As most voracious readers and book bloggers probably encounter, I’ve recently had to put a lot of thought into how to budget for books the past few years. As much as I’d love to purchase every book on my TBR list, the reality is that textbooks have had to come first for the last few years, and I honestly am starting to run out of room for storage and display of my beloved books despite several book purges over the past few months.
So my fellow readers, how do you deal with this dilemma?
I’ve definitely been utilizing my local library more, but it’s frustrating to know that I’ll have to wait several months to get my hands on new releases, and there’s a certain kind of heartbreak when you finish a book and end up loving it and have to return it instead of placing it back upon your own shelf with pride (this recently happened to me with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell). It’s a great way to test out new authors, but then there’s always the issue of your local library’s inventory. When I moved last year my new county library had a much different (and smaller) selection than what I was used too, and didn’t even carry anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout, which was frustrating since I was smack in the middle of the Lux series. I ended up buying the rest of the books of Amazon, but now I’m in the position where I have a lot of series where I’m missing the first book, because I had checked that one out from the library.
On the other end of the spectrum, my more frequent use of the library has led me to save some serious cash on some real lackluster books (A Beautiful Dark and Everneath come to mind). I recently found that Amazon seems to be dropping the prices on paperbacks and I purchased four YA paperbacks for an average of $5-6 each last week, which was pretty amazing and allowed me to buy some books by authors I haven’t tried yet. But the books that I lean toward actually purchasing nowadays are part of series that I’ve already invested in previously and that I know I’ll enjoy (I know I’ll be picking up City of Heavenly Fire and Dreams of Gods and Monsters). I also know that in the blogging world the concept of “hauling” is very much a huge trend, which puts pressure on bloggers to buy books at a rapid rate so as not to fall behind. My new rule of thumb for purchasing has been re-readability, as I ask myself is this a book that I’ll want to revisit and reach for again? Yet this rule is hard for a stand-alone book or a first book in a series because I don’t know what I’m investing in initially (reviews can sometimes only guide you so far).
How do you budget for your books? Has making the switch to e-books saved you money? Are you still a frequent visitor of your local library? How do you compromise your love of reading with money, and how do you choose what to borrow vs. what to buy? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts!