Hiya bookish people!

I have a new schedule! I am gonna be posting NZ time Monday, Wednesday and Fridays! Yes, it is more than normal, but I wanna try bumping up my blog a bit. Mondays are for discussions, Wednesdays are for reviews and Fridays are for tags.

How is everyone? I decided to talk about something that is a real struggle for nearly every reader, which is book buying. Yeah, the title was extremely self-explanatory. Anyway, should we get into it?

🌷 Choosing what book to buy

Yeah. It’s so easy for me to say that I want to buy every book on my TBR (which I do!) but assuming that every book on my TBR is at least $25.26* , then it will cost me about $ 1,035.66 (25.26 x 41). That’s a lot of money to spend on anything, let alone just books. And that’s using an average price, some books will definitely be more or less expensive than $25.26.

But seriously. Nearly every single time I walk into my local bookstore, I add another two books to my Goodreads TBR list. I can’t help it. And I’ll admit, occasionally I’ll wait a couple of hours and reread the blurb to see if I’m actually interested in the book or if I was experiencing temporary FOMO. Still, I have about 41 books on my TBR. So what one do I buy?

  • Do I buy the sequels in a series that got released last year?
  • Do I buy the book everyone is currently talking about so I can understand the hype?
  • Do I buy the book that has been on my TBR the longest?
  • Do I buy the book with the nicest cover?
  • Do I buy the book that I’m most interested in reading right this very second?
  • Do I buy the special edition of a book I read and reread and reread?
  • Do I buy the book that I read at the library and loved?
  • Do I buy the book by the author I like the most?
  • Do I buy the book on the ‘recommended for YA readers’ poster?
  • Do I buy the book in this month’s YA Goodreads newsletter?
  • Do I buy the book that would look the nicest on my current bookshelf layout?
  • Do I buy the copy of an ARC I got sent and loved to support the author?
*Check my math

These books were all randomly picked from my TBR and the prices are the set NZD price from my local book stores (with no discounts applies). The titles link to the Goodreads page.

A Thousand Perfect Notes ➳ $ 24.40
Reverie ➳ $ 30.95
After You ➳ $ 25.99
Still Me ➳ $ 26.99
Paper Butterflies ➳ $ 17.95
TOTAL : $ 126.28

AVERAGE (total / 5 ) : $ 25.26

All the books tempting me as I struggle to decide

🌷 Choosing what media to buy

And surely it should be as easy as saying, “Emma, come on. Hardcover obviously,” and normally I would agree with you. But it really isn’t that easy. There’s a hardcover, which would be really nice and you get a cool dust jacket with the book. Or how about that special edition that looks so nice, and I’m mostly sure I’ll love the book so a special edition would be nice. There’s the paperback which will fit nicely into my bookshelf and would show age along with my love of the book. There’s audiobooks which means I can listen to each chapter as it suits me at a nice cruising pace, and it means I can read while travelling or doing chores or light-studying. There are eBooks, perfect for easy travel and taking to school for breaks; plus you can transfer books from your devices as you need to which is an instant book to your device.

But there are cons for each of these, too. Hardcovers and special editions are significantly more expensive than some of the other available media types. Paperbacks are far too easy to damage and tend to fall apart after a few years of harsh lovin’. Audiobooks are a risky choice if you haven’t used the narrator yet, and you may never finish the book if you don’t have the time. Ebooks are all good and convenient, but you can’t lend them out without giving away your whole library, or be able to get the awesome cover art to display.

Me being moody listening to moody characters do moody things

🌷 Choosing where to buy them

Now normally I would say do your research, because there are a lot of different avenues you can use to find cheaper versions of the book you want. However, recently I have had a slight dilemma about ordering books online after reading Margaret at Weird Zeal’s post about why she doesn’t buy books from Amazon. Indiebound also has some articles on how Amazon has been injuring the book buying community. So I have been trying to consider other alternatives. I tend to not use Book Depository as much as I first did, but purely for informative purposes I will be listing Amazon and Book Depository and Audible.

Your local stores. Check online and instore, but sometimes the stores closest to you will have the perfect sale on, or a clearance bin or you might have credit at the store. Always check with them first, since supporting the book shops near you are important! The people there can also give you real life recommendations rather than “you liked this, try this next”, which sometimes recommends you something you’d never even look at.

