoing sales to support the public library. But some are keepers - that just have to stay in my home library.

message 26: by Larry (new)

Larry (digitalphi) | 1 comments I personally will read a book I like in whatever format, paperback or hardcover, and from wherever I can find it, library, friend or used bookstore. But for some reason I convinced myself that I should collect books. I figured people collect all kinds of things right; post cards, stamps, arrowheads, etc. Well being a collector also called for me to specialize in some area, I can't just collect any book, so I started with all the books I had read. I looked for them in used book stores, online, and if all else failed at a retail store. It became fun, exciting. But the kicker is that I only buy hardcover, 1st edition, 1st printings. So that adds to the hunt. I can find a Dune 50th anniversary edition at B&N but I wanted the first edition from 1965. Which reminds me, If anyone knows where I can find Enders Game 1st edition, 1st printing let me know. lol :)

message 27: by Chris (new)

Chris | 85 comments I buy way too many books, but I buy them at thrift shops, so they're fifty cents for ppbk and a buck for hardcover. I prefer paperback.
Once in a while I must resort to purchasing new books and don't dig it.

message 28: by Christie (new)

Christie I love my local library! I enjoy going in and browsing through the books, it feels like shopping, but without the expense, plus I don't have the clutter. However I do hit the used book store and I will buy a new release if it is a favorite author.

message 29: by Dana (new)

Dana | 16 comments I'm like most people. I use a combination. I've been using the libary much more often as I put a request on everything so it's waiting for me on a shelf that I pick up myself and then use the self-checkout kiosk. This encourages me not to check out too many at a time, plus going to the nearest branch is a pain during the week, so every Sunday my husband waits by the curb while I run in and make my exchange.

I used to have a rule that I had to read so many of my owned-but-not-read before I allowed myself to buy a book.
I hardly EVER by a book from a tangible large chain bookstore. I use Amazon which guarantees me a discount off the cover price or I go to half-priced books or a smaller used bookstore. The exception is when I'm traveling, I'm a sucker for locally owned bookstores and will pay full price.
I also am a member of which is a lot like the other sites mentioned. It tracks where books go and also promotes random book drops, but I've never had any one log in one of my random book drops.

message 30: by MB (What she read) (last edited Jan 29, 2009 08:23PM) (new)

MB (What she read) I have a wonderful local library AND I know how to use it to get what I want.

I place holds on new books as soon as the library orders them (before publication date) and often I am first to get the brand new copy! I almost always check out books from the library for the first read. (Even favorite authors throw out some disappointments once in a while.)

If I love the books and want to keep them I add them to my "To Buy" list and shop around. I have to be choosey because I am running out of bookcases to store my trove.

Some I buy new and some I buy used. I love Amazon and Alibris is great for finding out-of-print stuff. Unfortunately my local used book store is kind of expensive and has hours that don't match my schedule--I rarely shop there. Since I'm not a huge fan of most bestsellers, and my local Borders and Barnes&Noble rarely stocks what I want to buy, little of my business goes there.

TheReadingKnitter/ Kasey (thereadingknitter) I decided at the beginning of this year that I would no longer buy books for myself especially if they were fiction. Not that I ever bought a lot of books but now I strictly get them from the library. And if I buy a book it will be a children's book so I can have them for when my husband and I have children.

message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelehm) I absolutely love my public library. I usually only buy books from i just have a hard time spending full price for books, when i can get them for so much less.

message 33: by Laurie (new)

Laurie (Laurie0303) | 60 comments Danine wrote: "With the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, etc) how do books fit into your budget?
- I use rewards, such as from from Amercain Express, to get Barnes&Noble gift cards to buy books. I like to buy what I read to support the author. It's normally cheaper than going to a movie and I can revisit the book when I want and take my time reading it. I try not to buy books unless I am using a reward gift certificate, though.

message 34: by Meranda (new)

Meranda (msl87) I'm a Bookmooch Addict!!!! I buy those that I want to read and are rarely available. (I just bought The Shack today!) I usually buy my books from Amazon. Occasionally I will get them from Borders if they are having a "Buy One, Get one 1/2 off sale."

I love Bookmooch though!! I hate seeing my books just sitting on a shelf collecting dust!! There are sooo many eyes out there that could benefit from reading! I also donate a lot of books too, especially if there are a lot of them available on Bookmooch!

message 35: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I am lucky enough to have a GREAT library sytem close at hand, plus I took a class at the local university last summer so I have been able to take advantage of that library as well.
I used to buy a lot of books, but having to move twice in the last year put an end to that. When you have more boxes of books to move than everything else combined you know you need to stop.
On top of that, if I purchased every book I read I would go broke!

message 36: by Laura (new)

Laura (questionableadvice) I rarely let myself pay retail prices for a book I haven't read yet. I get it from the library, BookMooch or a used book store. If I borrowed it and really loved it I'll put it on my "to buy" list where it will stay with (a lot!) of its friends until I find it inexpensively somewhere.

Take a look at Daedalus Books, they have great prices and I've never gotten a book that wasn't in good condition, even if they are remainders and overstock.

