Ok, so, if you're skint (like me) and a complete and utter reading addict (like me,) your gonna need a way to get your hands on a load of reading material without running out of money for things like food and rent (you know, the stuff that comes after books in the list of priorities.)
So here's a little list of 5 ways to grab reading stuffs, and where to buy or borrow, without breaking the bank:
1.Second-hand books; usually cheaper than their new counterparts, these can be found in such interesting places as car boot sales, online stores (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Oxfam,) charity shops, and second hand book shops.
2.Swapping; find a family member or friend willing to give you their old books and magazines (be prepared to give them yours in return.)
3.Bargain hunting; sometimes books can be found cheaper in supermarkets, or on sale, or shops such as The Works - so be prepared to hunt out a good deal.
4.Play the waiting game: That must-have new book? If you can bare to wait a few weeks it'll be significantly down in price. Avoid going on pre-order lists - it's actually usually cheaper to pick up a copy of the book on the day of release. Sometimes supermarkets use bestsellers as loss leaders so you can pick up a deal.
5.Take advantage of special offers: A 2 for 1 deal where you can get the book you want and also buy your friend that book she's been harking on about all ready for Christmas/her birthday? Sold!
Shop savvy and buy books!
This review is adapted from a post originally published 31.10.14, on my blog http://diaryofareadingaddict.blogspot.co.uk/
I am an avid fan of books, the paper kind with a cover and pages that you can curl up to read and flick through each page, however saying that I am also a fan of electronic formats for several reasons.
One, the kindle or smartphone that allows you to read from it is easy and you can store many books on it which of course saves space in the house and you have them all in one place which is easy for travelling and especially going abroad. Of course with a kindle you can also have a book exactly when you want it for you simply download it and within seconds it is there in front of you. One specific reason why I love my kindle app is because I can read in bed at night with the light off and not disturb anyone. It is nice to be able to read in the dark as it can give a higher sense of emotional contact with the book, however saying that you can also gain as much emotional contact with the physical book in your hands especially if it is an old one.
Overall both the traditional book and the kindle have their own place but I feel sadly many more people use their kindle now rather than buying a actual book and the decline of smaller bookshops especially is tragic. Please support normal books as well as the kindle because to hold a book in a chair with a cup of hot tea especially when it is raining outside is a magic that cant be replaced.
To answer the question therefore I purchase half of my books from a kindle device and half from the bookshop. It usually depends what type of book it is and how much I wish to connect to it.
Like many, I enjoy reading, however I probably enjoy collecting books even more. At one point I had around 500 books, and I had only read around half of them. A little bit of an obsession of mine, see a book with an interesting cover or title and it is bound to find its way onto my bookcase, whether it will actually be read is another matter. So here are the following places I collect books from:
1. Charity Shops or Market Stalls
These are places where one can find books at cheap prices, though often these are second-hand books, and as I like my books in pristine condition, I will only purchase a book if it is rare, or is a book by my favourite author with a different cover than one I already have. When I attended university, such places were also a good way to look for old university books that I would need for the next few years.
2. The Library
The library is usually a place I either go to find books for research purposes, or to test out an author before I go and purchase their books. As this is a free service, it is the cheapest way to get books, and if you really enjoy a book then you can buy your own copy later. Libraries also tend to have book sales, mostly old books that are no longer being borrowed, or older editions of books, they tend to sell these at between 20p to £1.
3. WH Smiths
WH Smiths was a bookstore I started using as a child. At that time they had points system, which was great. This has stopped, but they do send out vouchers for 20% off, or spend £15 on books and get £5 off. They also have in store offers, three for two, half price or buy one get one free.
Waterstones is my preferred choice of high street bookshops, despite the high prices. Waterstones do have a points system, so I always feel like I am getting something back for all the money I spend on these books, though they rarely hold in store double points offers, which is a shame. I also enjoy the atmosphere of being in a Waterstones bookshop, there is a feel to it, partly library, partly old bookstore. Waterstones is the bookstore that usually stocks signed copies of various books, so this is another bonus. Foyles bookstore also does this.
