Reading for Less (Originally Published on The Shoestring.com)


At the time I was really young, I used to love buying books. I think in some ways I had more money then. I didn’t pay rent and my food was free. Everything is cheaper when you’re a kid, so for those reading, enjoy it while you can.

I would buy Sweet Valley High books and trade them with the ones my sister bought. I would receive great books like the Invisible Man from my brother. I spent a fortune buying Danielle Steele, Stephen King, and Jackie Collins books. I collected these books like business cards and only in rare exceptions parted with them.

One time when I was in Montreal, I came across a little Middle Eastern restaurant where I bought a book by Jean Toomer called Cane for $2 CDN.  This is one of the best books I have read. Toomer is from the pre-Harlem Renaissance of writers in African-American writers. I lent the book to a former colleague and friend and haven’t seen it since.

Deals for buying books can be found in many bookstores, but there’s nothing better than going to the library. Even though I felt the loss of losing Cane, at least I had read the book. This is the experience you can have when you go to the library. Get something you enjoy and just return it on time and everything is fine.

Many library systems are online where you can order the book you want and it comes to your local library which may be closer than your bookstore. I’ve read everything from The Life of Pi and The Romantic by a great author Barbara Gowdy through the library system. Sometimes just hanging around a library is a great way to get good ideas of what to read and meet interesting people. I once dated someone I met at the library.

Make sure you bring these books back. Don’t forget the library also has videos, DVDs, CDs, and magazines for you to borrow as well. That can be a great way to increase your knowledge too.

I once borrowed an Anne of Green Gables movie from my local library and was in the middle of a move, so I misplaced the video. I felt so bad because I had such a clean record with the library. It took a while for me to get my priorities sorted for me to get to the library and pay for the video. At least that was more than a year ago and I have my library privileges back. I’m so happy.

If there’s a book you really want to own, garage sales often have books for as low as 25 cents. You can build a library from garage sales alone. Plus check out your Goodwill and Salvation Army for any bargains.

Used bookstores are everywhere. And if you’re like me and sometimes just can’t find what you’re looking for, you can do what someone I know has done – you can buy the book, read it without breaking the spine and return it.

Devilish!

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2 Comments on “Reading for Less (Originally Published on The Shoestring.com)

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