Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Buying!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the absence for the past few days, I've had a bit going on, and honestly... sort of forgot I started the blog! Ooops! But that's okay because today we're going to talk about one of my favorite things to do: BUY BOOKS!

I used to love going to Barnes & Noble and browse forever, spend about $20, and go home with one brand new book. However, now I am older and wiser, and know how to avoid paying full price - therefore getting more BOOK for my BUCK! (see what I did there?)

1) Library sales

Believe it or not, my grandmother brought library book sales to my attention! My local library has an ongoing sale - daily, you can get a book for 50 cents, and on Wednesdays it is 3 for $1. Almost all of the books are used, but in good condition. Some are donated, some are just from the library cleaning out their shelves. I got nearly all of my Jackie Collins novels there - for around $5!
The other amazing thing about my library is that every 2 months they have a GIGANTIC sale. I'm talking 3 rooms packed wall-to-wall with shelves, and everything (everything!!) is ONE DOLLAR! The first time I went they had an unbelievable selection, and I had to restrain myself! I ended up spending around $25, and got all this (the Little House books were only 25 cents each):

Call me a book nerd, but how can you not get excited to spend so little on so many books?! Most of those pictured are hardcovers, and as you all know they can run you more than $25 new! Yes, these are the things that delight me.

2) Thrift stores

If you have a Salvation Army or Goodwill nearby, chances are they have some books for sale. Let me rephrase: chances are they have some deeply discounted books for sale! At my local Salvation Army, paperbacks are 50 cents to $1, and hardcovers are $2. Not always in the most perfect condition, but as my mom's best friend Ruthann once said to me, "a worn book means it has been enjoyed!"

3) Used book stores

Living so close a major city (New York) has been a huge benefit when it comes to book shopping. NYC boasts tons of used book stores, and so far I've only made it to about half! One of my favorites is BookOFF, where they have tons of books for only $1 and tons more for $5-$9. They also have a buyback program, and they'll give you cash or credit for your books, DVD's, and electronics.

My absolute favorite place in the city is a crossover used book store/library. It's called the Book Cellar and is located in the basement of Webster Library, a branch of the NYPL system. The prices start at $1, and the most I've spent there on one item is $7 (The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling). They also have signed books and rare first editions and severely discounted prices. Hours vary and they're only open a few days a week, so be sure to check out their website before heading over there - and inventory is constantly changing, so go often!

Another place worthy of mention here is Strand Book Store. Anyone living in New York who has a love for reading knows (and adores) this place. Opened since 1927, they have an impressive 18 MILES worth of shelves, across three floors. They host awesome events, author readings, and have a cute little doggie mascot, Gizmo! (And in case you were wondering, Gizmo has her own Instagram account, and yes, it is heartbreakingly adorable)

Google images

4) Yard sales

People clean out their homes, and a lot of times (especially when people are moving) books are the first things to go. Why?? I can only assume it's because books are heavy when packed into boxes, and people just don't want to deal with that. So they put them outside for you to purchase. Only a quarter? I'll take them all, thank you very much.

5) Online

Amazon is a great place to start if you're looking to order a book online. I like to add things to my wishlist to keep track of what I want. Once a week I'll go through the list and check if the price changes - you'd be surprised how often this happens, especially if you're buying for your Kindle (in which case I absolutely recommend signing up for the Kindle Daily Deals e-mails). Sometimes the price drop can be as much as (or even more than) 50% of the original price.

Another great place that I've just recently come across is called Book Outlet. Their motto, very appropriately, is "read-iculously low prices!" Based out of Ontario, Canada, they offer a huge selection of books for 50-90% off original list price! The majority of their stock aren't even used books, they're excess inventory sold to them by publishers. They also have a "scratch & dent" stock, which are used books that are "structurally sound and completely readable." Either way, Book Outlet offers huge discounts. My first purchase totaled $10.47 (including shipping), and consisted of one hardcover (Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer, $2.49) and one paperback (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, $3.99). Shout-out to Amanda from BookRiot for leading me to this awesome store!

5) Goodreads

This isn't somewhere to buy books, but they have tons of giveaways. I've won at least 6 books on this site, most of them advanced reader copies. You'll find a lot of up-and-coming authors who just want to get their work out into the world, but sometimes you'll find a very well-known author giving away copies of their newest book. The most recent ARC I got from Goodreads was The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, and I received it about 3 weeks before it was even released. While you're over there entering giveaways, add me as a friend!

As you can probably tell, nothing makes me happier than finding a good bargain! A few months ago, I spent an entire weekend going to different book sales, libraries, and yard sales. I spent around $40 total, and this is what I ended up with:

I keep a small notebook with me most of the time that has a list of books I want to buy. This is really helpful when I'm trying to collect a series (like the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich) so I know which ones I still need.

Once I purchase a book I add it to my database using the BookCrawler app on my iPhone. I scan the barcode, and the app automatically pulls all the information, including a picture of the cover. You can also make a note if you lend a book to someone, so you don't forget they have it. I like that it keeps track of everything I own, so if I forget my notebook at home and wind up in a bookstore, I can still see if I have it already by simply checking the list. It also keeps a total number of books at the end of the list, and clearly I have a Major Problem:

My second favorite feature of BookCrawler was something I stumbled upon accidentally when I dropped my phone. If you're in list view, and turn your phone to the side...

You can scroll through pictures of your book covers! It's just like scrolling through your album covers in iTunes, but a thousand times cooler, because BOOKS!

So tell me... where do you buy your books? Do you like brand new or used? Do you prefer hardcover or paperback? Let's talk!

Google images/Gilmore Girls