Ah, Amazon! With their half price books and free delivery, how can one resist?! This is the place to get the cheapest brand new books. The only downside is not being able to pick out your copy of the book, if you're like me and need your books in pristine condition, this is not always possible with Amazon. Many a time have I found a creased spine, or a folded edge of the cover, which has infuriated me, and for this reason I tend to prefer buying from Waterstones. But if Waterstones are not stocking the book I want, or if I need books for studying, Amazon is the next best place to purchase these from. Of course Amazon also does second-hand books, which is not only good for purchasing books at cheap prices, but also being able to sell your old books.
6. Amazon/Project Gutenberg - Kindle
Since I received my kindle, I have been purchasing e-books. Some e-books are quite cheap or free, others are expensive. So while I have purchased a fair few e-books, I tend only to purchase books from my favourite authors, or the cheap or free books. There is now also a service whereby you can borrow books, not only on Amazon, but through my local library, so this is another way of getting books and saving money.
I'm sure many people on dooyoo will say this and I have seen it written a lot, but I too am an avid reader. I read a lot. I start books, get a chapter into them and start another. Currently I have about 6 books on the go which gets pretty frustrating to the people who recommend them to me as we seem to never get around to discussing them! It's an unusual system but its how I've always functioned and I'll probably always continue to do so.
Due to the fact I read a lot and not only that, I read multiple books at a time, I tend to buy books very frequently. Although this isn't necessarily a popular opinion, I can't tolerate my local library (mostly due to the staff but that's a whole other issue..) and I tend to enjoy reading books brand new. I think reading can be very satisfactory and opening up a book is always a nice experience. Additionally I don't like breaking the spine on my books and so choosing second hand books means there is a very significantly low proportion of books that I can choose from that look brand new and neat. Now when it comes to buying my books, I've made it clear I don't loan them and I also don't enjoy second hand books so that also rules out charity shops or car boot sales.
The places where I always buy my books from are bookshops. Often there is a sense of hysteria that old fashion physical books/bookstores will become obsolete one day and I'm pretty confident that this won't happen based on the assumption that I can't be the only cook who loves the quaintness of bookshops and enjoys perusing the rows of bookshelves and looking at the many different genres available. One particular problem I have with online shopping and one reason I can't get properly 'into it' is that while I do have my own set of tastes they are not distinct enough I would know exactly what I want and exactly what to search for. I think shopping online takes away the ability to just stumble upon a gem of a book and so I will probably always stick to shopping in my local stores.
My bookshop of choice is Waterstones. I have always encountered very friendly informative staff who seem to have a reasonable understanding of near-on every section of the store. I enjoy the interaction with these staff members and again feel this is something I would miss out on if I were to switch entirely to online shopping. I like having the option to sit down in a nice warm armchair and flick through the first few pages of the book, testing to see if it catches my fancy. I like the atmosphere, the subtle music, and also being surrounded by like minded people who I know share a common hobby with me.
However, with this said, that does not mean I strictly stick to buying books in person. I have on occassion bought books online, often from Amazon due to the fact my best friend frequents the website and I know they're a reliable fairly cheap option. The occassions where I tend to do so is often when I have been recommended a very good book and so am looking for an exact copy/name/author etc. I feel if you are looking for something very in particular this makes online shopping a bonus.
Overall I shop in person and more often than not in Waterstones. I'm pretty picky when it comes to book and find that this is one store that never really lets me down. While I have bought books online and do enjoy the reduction in price it offers, I think I much prefer walking away on the day with book in hand and the general experience of exploring a bookshop. For that reason I frequent bookshops and hope they continue to thrive despite the growing popularity of online bookstores/kindles etc.
I absolutely love reading and over the past 2 years, rarely a day goes past without me reading something. I'm not a particularly fast reader but I do eventually get there. I read a whole variety of different sorts of books. When I finish a book I either let my husband chose my next one or I chose something to suit my mood. We both enjoy reading and have a huge selection of books at home. We are running out of space!
Car Boot Sales: For me this is probably one of the best places to find books. Usually paperback books only cost about 20p so you can afford to pick up random books that take your fancy - if you don't like them, you can just drop them off at a charity shop.
Charity Shops: I used to buy a lot of my books in charity shops but over the last couple of years I've noticed some charity shops are getting very expensive to buy books. I appreciate the money is going to charity but some of them really are over the top. I don't generally buy random books from charity shops because they are getting too expensive but if there is a book I really want then I will pay up for it.
