If, like me, you’re an avid reader, you’ll be familiar with how much you can (very easily) spend on books. When there are so many amazing books out there, ready and waiting for you to pick them up and take them to their new home, it’s all too easy to go into a book shop and just lose control. Today I’m going to share some of my best tips on how to spend less money on books.

how to spend less money on books

And whilst I have no qualms about spending money on books – it’s SO important to support authors – I have to be realistic and recognise the fact that there is a cost of living problem and lots of people are going through a financial crisis.

We’re probably all looking for ways to save more money these days, whether it’s on our food shop, our energy bills, our health and wellness or we’re cutting down on things like takeaways or streaming subscriptions.

I don’t think we should ever deprive ourselves of things that make us happy because those are the things that have such a profound impact on our mental well-being.

And if you’re like me, then books are one of the things that make you very happy!

how to spend less money on books

Luckily our hobby isn’t the most expensive hobby in the world. There are plenty of other things you can buy, collect or enjoy doing that cost a LOT more money than a few books. But it all adds up.

You should always support authors where you can but if you can’t support them by purchasing their brand new £17.99 hardback right now, that’s absolutely okay and you shouldn’t be made to feel like because you can’t do that, you’re not supporting books and authors.

There are plenty of other ways to support authors too, such as leaving positive reviews, sharing links to their books on social media, re-tweeting (or re-X’ing, what is the phrase for this now?) their promo tweets and more!

But if you are an avid book-lover like me but you are trying to save some money as well, then here are 10 effective ways to spend less money on books but also still obtain books to read!

How To Spend Less Money on Books in 10 Ways:

Use charity shops

Charity shops are an excellent way to help you save more money on books but also support a charity in the process as well – so win, win on this one! Most charity shops have large book selections where you can find a range of fiction and non-fiction, all usually in quite good quality as well. I’ve found a few gems in charity shops over the years!

Get yourself a library card

Your local library really is your best friend when you want to start spending less money on books and not only that, libraries are such an invaluable resource to have in our local communities, so I’d urge you to support your local library wherever you can. It’s not just physical books you can rent either, you can often get eBooks, music and magazines too.

Ask for vouchers for special occasions

If your friend and family know that you’re a bookworm (which is likely because you probably don’t stop talk about books, right?) then this is a great opportunity to politely ask if they can gift you book vouchers for any upcoming occasion, such as a birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day etc. Some people say vouchers are a cop-out but I wholeheartedly disagree.

Use the CashWalk app to get vouchers

I use the app CashWalk, which enables you to get vouchers for walking. You get coins for the amount of steps you take each day then when you hit a certain amount, you can cash out in Amazon vouchers, Tesco vouchers, JustEat vouchers or any voucher of your choosing that they have available. I use this as a way to treat myself to a new book, whenever I cash out!

Look for Tesco Clubcard deals

If you’re in the UK then you need to get yourself a Tesco Clubcard. These cards not only save me £10 – £15 on my food shopping but they also run good Clubcard deals on their books. They usually have a 2 for £9 offer or occasionally they’ll do certain books for £3 on Clubcard!

Consider going paperless

It’s no secret that eBooks and digital books are much cheaper than paperbacks. Whilst all us book lovers love a paperback, if we really want to read more without breaking the bank, then eBooks might be the way to go. If you have a Kindle, great! But if you don’t, then all you need to do is download the Kindle app on your phone and you can access eBooks anyway.

Do a book swap with friends or family

Book swaps are super easy and effective ways to read more books without breaking the bank. Get together with your other book loving friends and do a swap, perhaps a selection of books each so you all have new ones to read. If you don’t live nearby, then an online swap could work just as well if you’re prepared to pay postage.

Become a book reviewer

Obviously this is a very niche point as not everyone would want to become a book reviewer or have the capacity to do so but from my own experience as an establish book reviewer, I know that this is an excellent way to get lots of books for free, in exchange for reviews.

There are lots of things to consider if you want to go down this route, for example which platform are you going to use? Will you realistically be able to keep up with reviews? Do you know how to write a book review? Are you prepared to give negative reviews? But it’s definitely a really satisfying and rewarding thing to do if you want to!

Create a cash pot for books from survey sites

As well as saving money on books, there’s also ways to make more money that you spend on books. Like with the point about CashWalk, I’d also recommend signing up for some survey sites in which you can create your cash pot that you can dedicate entirely on books. My favourite is Prolific, as it’s easy to make money and the tasks / surveys you’re asked to do aren’t boring.

Read what’s on your shelf

A bit like when people say, “shop your wardrobe”, here you should, “shop your bookcase”. If you’re an avid reader, then I just KNOW that you have a ton of books on your bookcase that you haven’t read yet. You buy books at 5x the speed that you can read them, inevitably leaving you with plenty of unread books sitting there for months – maybe even years!

I hate the thought of anyone who loves reading and who takes solace in books not being able to read because of money restraints, so I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to spend less money on books.

There’s always a push and pull between saving money and supporting authors but remember, there are other ways to support authors you love and there’s absolutely no need to sacrifice your savings in order to do so.

If you’re an avid reader, how do you save money on books? Any hacks?

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  1. These are great suggestions! I’m all for finding new books at charity shops, and I’ve found so many good books that have been on my TBR! I also completely agree with getting a library card! I regularly use the app Libby, which you use with your library card and you can borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and even magazines for free! Also, this is a great reminder to read the books you already have!

  2. I ask for Kindle Unlimited every Christmas. My hubby tops me off for a year or two, and I read read read! The books included on KU have gotten pretty awesome over the years, and I love it! Tesco… oh, I didn’t realize this blog was from across the pond! How cool 🙂 Hello from Colorado, US.

  3. Oh to add to the Kindle point, Kindle Unlimited subscription really helps! I’ve saved so much money through that.

    There isn’t a good library in my city but we do have bookstores with a cool concept in the central business district. There are a couple of really good bookstores that sell books at 80% of the full price and then buy it back (for bookstore credit, not cash) any time at 50% of the price paid. So, I basically pay 40% of the price for those books! It’s so cool and convenient and saves money (and bookshelf space).

  4. “Read what’s on your shelf” – oh my, I feel seen! I have so many books waiting to be read that I really shouldn’t keep buying any more. But like you, books make me happy, and I’d rather have a large TBR pile than none at all. Charity shops, book swaps and our library are all my go-tos! x

  5. Excellent tips! I really enjoyed this post. I especially like the tip about ‘shopping on your own bookshelf’. 🙂 The Danish custom of giving a book on Christmas Eve is another wonderful idea.

  6. I am definitely an avid reader and probably spend way too much money on books so this was a fantastic post to read! I must make better use of other options to access books—and as you share here, there are many other ways to do it!

  7. Thanks for these suggestions! I plan to become a total bookworm this season and this really helps. Perhaps I’ll try to find an American version of a Cashwalk😆

  8. I’m a BIG charity shop book buyer! And then book returner. I just love spending as little as possible on books and then returning them – or I’ll also leave books in those exchange places that we can find in some Tesco’s and BnQ’s over here. That or I am a big lover of the library!

  9. These are all such fab (and actually pretty easy) ideas. My local charity shop is great for books, they do 10 for £1 which is ace. Although of course you don’t have the luxury’s of picking newer titles. I’ve said to Amelia that we need to “shop her bookcase” more, she picks the same books over and over again so we’ve started doing close your eyes and pick a book at random to try and bring a bit of variety haha.


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