How to read more books while spending less

I always get impressed when anyone shares their book nooks and home libraries. And I always wanted to have my own since campus but for some reason I never did. It seems like a difficult task but it it’s really not. The best advice would be to start accumulating books as soon as you can, as early as now. So this is a guide on how to read more books while spending less.

Add book buying to your monthly budget

If you have a steady income flow, monthly, or bi-monthly add book buying to that budget. It will feel less painful when you are just starting out. Think of it this way- you always budget for your food and night outs, books shouldn’t be that different.

Buying books from your monthly budget will enable you to buy recently published books whose prices are still high that you can’t wait to read. I keep my book budget below $25 and can get up to 3 books per month. Adjust your book budget according to your income and see how you can read more while spending less. Start low increase it later when you are more accustomed to it.

Buy second hand books

Fact is, there are a lot of people who have books they read and didn’t like, or ones they will never read, especially if they were gifts. And this is good news for you, because you get to find fairly used books in super good condition for cheap.

I keep my maximum per second hand book at $5 and impulse buy a lot. I will be walking in town and stopping to check for interesting books. Memoirs of a Geisha cost me $3 while a fairly new Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns) was $4.

It is critical to note that many books available in second hand stalls were published a few years ago, so you can actually get a new one at a cheaper price. On the case where it’s a recently published book, scoop it up quick.

Participate in Book Swaps

This is not a popular concept but it is slowly making its way into Kenya. You walk into a pre-set venue with a book you bought and walk out with another book someone else bought. No cash spent. There are rules though, on the conditions of books to bring. It’s the perfect chance to meet more bookies and coffee dates are much more interesting.

Alternatively, mobilize friends who read and carry out your own localized book swap club. If each of you had a book budget per month with an average reading rate of a week, you would still have more than 2 supplies of unread books each month. Yes, I know how it feels when you have to lend anyone a book and it comes out tattered, but we bibliophiles have a code. So it’s fairly safe.

Buy during Book Hauls

Every once in a while, there is a clearance sale either at book stores or even prearranged sites. What happens is people clear out their home libraries for a profit, either to make more space or when relocating. However, most of the books here are not up to my alley and may not be in excellent condition, but you should try.

These events will usually be publicized in Facebook book clubs so be on the lookout. I bought Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes for $2 and Super Freakonomics for $1. Maybe I’ll get down to reading them sometime this year. I also bought a new Wuthering Heights for $3 on 29th December 2018 at Text Book Center in Sarit..

Get a Library Card

Libraries are fun… maybe, I wouldn’t know coz I actually do not visit them much. Which is weird as I practically lived in my high school library.  But I love the idea of so many books in one place. I plan to start visiting libraries in towns I visit soon…

But a library card is the best idea to read more books for less. The annual subscription will range anywhere from $2-$10 depending on your age and locality. If you are a fast reader, you definitely need to find options that allow you to read more books while spending less. Enter, the library card.  Also, it comes in handy when you have to carry out research for a term paper or thesis.

Attend Book Events for Discounted Prices

The Nairobi International Book Fair is the biggest annual book event in Kenya that sees various authors, publishers and organizations assemble to compete for the market. There are lots of good books here at discounted prices. It is the perfect way to read more while spending less. If you are into Christian books, then this is the event to look forward to as there are clearance sales for $1.

While at it, check and see if you qualify for various scholarships abroad- the U.K and China showcase a lot. You can buy more books there, you know. The dates for this year haven’t been released. If you would like to be notified once that happens, leave me your email address to stay connected.

Actively engage on Social Media

Many authors offer their books at discounts, especially when launching new books. Book stores also do the same when starting out as a marketing strategy. They ask questions and the highest engagement gets a free book or a voucher. Amazon gift vouchers are the best but just try your luck. Twitter is the best site and if you are a book reviewer even better, as authors usually approach you to review their books for free. It is the best place to connect.

Tip- follow book reviewers in your country. They will have the latest news on what books are launching this week and where to get them. Book reviewers are the micro-influencers in this industry so they should have free gifts to give from brand collaborations.


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Buy eBooks or Kindle

If we are at a party and I am on my phone, I 90% will be reading so I always have eBooks on my device. If you want to read more books while spending less with a 9-5 job then this is it. You can always pull out your Kindle on the bus ride to work and not contend with the heaviness of carrying an extra book in your purse.

How do you read more books while spending less in this decade? Do you have a home library? How many books does it have and how did you start it? Or are you more of an eBooks person? Tell me about it in the comments.

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