Online: You've got to love Amazon. There is just such a huge selection. I generally buy books from Amazon if it is a gift for someone or if I am reading a series and I'm looking for the next one. For example I started watching A Game of Thrones on TV and I really wanted to read the book. I soon discovered there is a whole series of books to read. I have bought these from Amazon in stages because they are so good; this is a series I want to keep.
In Stores: I rarely buy from places like Waterstones because they are quite expensive but I do often look for the offers in Tesco or WHSmith. Tesco was where I found - I Am Number Four - for £4, of the 2 for £8 offer.
These are really the only places I buy my books. I know there are book clubs you can join and we even have a book club deliver books to our work for us to have a look through and order the books we want but I'm not quick enough at reading to warrant this. There are so many books in our house that every time I buy another book - even at 20p - I question whether or not I really should. There are just so many fantastic authors out there - reading could be a very expensive hobby!
I am a little obsessed with books you can't beat a good book in my opinion and if you get really good one then you just don't want to put it down. The thing is books can be an expensive habit to have so like with everything it good to shop around here are some of my favourite places to buy books.
~Supermarkets are now my first port of call for new book releases which are in the book charts and they always have them on great deals a book with a rrp of £6.99 will be £4 in my local Asda or Tesco and they do have a good range they also do books on deals of 2 for £7 when one would normally cost £6.99 again a great deal. The only thing with supermarkets is they don't always have older books especially if you are looking for series or books by certain autors in these cases I have to go to the.........
~The internet sites like ebay.co.uk and amazon.co.uk are great for finding books cheaper than the shops and you can find books which are older or more books which are less common and not found in the shops. I also use www.readitswapit.co.uk which is a website where you swap books with othere people and all it costs you is the postage of the book you arswapping with them it is a great website and free to join and is great for getting some bargain books.
~Second hand book stores are also great for picking up a bargain lets face it what we are doing with the book is reading it we are not wearing it out so it does not need to be in perfect condition in order for me to be able to enjoy it. Charity shops are also great for picking up second hand books cheap.
~Car boot sales another great plac to pick up a bargain rad you can get books for as little as 25p and people will always drop there prices if you are brave enough to haggle.
~Market stores wich sell old and new books again a big choice and you always save as books are sold below the rrp price on this store.
Happy book hunting I hope you found this useful if you like reading I don't think it matters where you buy your books from and second hand books still tell the same story as a shiny new one.
Ever since childhood, I have loved books. The fact that my Mum used to be a library assistant and take books out for us as a treat may have helped towards this! However, my Mum has always disagreed with buying books as she thinks they should only be borrowed! It's taken me a while to get over the guilt of buying books but I'm coping...
When I was a young and impressionable student, I thought that textbooks could only be bought brand new from book shops - this meant spending between £30 and £65 per book on required textbooks as they were rarely available in the library, and we had required reading almost every day. After a while, I discovered the on-campus second hand book shop that sold textbooks for a fraction of the price - great news! The bookshop had many titles available in lots of interesting subjects, so I spent large amounts of time browsing, and selectively buying.
Later, I discovered charity shops! Now, the prices can be great but sometimes there is just no order, so one can end up with a blinding headache after squinting at titles for a long time. One shop that is amazing for its organisation is the Oxfam bookshop on Byres Road in Glasgow - the books are organised into subjects AND alphabetically by author - there are also chairs dotted around for when you have some time to sit and read a book. The staff are friendly and helpful and there is a really relaxed atmosphere. The books are not as cheap as some other charity shops as I think they take a fraction off the RRP (maybe 1/3), then reduce the price of the book every week it's sat on the shelf not being bought.
Another excellent bookshop I recently visited was one in Inverness - Leakey's, located in an old Gaelic church. Books are roughly separated into subjects (the shelves are crammed from floor to ceiling and there is no alphabetical order) - it's chaotic but beautiful. I spent hours in this shop as there was so much to see (original prints and art for sale and a gallery style cafe) and the staff were lovely. Eventually I bought a hardback book on the history of science for £10 - even cheaper than Amazon.
