Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tiara Talk: Buying Books

Let's talk about where we buy our books.

I know a lot of you are on book buying bans so this is probably not a topic that you're eager to discuss, as someone who is frequently broke it's not a favorite of mine. But because I'm frequently broke I like to get the best deal possible when I do get the opportunity to purchase something new to read.

In the beginning I was strictly an in store only kind of girl, and that store was Barnes and Noble. I would buy the occasional book elsewhere, as a book lover I couldn't resist sorting through stacks at any store that happened to carry them. But when I wanted a book the first place I would head was Barnes and Noble.

Than my Mom bought me their wonderful membership card which with it's perk of free shipping opened me up to the wonderful world that was online shopping. Suddenly I realized how expensive it was to shop in store, there were so many bargain books available online that I would never even see in store. And discounts just because you were shopping online! With that realization I seldom shopped in store unless it was a gift. Or I need a fix, anyone whose every been in a bookstore knows that sometimes you just need to be in one. It's a book addict thing.

But without a job money doesn't last long. Even buying online these books were still more expensive than I could afford to routinely order. I needed another option stat!

By pure luck on one of our many errand running jaunts my Mom and I stumbled upon a used bookstore in town, crammed in amongst various doctor offices and the like. It was nirvana. Sure the shop was a little messy and specialized in romance novels but if you searched long and hard enough you were bound to find what you were looking for. Or something just as good. And hey, I happen to enjoy the occasional romance novel. We ended up making the trek at least once a month, sometimes multiple times.

But even her prices were a little higher than I could always afford. Sometimes I only had a little spare change jingling in my pockets. Could there be a place I could still buy books?

At this point in time I thought back to my childhood library trips, remembering out of the blue that there used to be a little box in the corner of books they had "retired" that were available for purchase. Some of those books had been for as little as a dime! Wondering if they had kept this practice when they remodeled the library I dragged a friend along on what I hoped would be our most epic book buying excursion yet.

My local library did not disappoint. With the remodel complete they now had a separate little room to house all of the books that they wanted to sell, and were accepting donations so it was only the "retirees" that were available to me. Mass market paperbacks were fifty cents, trade paperbacks a dollar, and hardbacks anywhere between two to five dollars. Children's and young adult books tended to be the best deals some of which were marked down to a dime a piece. It was the perfect solution for me.

Nowadays I do a mixture of all of the above with a few new twists thrown in. The majority of my book buying excursions find me at the library or the used bookstore but lately I've also discovered the joy of the bargain book section at Amazon [since I'm a student I get free shipping with Amazon Prime]. I only find myself shopping at Barnes and Noble when I have a gift-card or my boyfriend is taking me out for a special treat [he hates ordering online and would rather buy me something sparkly new than a used book]. So, with the economy the way it is how do you guys manage to buy books? Where do you get the best deals? Let me know, I'd love to add new places to my shopping repertoire.


  1. I stick to amazon for the best deals, even though I frequent Barnes & Noble. I have a nook, but it rarely sees action. Last year I stumbled onto Netgalley.com. You can load up on up and coming books for free, trading for a review, but I've since stopped reviewing books.

  2. I have a Kindle that I have been finding myself using a lot lately because of the free loans and I've gotten a lot of e-books for free through Amazon, authors or gifts from friends.

    I have really been appreciating all the amazing deals on Amazon though. It's only in the past couple weeks that I discovered their bargain book section and have been going crazy with it. I can't believe how cheap some of those books are.

    Thank you for the tip about Netgalley.com though. And for your considerate e-mail on the topic. As a new blogger I really appreciate the help.

  3. Oh, there's also the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab program! It's invite-only but I could send you the link if you want :)

    I used to only shop for books in the major chain stores near me. I don't have any indies (that I know of) nearby and I prefer them to used books.

    Then I discovered the books online, but still on the major bookseller sites. They were usually around 25% off and I thought it was SO COOL.

    Theeeeen I discovered the Book Depository and I was like, "my life is complete." Haha, I can't really get the same Amazon deals since the Canadian version kind of sucks and my library never has good books on sale.

    I liked this post though! :) Interesting.

  4. That's the one that I was trying to remember the name of earlier! That would be awesome if you could, I know a lot of those programs want more seasoned bloggers/reviewers through. I'm still like crazy young.

    I haven't ordered from Book Depository yet but everyone says they are great. Considering it's free shipping anywhere I can understand why so many people use it.

    I'm glad you liked the post! :D

  5. I love going to our used bookstore. Half price books I always find some of the coolest books. Ones that have alot of hype around them and then ones that I've never heard of but sound awesome when I read the jackets. I also love going on amazon and the 0.99 e-books. :)

  6. Used bookstores are awesome. I wish there were more of them around where I live. I always get so excited when I find books that I've heard other people talking about. The e-books on Amazon are great deals too. They offer so many freebies! :]

  7. Here it is: http://www.galleygrab.com/?asset_url=9781442411760

    You should be fine :) I mean, you've reviewed their titles before.

  8. Thank you, darling! I owe you one. :]