I will admit that in terms of priorities books are pretty high on my list of non-survival essentials. When I lived in an area with an almost non-existent library system for a year I spend a lot on books. On the plus side, that was when I discovered BookMooch.

message 37: by Carrie (new)

Carrie I'm terrible, I don't think I've been to the local library in over a decade. I think my problem there comes from the fact that there is just something about a used item that bothers me. Used anything, not just books. I love to be the first person to open the packaging, or in this case, the book cover. I'm really weird about my media (cd's and dvd's included), and I take care of them much better than a lot of people I know - not that I'm bragging, just a statement of fact. Even if I never go back to the book, I'd much rather be the original owner.

That being said, I usually get my books at a book store, Barnes and Noble are two of my very good friends, and wandering through the aisles lets me find at least one or two books I wasn't looking for. Occasionally I'll come across a book mentioned here on GR, or just in browsing on Amazon that I didn't know about, but that sounds interesting, and eventually I might get it online. Some of the more obscure things I am kind of forced to get somewhere other than a retail chain.

message 38: by Fran (new)

Fran Smith (mfran) | 352 comments It's funny, but I'm just the opposite, I love a used book. I know it sounds strange, but, it's like it has a kind of "energy" from the other readers. I love have a library full of books that have been read over and over.

message 39: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine (calibaby27) Well i go to the library ALOT but i love the book store thats were i spend alot of my money (there and charlotte russe lol) but i luv when u buy a new book and it just sucks u in

message 40: by Suzanne Shumaker (new)

Suzanne Shumaker | 53 comments Fran. I am also in love with used books. Used bookstores are my favorite places to shop. I think my dream job would be owning a used book store. I love the smell and the atmosphere in them. Used books are like used toys but better. So many people have loved them.

message 41: by Eva (new)

Eva I generally get my books from the library. If I really like something, I usually go to, Costco or a used book store. Another cheap way for me to get books is to ask my mum to buy one for me.

message 42: by Tayla36 (new)

Tayla36 | 274 comments I buy books. Oh boy, do I buy books. I try to buy used. Library book sales. Bookstore closing book sales. Online, I buy used books at

I do buy new books also. BJ's Warehouse Club has some good deals. I have membership cards to Barnes and Noble and Borders, so I get some good deals there, too.

I also buy at, Torchwood novels and Doctor Who novels that are hard to get at my local bookstore.

message 43: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand I get at least 5 books from the library once a month. My local library has a great selection, and if they don't have a book which I want, I can order books in from other libraries. I don't have to pay for this (yet) as I'm under 20 (I know, it's an odd age!). I think when I reach that age it is only 35p so it's not too bad.

I don't buy many books, maybe 10 - 15 every year. People tend to give me Waterstone's or WHSmith vouchers at Christmas and Birthdays, so that's when I buy new books.

I get a lot of books second hand - either from charity shops, BookMooch or ReaditSwapit and sometimes library sales.

When I do buy new books, I often get them from Amazon as they can be cheaper than my local bookshops. (Except Waterstone's often have 3 for 2, and WHSmith have a Buy One, Get One Half Price, both on new releases, which is tempting...)

But yeah, I'm still in high school and don't have a lot of money so I don't buy many new books, but sometimes I like to treat myself. Otherwise, I use my library or my book-exchange websites.

message 44: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (pplunicorn) | 71 comments I'm a library girl!! I LOVE the Library. That is were I spend most of my time. Being that we are poor collage students.

I do spend about $20 on books at the books store or from Amazon.

I like finding good books at thrift stores and garage sales too. There is something really rewording about finding a good book at a thrift store for $1.00. You have to have the time to look though.

message 45: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I have recently begun using the library again as a money savings method. I also use Half-Price bookstore when I have the time to really browse. I still like to buy books as well but I rarely pay retail because I can find them for less at Target, Costco and online.

message 46: by Dawn (new)

Dawn rizzi (dawnie278) COSTCO IS THE BEST

message 47: by Erin (new)

Erin Franklin (shibasandshelves) I buy used from ebay and I use to use the public library constantly but since I moved I haven't even gotten myself a membership. I love to collect books and I get excited reading pre-owned books on the chance that I'll find something special penciled in the margin (I also collect found writing).

message 48: by Mrsku (new)

Mrsku | 37 comments I normally buy my books although I have recently been bidding for books on Trade Me, a New Zealand trading site, and have found this very helpful especially when my favorite bookstores don't have what I want. My husband thinks the savings are good as well.

I have always liked the look of used and well loved books and have quite a few on my shelves which are falling apart from being loved so much.

message 49: by Cam (new)

Cam I'm a new book buyer, everyone has a vise and this is definitely mine!(worst one anyway). My favourite online store is - - postage is free worldwide and I find that the books are usually cheaper than I can get them here in Australia on the shelf. All the great cheap sites in the U.S. cost a mint for postage to Australia and generally take a good 3 weeks+ to arrive. The Book Depository usually takes 3-5 business days delivered to your door.
Will occassionally borrow a book when forced, but don't like doing it and nearly had to be hospitalised when the last book someone lent me didn't just come in one piece, but seven (less is definitely more).

message 50: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenofthebookworm) As long as the bills are paid every month then I feel I can spend anything that is left on books, buying books is my only real vice. I buy new from amazon,waterstones and the supermarkets as they usually have good deals on. I also buy used books from charity shops and play. I get other books through bookmooch and readitswapit, I also use the library.

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