Amazon.co.uk is the site I usually go to if I want to buy books online, as they are usually quite cheap and offer free shipping (shipping is £2.75 if you buy from different sellers on Amazon), and there are usually reviews - I like to read all the reviews as I've heard that some authors put lots of good reviews of their books there themselves, and some competitors will write bad reviews, so it's good to have a balance. There are also lots of specialist books, and it's interesting to see 'what other people who viewed the item bought', and the recommendations that Amazon suggests. I also like the 'wish list' feature, which allows you to make lists of books etc that you want (surprisingly!) but can't have right now.
I also sometimes shop on other websites e.g www.whsmith.co.uk (they have free shipping to your nearest store, so you can have a proper look at the book and return it there and then if you want, rather than going to the hassle of posting it back yourself) and play.com, which are sometimes cheaper. I love the anticipation of waiting for a package of books to arrive in the post!
One shop I like to buy books from sometimes is 'The Works - Publisher's Outlet'. They sell arts and crafts item, some tat, some trashy books, and some decent ones. They have a large selection of books for sale at 3 for £5, some are £1 or less! A lot of these are classics, which I have found useful, as I missed reading some of these when I was young. They sometimes have really good deals e.g they had Cassell's chronology of world history, a hardback, 780 page, good quality history book for sale at £4.99. I'm still kicking myself for not buying this at the time because I didn't feel like carrying it home! I'll buy it with my Amazon voucher though :)
The last place I sometimes buy books from is the library. My local library has a section of discarded or sale books for 10p - 50p - sometimes there are really good books in there. When I was at university, my mum got me a massive (in size and usefulness) biochemistry textbook from this section - it was a very hard to source book and really helped me - I then passed it on to someone else when I graduated and they used it to bits too! There are often really interesting (and ancient) books in this section, so it's worth a look.
I hope you've found this useful!
With the current economic downturn starting to bite, I'm trying desperately NOT to buy books wherever possible and have discovered several ways of reading for free (or almost for free).
The first and most obvious place for free books is your local library. I live in Bracknell Forest, a unitary authority, so only have a small pool of books available spread over approximately 8 libraries. On the plus side, reserving books is free of charge. Those of you who live in the larger counties will have a much wider range of books to choose from, and can reserve books from other libraries within your county for a small fee. On average this generally works out at about a tenth of the cost of a new book.
I have also discovered a wonderful website called Read It Swap It where a person can list the books they have available to swap. If someone sees a book they want to read, they request a swap and make their list of books available. You can either choose a book from their list or turn them down. If you mutually agree a swap, you then pack the book up and post it off and you get a book to read for the price of postage which, again, is considerably less than the cost of a new book. This is a wonderful way of recycling books and I've received a few which have been in pristine condition, along with a few that were described as "good" or "excellent" and were definitely not.
If you have an ereader and like to read online, there are any number of freebies on the Internet. For classics, the obvious choice would be the Gutenburg Project which has a huge electronic library of world classics.
I've recently discovered a website called "scribd" which has electronic copies of text books and short stories as well as some full-length novels from well known writers. The site operates by people uploading copies of books as well as downloading to your PC or, indeed, reading them online. However, it isn't essential to upload a document in order to download one.
Now to the actual subject in hand. Where do I buy my books?
Taking up my original theme of the economic downturn, when buying books I do tend to look first for cheap copies in charity shops, at car boot fairs and table top sales. If I buy from Amazon, I always check to see whether there is a cheaper copy of the book available second hand from Amazon Marketplace. There are often copies available for 1p. It's always worth remembering here though that most books from Amazon UK now have free P&P, whereas those on Amazon Marketplace have a P&P rate of £2.75 which can really bump up the price of the book.
Auction sites such as eBay used to be a great place to buy cheap books but with the rise in postal rates, this isn't always the case anymore. Some sellers build in all the sellers fees and Paypal charges into their P&P costs and you can often end up paying more for a second hand book than you would buying it new from a bookshop.
Below is a list of all the cheap online booksellers I currently use. I'm sure there are many more bargain bookstores online but I hope these will help you find a reading bargain.
Amazon UK: Many books at greatly reduced prices with free P&P. If buying from Amazon Marketplace there is a £2.75 charge for P&P but lots of books sold for pennies.
