Thursday, May 03, 2012

Loving the Library

Last year at about this time, I wrote this post on how to save money if you're a bibliophile {if you love books}. As someone who reads between 50 and 100 books every year, I've learned that reading can become an EXPENSIVE proposition if I run to Barnes and Noble every time I finish a book. Even running to Half-Priced books can pose a problem for someone who {like me} is squirreling away every last penny.

In that post, I gave many suggestions {yard sales, Paperback Swap, clearance sections of bookstores, Goodwill, etc.}, but mentioned that I generally didn't use the library. For awhile I was *bad* at returning things on time and ended up owing a ridiculous amount in fines. That's not frugal or financially savy.

Since I've moved back home, though, I have fallen in love with audiobooks, and the Kindle lending library and am happy to add the library back into my "ways to not pay for books!"

Audiobooks are EXPENSIVE. Seriously, expensive. Like, $20/book at Half-Price Books and sometimes $40 - $50 at Barnes and Noble. No thanks. My city library has an awesome collection of audiobooks and I can have them sent to the branch closest to my house. My county library is also close by, and they have a totally different selection than the city library.

Don't even get me started on e-books from the library's digital database! This is possibly the most amazing idea anyone has ever come up with. I check out books on my kindle, y'all. I think I've read 10 e-books since I replaced my first generation Kindle two months ago and I could not be happier. As bonus, these books are ONLY available for two weeks. The e-book database literally sucks {OK, maybe not literally} the book off your e-reader the day it's due. There is no risk of late fees with this particular system. Sometimes I have to wait awhile for books {I've been waiting a few months to read IQ84, for example}, but I make sure I have plenty to read by putting my name on waiting lists for both the county and city libraries. Usually one comes up every few weeks {if not every few days}.

Of course, I do still check-out hard copy, paper books. I've tried to limit those recently in the interest of not having a whole lot of clutter around {and I have SO MANY hard copy books to get through before August}, but it's still so fun to wander around the library, leave with a stack of books, and not pay anything.

I'm glad that I finally was able to get back into a reliable routine using the library. I've been able to knock a bunch of books off my to-read list on Goodreads all while saving a bunch of money.

Next week I'm going to write a post telling you exactly how much I've saved since January. I've just started the calculations, and it's already staggering. STAGGERING, I tell you!


  1. I would be completely bankrupt if it weren't for my local library! I go through about the same amount of books that you do, and if I had to buy all of those? Yikes! My library sends an email reminder about 3 days before something is due back, so I usually avoid late fees.

  2. I haven't rented ebooks from the library yet, but I really want to!

  3. I keep waiting for my library to get more e-books for rental. They have a small collection...emphasis on small..and there's always a long wait list. However, I'm reading a rented e-book from them right now. And it's from my library in California--so I love that you can use it anywhere :)