How to read more books when you’re skint

I hear a lot of people say that being a book enthusiast is expensive and many of them end up giving up on reading altogether. Well, it’s not if you know a few tricks… In this blog post I’m going to give you some advice to help you read more when you can’t afford books.

Your grand parents’ library

If you want to read classics such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (how amazing is this book by the way), chances are there are some in your grandparents’ library. So, why don’t you pay them a visit and ask them to browse their library? If your grandparents are anything like mine, they will be thrilled to show you their favourite editions.

You could find some hidden gems, or in my case an old Polaroid of your dad on a pony!


Le petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Illustrated version.

Your local library

Libraries often offer free membership cards if you are a local. You can go there and borrow as many books as you want. There might not be new ones but the classics and many modern books can be found.

The best thing? You have a large range of choice and can find books of all genres and all languages. It’s worth giving it a try if you’d like to start reading in a new language but you’re not sure of your reading comprehension skills.


Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

Charity shops

Charity shops such as Oxfam and The British Heart Foundation sell many books at really cheap prices. You can find masterpieces at £1, and if you like books that have a history, a nice-looking binding, smell great and are not paperbacks you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.
Usually they have a huge collection of all genres – old and new.

Pro tip: you can donate some of your old books to make room on your bookshelves.


Most of the books here come from a charity shop. I was super excited when I found a 1950 edition of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

Your school library

If you want to read more books in a certain language or in your field of studies; your school library is right here and you should spend a little more time in it! You won’t be able to borrow every book as some are meant to stay in the library at all times, but you can read them in your spare time or in-between classes.

You’ll find many kinds of textbooks, non-fiction works and biographies. And if you’re an English major (or any other language for that matter) like I used to, you’ll discover tons of novels – aka heaven on earth.


My former uni library – very intimate and loads of amazing books!

The Amazon “used” section

Ever since I’ve heard about this, I haven’t been able to stop using it. When you’re shopping for books on Amazon, there is a lesser known feature which is the “used books”. Many books are sold there by previous owners and the prices are really cheap, I quite often buy books for £0.01 and then I pay like £2 for the shipping. Books are used but you hardly notice as they’re still good quality.


Car-boot sales

I think this option is one of my favourites. When spring comes, so do car-boot sales. What I suggest is that you do some research on the ones that are next to you and bring along a friend. It will make up for a nice day and people usually sell extremely cheap books. You can even negotiate to reduce the price but don’t forget that they paid more than £20 for it in the first place, so don’t be greedy!


The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway. Sadly they didn’t have the original version.

Wait for the paperback version

Okay, so this one might be hard, especially if you’ve been dying to read the sequel of your favourite novel – but easily doable for other reads. Publishers always release the hard-cover version first and then the paperback version a few months later. If you think you can wait, you’ll save some bucks!

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner – I actually waited a little too long because they even issued a new edition WITH THE MOVIE POSTER, ARGH.

All the pictures are from my Instagram account.

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