Green Metropolis: Average cost of a book is £3.75 which includes P&P
Play.com: Books are all with free P&P. Second hand copies available at much reduced prices
Aphrohead: Not many newly published books but great for finding titles from a writer's backlist. Free P&P
The Book Depository: A huge selection of books with free P&P.
I was quite intrigued when I saw this discussion topic as it is something I have never thought about.
I have always loved books and when I was a child I was encouraged to read and was bought books instead of dolls or other non educational toys. So I grew up with books in place of toys essentially- I was given a few sets of 24 books or so to work through- Enid Blyton series'. When I got older, I started to buy books for myself when I realised I could buy a book for £2-£3 in W H Smith and bought a series of books when I was about 12.
I was also encouraged to use the local library and used to hire lots of books- so buying books was not esential but I preferred to buy books if I was building up a collection of books by an author I liked. To combine the two, I found book sales in Libraries and book sections in Charity shops made it possible for me to use my meagre pocket money (£1.50 a week!) to buy books for 10p or 20p.
So primarily- my book suppliers were WH Smiths, library books sales and charity shops or donations of books as hand me downs from older siblings.
When I went to University, I found I had to buy course books written by the course tutors from the University bookshop (I hated this as it seemed such a scam!) - these books would cost £35-£100 EACH and would only be necessary for one of your subject topics.
I didn't buy many non degree related books whilst I was at university. A few years ago, I decied to rebuild my book collection as I found through lending books to people and having spur of the moment clear outs and "losing" books when I moved house my book collection had dwindled to around 10 books!
My book buying habits have changed a lot over the years- online browsing means you can just search online for the exact book rather than looking through random unsorted books in a charity shop. So I may not be donating money to charity by buying books online, but I think if you are looking for a specific book, looking online seems to be easier than hopefully trawling through shelves and shelves of books in a local charity or second-hand bookstore.
I have always loved books. Well, ever since I can remember, that is. Leave me in a book shop or a library for a few hours and I'll be in heaven.
When I was a child you couldn't join the library service until you were four years of age. Until then, I remember visiting the library when I was three years old, with my mother and five year old brother. Mum would choose books that the three of us could read (or look at) together and I can still remember some of those first books.
When the day came for me to join the library I was so excited. I remember skipping along to the library building, situated conveniently close to my home in Canonbury, Islington. It was a painted pale blue (my favourite colour ) and was a single story bungalow type of building. I became a regular visitor to this library and would choose my four books with care.
These were the days when children had much more freedom, and I wouldn't have been much older when I visited the library by myself, so I could browse to my heart's content. Of course, I was always quiet, as you had to be in those days, and I can still hear the rustle of pages being turned and mother's 'hushing' their children.
On moving home one of the first things I did was to join a new library. I was so pleased when the time came for me to exchange my library card for an adult one.
As a school child, especially whilst attending primary school, a great treat for me, and many of my classmates, was the arrival to the classroom of the big box of books ordered by us from the magazine which was handed out every few weeks. A lovely way to spend my pocket money. I can remember some of the books I bought and loved- Charlotte's Web, Stig of the Dump, The Silver Sword...
Well, I grew up and retained my love of reading. During my teens I used much of my pay to purchase books from places such as W.H Smith and smaller, interesting bookshops in the city of London.
I married and still read but when I was a mother of two lively children under school age, I hardly read. This was mainly because I used to get so engrossed in the current novel, that I didn't want to stop when my motherly duties were required (shameful!) so I considered it best to stop reading .
I resumed reading some years ago when my mother became ill at the start of a long, and terminal, illness. I had two more children by this time, still relatively young, so I didn't pick up a book during the day but began the habit, which I still have, of reading in bed. I did this in an attempt to put the fictitious lives of others into my head and hopefully my dreams so that I could at least get a little, nightmare free sleep.
Now, at a more advanced age, I read and read and read, mainly novels. Of course, books are expensive so, back to the topic at hand. Where do I get my books?
I seldom use the library service any more as I prefer paperbacks, and like to incorporate my book search into my more general shopping. I rarely buy from W.H.Smith, finding it to be very overpriced and not a particularly well set out or welcoming store. I occasionally buy from Waterstones, if they have an offer on book prices. Similarly, I sometimes buy from Sussex Bookshops.
