I recently spent a lot of money on reading.
It’s ironic that wrote this post on saving money as a reader on the same day that I spent more than $150 on a Kindle Paperwhite, but hear me out. I felt I needed to confess this sin, and I hope it doesn’t ruin my credibility on this subject.
I bought the Paperwhite because my iPad keep overheating within minutes in the sun. Since I rarely read paper books (I’ll discuss that later in the post.), the overheating caused problems with my reading and relaxing in the pool. I told my friends on my Real Nerds Read Facebook page about the issue, and they recommended the Paperwhite to solve my problem. Did I mention that it’s also waterproof? Therefore, the purchase. I don’t regret it.
Now that I’ve attempted to confess and justify the Paperwhite purchase, let’s discuss saving money as an avid reader. If you know much about me, you likely know that I’m a voracious reader. I read more than 100 books a year, counting audiobooks, and have done so since 2013. I read 150 books in 2014. When you read as much as I do, you learn a few tricks about how to save money on reading. If I purchased every book I read, I’d be broke, for sure.
Use your library card
The biggest way I save money on reading is by using my library card. If you like physical books, you can always go to the local library. I happen to find ebooks much more convenient, so I read and listen to library books on my library system’s app. The app is easy to use and works with the Kindle app. It also allows me to put books on hold as soon as I hear about them and know I’m going to want to read them. I’m pretty sure the limit is 10 holds at a time. I try to keep my queue full, so I always having something to read. I read books that aren’t on hold in between.
The only negative aspects of using your library card are that you have to wait for popular books to become available and it seems like all of your holds become available at the same time. I’ve learned to read quickly when this happens. I also always return books as soon I’ve I’ve finished reading them instead of waiting for them to expire. I don’t want someone else to have to wait longer than necessary for a hold. I hope others do the same.
Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited
I know it’s odd to say you should spend money to save money, but I save a lot by subscribing to Kindle Unlimited. I pay $9.99 a month for the subscription, which gives me access to more than a million books. I can read as much as I want in any given month. I also love that some of the books have audio versions that sync to the ebook, so I can alternate between reading and listening. Given the number of books I read or listen to on Amazon, the $9.99 a month is a steal. You can try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days my using this link.
Subscribe to Audible
Again, it’s odd to say you should spend money to save money, but I know I save through my Audible subscription. I pay $22.95 for a two credits per month, which equates to two books a month. I could easy use two credits each month, but I save them for months when I’m going to be traveling a lot or when there are a lot of books out that I want to listen to. Either way, it’s about $11 a book, which is pretty cheap.
You also can try Audible by using this link: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.
I look around before I purchase any book. I check to see if I can get it through the library, on Kindle Unlimited or through Audible. I do it in that order—free from the library, freeish through my Unlimited subscription or worthy of my Audible credits. If I don’t find the book through any of those methods, I’ll usually download a sample from Apple iBooks, just to make sure I like it before I buy it. If I still want to read the book after reading the sample, I either buy a digital copy or I shop online for the cheapest place to buy it (usually Amazon).
If there’s one thing that I know for certain, it’s that I’ll buy books. Even with all of my work arounds, I end up buying quite a few books each year. I plan ahead for these purchases by asking for Amazon or iTunes gift cards for holidays. My mom gets me an iTunes gift card for Christmas that typically lasts me about six months. My best friend bought me an Amazon card for my June birthday, just in time!
Keep a running list
Keeping a list of books that you want to read (I use Goodreads.) helps save money because you have options in relation to what you’re going to read next. If I have to wait for a new book to become available through the library, I always have plenty of other options to choose from while I wait. Otherwise, I might be tempted to buy a book when it’s just released and, likely, most expensive.
There are other ways to save money on books. Some people borrow books from friends or buy books secondhand. I’m going to sound terribly fussy here, but I don’t like the smell of used books, so I just don’t buy secondhand books. I also am not a huge fan of loaning out my books, so I don’t usually borrow them from others. I will gladly give books I’ve purchased to friends who I think will enjoy them, but “loan” suggests that the book will come back, which I’ve found frequently isn’t the case.
I hope this post gives you some ideas about how to save money when you read a lot. As always, happy reading!