I am a junkie.

Ahem, A book junkie.
I will never own a Kindle or an Ereader. I do not listen to audio books. I want to feel the weight of the story in my hands, I want to turn real paper pages. I like to see how far I’ve come and how far I have to go. Fiction, non fiction, Sci-Fi, chick lit and classics. Even some YA and children’s volumes. I’ll read it all. What I grab depends on my mood. And yes, I’m one of those bibliophiles who typically have 4–5 books going at a time. Rainy days? Tea and Hemingway or maybe some history. Sunny day? Margarita by the pool with Elizabeth Gilbert or some easy Chick Lit. I can spend hours in a bookstore, even longer in a library. I’m that weird girl you see sniffing old books in antique stores. ( If you happen to be rich and you DON’T have a giant library with a hidden door to a secret lair then give me your money, you’re obviously spending it wrong. ) I buy books I love. I buy books on topics I love. I buy big books full of beautiful photos. My house is filled with books, roughly 700 at last count, because I enjoy surrounding myself with things I love.

Of course, this can turn into an expensive habit. The thing that makes cry the most about the up trend in E Readers is that it’s driving up the price of my beloved books while lowering the publishing rate. And I’m a girl on a budget. But Jane Austin help me, I just can’t kick the habit. So I have to find a way to feed my addiction without holding up the local Barnes and Noble with a really sharp bookmark until they fill my reusable Faulkner bag with the goods (and maybe a chocolate croissant from the cafe).
First there’s the library. A glorious place where I can wander and choose not just books but movies, magazines and music, and best of all it’s all free. This feeds the reading part of my little” problem”. Of course there’s books I HAVE to own, like the new Harry Potter volume, or a book I fell in love with. I will splurge on those tomes through a bookstore. (preferably with a coupon). Pre-orders on popular volumes will also save you money. If I don’t need it new, my two favorite used book websites are Thrift Books and Better World Books. here’s the lowdown on each:

Thrift books has low low prices, most under $5. They run sales often, have special bonus buys called ThriftDeals where you can buy more and save more. They email out coupons fairly often too. There’s a great program called Reading Rewards; once you reach $50 in purchases you get a $5 off coupon. Shipping is always free on orders over $10. You can create Wishlists that will notify you when a book you want becomes available. They offer discounts for telling a friend… hint hint…if you order, please use my link above and you will get an additional 15% off!

Betterworld Books I could go on forever about this site. So here’s the lowdown from the website: They believe that education and access to books are basic human rights. Basically, you buy some books, they match every book sold with a book donation to someone in need. All books are available with free shipping worldwide. And in case you’re concerned about your eco-footprint, every order shipped from Mishawaka is carbon balanced with Green-e Climate certified offsets from 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services firm. So far, the company has converted more than 117 million books into over $15 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process, we’ve also diverted more than 73,000 tons of books from landfills.

If you’re looking to build your library but don’t want to spend like Gatsby then scope out rummage sales, consignment shops, yard sales, and used book stores. All are great ways to hunt down new tomes for your collection, especially pricey ones, for a song. Most libraries have yearly sales as well. Don’t like the library covers and stickers? No worries, they can all be removed. Three Books a Night has a great post on how to do this here http://www.threebooksanight.com/how-tos/remove-library-plastic-sleeves/

I know, I know. Buying used books doesn’t help my rant about the cost of books being on the rise. And buying books online doesn’t help brick and mortar book stores stay in business. But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I still frequent my local bookstore, but I admit I check out the sale stuff first, and I always have a coupon loaded and ready on my phone. On the off-chance I have books I no longer want on my selves they never ever ever go into the landfill. Donate them to hospitals, libraries, retirement homes, or send them off to Better World Books. It’s OK to have a little addiction to the written word. It’s also easy to stay on budget and do some good for the world with that addiction as well.

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