I have been known to put a couple of books in my basket when in Poundstretcher. True, they don't have a vast selection but, if you see something there you want to read it will always be on sale for well below the recommended price. I will NOT pay the full price on books as find them too expensive and there are other things I have to spend money on first.
If I see a book that appeals in a supermarket, such as Sainsbury or Tesco then I will buy it, IF, it is on offer.
Another very reasonable outlet of books and one where I can often be found perusing is 'The Works'. I don't know how big a chain this is and am only familiar with the one in Romford, but if you do have one of these near you'll know that among the art and crafts they have a few shelves and a couple of tables full of books at extremely reasonable prices. You can buy three brand new books here for £5.00. I consider that a real bargain.
But my most visited place to buy books is housed in Market Place, leading off of Romford Market, in Essex. I am so glad that I found this 'Aladdin's Cave' of books a few years ago. It is such a great idea. I will explain.
Market Place is a small indoor market. On the ground floor can be found the booksellers. It is the size of a narrow, long room, and it's shelved full of, mainly, second hand books.
Facing to the outside there are a couple of shelves and wired revolving stands housing new books at prices below the recommended retail price. They mainly sell for around four pounds, so not quite so good a buy as 'The Works' yet, still reasonable if a particular book catches your eye. But move inside and you'll see shelves of used books all set out in alphabetical order. These books are in varying conditions and therefore the have varying price tags. Some are priced at £2.00, but most can be purchased for £1.50. There are even some, still well readable, for the fabulously low price of fifty pence!
The couple who tend this shop/stall are there to offer advice if you require it but seem content to let you browse for as long as you want. You can have a good look and often can find several copies of a particular book so can choose the one in best condition. Most of these books are in a good state of repair and are clean.
This place is such a good idea because NOT ONLY does it sell new and mainly used books but they also take them back. Yes, they will credit you fifty pence towards your next book on returns OR any book you may want to give them, bought elsewhere. This certainly helps with the expense we bookworms have to face.
And one more thing I feel worth mentioning- I bought three books from here recently and my husband added one for himself and when paying, (£1.50 each) I was told by the trader that as I'd purchased four books I could choose a free book from the fifty pence section! There was a decent selection so I was very happy having now got four books ready to read.
I believe a book is a friend. It can help you through troubled times by giving you something to focus on, even if only for a short period. It can help when you are lonely or bored. By reading children can increase their study skills. Spelling, grammar and punctuation will improve through reading. Just by reading a novel you will learn something, perhaps of different lifestyles, periods in history, locations and the list is never ending. So if you like books, whether you borrow or buy, I truly hope you enjoy your books.
Thank you for reading.
My room is covered in books. Literally. In fact, I would go as far to admit, that I am a book-a-holic. In years gone by I have spent a fortune on books and it's only now that I'm seriously broke, that I've had to drastically cut my spending down.
At the moment, I try not to buy any book from new. And yes, this does cause me physical pain. To make up for it, I'm buying lots of books as presents now! Charity shops, second hand book sales and cheap shops, such as the Works, are ideal for me. Where I live, there are several charity shops which have a wide selection of reasonably priced books. We also have a book man on the market.
If I do buy from new, at the moment, Amazon is the place to go. Their cheap prices and free delivery (if over £5) means that I can get a good deal.
If I had the money, my place of choice would be a book store. As cheap as the internet is, you can't beat the feeling of holding the book in your hands, flicking through it, smelling it...... you all know what I mean. In particular, if I am buying a non fiction or reference book, I like to see what is inside, the size of the text, the pictures etc. Waterstones is a good, solid book store. There are two in Birmingham and I have spent many happy hours wandering around, secretly hoping they might lock me in by accident and I could spend all night there. I also like independent book stores, as they have a different atmosphere, and different selection of books.
I do like the online book sellers and they do have advantages over traditional book stores. Amazon has a wide selection of books from all over the world and it's hard to find a book they don't stock. Their marketplace means that you can also access hard to find and out of print books. They are also good if you know what you want and you can purchase it within a couple of clicks.
However my first love will always be book shops - in the event of a nuclear war, I will be found in a bookstore, with a torch, some chocolate and a sleeping bag.
My books are my second most valued material possessions (only to my computers, which store a large portion of my life in their hard drive, have I developed a greater attachment).
They are also, collectively, my biggest financial investment to date: I have never - with the exception of rent - spent as much money as I have on books on anything else.
For most of my life, most of my books were purchased from bookstores such as Blackwell's, Charing Cross's Foyles and Waterstone's.
There was also an Ottakar's store very near my home which had a great atmosphere and I loved visiting, which sadly seemed to lose some of its friendliness after being turned into a Waterstone's, when the companies merged in 2006.
I also have to give The Works a very fond and honourable mention: I always enjoy visiting this store and browsing their selection of (greatly) discounted books.
The Works does not have as many books to choose from as any of the other bookstores I have listed above, but what they do have is usually at a small fraction of the book's full recommended retail price.
Last but not least, there is one other bookstore that I need to mention. Unfortunately, I do not know its name or its exact location. I do know it was not far from Foyles.
It was a very small bookstore, which only seemed to sell Wordsworth Classics.
Instead of shelves, there were boxes on the floor and the books were piled high around the store - all at £1.99.
It was a dream come true to a book lover on a student's budget and, like a dream, it was over suddenly, disappearing into eternity without a trace.
I came across it by chance, glimpsed the stacks of Wordsworth Classics through the small window and walked in.
That day (late afternoon, to be precise) I took as many books as I could carry, and went home feeling as if I had just ransacked Ali Baba's cave of blue covered treasures.
Not long after I returned prepared with a big bag to take another batch, but the bookstore was nowhere to be found and I saw no sign it had ever existed.
This was some years ago, and I still feel a powerful sense of loss.
My heart weeps for the magical little bookshop everytime I'm near Charing Cross, but I like to think that, having fulfilled its purpose of bringing me a significant amount of joy, it moved on to a new abode to continue its mission of serving other literature lovers in the land.
Nowadays I rarely buy books from a highstreet bookstore, preferring instead to order them from an online store.
Books sold online usually have a lower price, and there is also the convenience of having them delivered straight to my door.
This change, however, did not come easily. I resisted it for a long time, unwilling as I was to relinquish control over the choice of exemplars (what if they pick books that are creased, or with fingerprints, or with a misprinted, blurry cover?) and because going into a bookstore to browse the titles on offer and pick pristine new copies to take home with me was an essential and much gratifying part of the book buying process.
Yet, one day I finally purchased my first books from Amazon, and the transaction went so smoothly that I became a regular customer.
By now I have bought all sorts of things from Amazon, but while I still regularly buy other products from other retailers, Amazon has remained my primary source of books.
I use both amazon.co.uk and amazon.com, and in my dealings both have been extremely reliable and professional.
Not once have I had to return something I have bought from Amazon - all the items have arrived in good condition. From feedback I have got from other customers though, it seems that the returns process is a straightforward one and they have not had any problems with it.
I do regularly look into other online bookstores to see what's new, and what deals they have got, but usually if they happen to have books that I want to buy at lower prices than Amazon, this advantage is counterbalanced by the delivery charges, whereas I have free delivery from Amazon on most purchases.
As a result, I am quite content with Amazon and have not felt the need to go elsewhere to buy most of my books for the past five years.
Many of us love to read and I'm sure that many book fanatics have noticed the price of books steadily increasing over recent years. For those of us who read alot this means that buying books can become a somewhat expensive hobby. I exist off a very low wage but read alot so I need to get books as cheap as possible, as such there are several places that I purchase from regularly:
1) Charity shops - if you're looking for something specific then you haven't got much chance of finding what you're looking for but you could get lucky. Charity shops often have a large, and constantly changing stock for reasonable prices (although this does vary in different charity shops). If you want something to read but don't have anything specific in mind then charity shops can be a great option as they are a good way of introducing you to new material.
2) Second hand book shops - there's one in the town near me that is fantastic! There are quite literally books stacked from floor to ceiling and even more piles of books in the middle of the floor. At the shop I go to the books are given 'stickers' which determine the price you pay from 60p up to £4. Outside they even have a box of free books and bundles of books for £1. I've never been to any other second hand book shops but if others are anything like this, they're a gold mine!
3) The works - highstreet discount bookshop. They have a regularly changing stock which is good as it means there is often different books available everytime you visit. There are all sorts of genre's represented and prices are very good - last week I bought 'Treasure Island' for just 10p! To be fair they're not usually that cheap but they often have paperbacks for 99p-£1.99 and 3 for £5 on popular books.
4) The library - I rarely borrow books from the library as I don't like having to return something at a specified time. My local library sells ex-library books aswell though and I often buy from here - again the available books change quite regularly and are very cheap (at my library it's 'fill a bag for £2'
5) Amazon - books are usually available for less than their RRP and there is a wider variety than even most book shops can offer (obviously due to floor space restrictions imposed on shops). Also I am on a number of survey sites and of course dooyoo, where you can get amazon vouchers in return for participation. I've made several orders from amazon in the last couple of months and always been very happy with what I got.
6) Car boot sales - I usually only go to these if I'm selling stuff myself as I hate getting up early so I combine buying and selling at car boots into one :P Carboot sales are a great place to get cheap books - many between 20p and 50p each. Over the years I've ended up coming home with bags full of books!
On some occassions I will visit shops like Waterstones and before it collapsed, Borders. I do this mainly because I'm a bit of a geek and like the atmosphere of book shops :P I only buy a few books from them a year though as I can't afford to shop there on a regular basis.
I think that just about exhausts my list of places I purchase books and I would reccommend every single one of them.
I have to admit I have never been one for reading. I normally spend my spare time on the internet or watching tv. The only reading I normally get up to is the tv mag or the glossy celebrity magazines. It was only after watching a lot of "whats in your purse /bag" videos on youtube that I noticed a particular pattern and trend emerging between the girls; this was that a lot of them carried a book with them in their bag.
Most people explained they often read on the tube. Now as I don't travel on the train, and I don't go to college no more their is no need for me to carry a book in my bag, as their would be nowere for me to read it. It was then that I decided I would read one on an evening before bed.
Their is a local shop in my town centre named "The Works" It's main purpose I would say it to be a book & art shop. Yet their are bits of stationary a few toys, some random bits and pieces all crammed into a little store. On going in this shop with my mum I was taken to the bustling stand in front of me with lot's of books starting from 99p. I took a quick read of the back covers untill one took my eye and this is were I have started. When I have finished with this one I am going to go back in and repurchase another one from here also. When and if i go through enough that I have a collection, I will offer them to my mums friend first (who enjoys reading) then take them to a carboot sale (were in the processing of selling them; possibly could end up purchasing more). And then I would donate them to a charity shop.
The closest thing our town has to a book store is 'The Works' or 'WHSmith', we can't boast a waterstons for example and as I am still only starting off, I'm not into the big named authors at the minute, so I'm happy purchasing from 'The Works'
Just my thoughts
In short - all sorts of places. Now, please allow me to expand on the theme...
Shops. There's two main types when it comes to buying books - shops selling new books and shops selling second hand books. Obviously, in this financially fragile world we find ourselves in, my wallet generally dictates the cheaper option - the secondhand shop. These shops are the saver's friend, charity shops are always worth a look for that hard to find third and final trilogy book youve been hunting for, and there are also dedicated second hand book shops that sell nothing other than books, glorious books. Market stalls are worth a look too if price is a driving factor. When it comes to the shiny new book sellers, WH Smiths, Waterstones etc, although I like the range some of the larger stores have, I am put off by the prices of a new book sometimes, especially if in hardback.
T'interweb. Two words - Amazon. Rocks. If variety is the spice of life, then Amazon's offerings are the spiced up equivalent of a nuclear strength curry, with extra chillies, the sort that chefs wear rubber gloves to handle and are stored in dark jars away from flammable materials. Not only can you choose between hard and paperback versions, there is also the option of buying second hand - sometimes from as little as 1p!!!!!!! Of course there are other book selling websites, but the discussion theme is "where do you buy your books?". It just so happens I buy mine from Amazon. So there!
Dooyoo points and a book filled future? - Hopefuly, one day soon, I will have enough points to cash in for an Amazon voucher. The question is, do I treat my wife and get her the next Davina/Rosemary Connoly/Mel B/Vanessa Feltz/Thora Herd workout DVD, or should I be selfish and order another Terry Pratchett discworld installment to fill up my shelves with? Interesting times.........