Second hand stores or garage sales. Your neighbor might have the book you were just looking for, or sometimes a preloved book with tiny notes scrawled in the margins is just what you need to fall even more in love with the book. Either way, second hand stores are always an adventure waiting to happen – plus they have heaps of hidden gems there that you otherwise wouldn’t find from browsing your local store if it was printed a few years prior. Some examples for me are Small Blue Thing and Me Before You, which I got at a wonderful second hand store. I hadn’t ever heard of Small Blue Thing before and now I really really enjoy it!

Online. Online tends to be easiest for a lot of people, and while I understand the appeal of instant delivery I do ask for you to think about your impact (this is not a guilt trip, just a reminder to consider all options). Sometimes the book you’ve been dying to read just isn’t sold near you, or maybe you want the box set. Some online options are Amazon, Audible, Book Depository, Book Outlet, Wordery, Booktopia (AU), Better World Books, Thrift Books and plenty more. I implore you to do your own research about online book stores that are relevant to you (like I searched up ‘buy books online’ and had a lot of NZ sites show up, that wouldn’t be useful to someone buying from the US).

🌷 Choosing if you should buy any fanart, the rest of the series, or additional merchandise

This is the struggle that I am sure most bookworms have. I want the merch! The candles! The Limited Edition book sleeves! The custom Pop Vinyl figures! The posters! The cushions! The bookmarks! I want all of it! Unfortunately, I really can’t afford to do that. So, I am constantly faced with the struggle of whether or not to buy the associated books in a series, and the merch.

One of my points is, what if I am book three into an eight book series and I loved it, bought all the merch, the entire series, I have candles and bookmarks, but then open up book four and find the rest of the series to be a massive disappointment? I don’t want constant reminders of a series I no longer find myself wanting to read.

So, I think wait until the end of the series. You can then invest in beautiful copies, or framed art, or pieces you know you’ll continue to love. But still, the FOMO, especially when it comes to Limited Edition boxes and Hangover Kits is so very very real.

🌷 Some tips

Write it down! Use a notebook, or a document, or a spreadsheet, but write it down! You can have a better gage of what you buy, where and how much you spent – and then you can decide whether or not you can afford to get more books or to cut it down or find cheaper alternatives

I’m a physical book lover all the way, but sometimes using your kindle is the cheapest option when it comes to book buying. That also means you spend less money finding out if you love the book (or hate it). If you love it, then you can save up to buy yourself a special copy!

Sales are your friend, trust me, and so are second hand stores! They tend to have many popular books, and hidden gems.

I know it sounds terrible, but wait four or five months before you buy a book. It should help keep the price down as it isn’t technically a new release. Sometimes a store will also allow pre-ordering options which can sometimes mean cheaper prices!

This is (significantly) pricier, but if you are dead set about getting some bookish merch, treating yourself to a book box might be the way to go! Lauren has some awesome unboxings so I recommend checking out her posts so you can get an idea of what is inside.

I don’t wanna be super obvious here, but using the library is also a good way to get books! You can get ebooks and audiobooks through most libraries, too!

Don’t get a special edition if you are not 110 % sure you’ll love the book! Special Editions can be up to $20 or $30 more than a regular copy! If you haven’t read the book, or are only sort-of convinced you’ll like it, avoid buying special editions

Me crying because I’ll never own all the books I want


23 thoughts on “

  1. This is a great post and you covered so many things, I think you covered it all well. I can definitely fall into the trap of consumerism especially on things like bookstagram or booktube. I see all the goodies and want them. I think on occasion I will treat myself to some merch but I try to do it rarely as I don’t want to go over the top and I feel like too much for ruin how special the ones I have are.
    I use the library as well, so far this year over half the books I’ve read I have gotten for free which shows they are many ways to have access to books (I’m lucky with where I live that I can do this as well) and I try to buy books that I love the appearance of and think I will really love.
    I definitely try to but all my books from my local bookstore as well or Wordery. On the occasional I can’t get the books I might use Amazon but I am trying to stop that and wait for the UK release!!
    Great discussion, I love forward to your new schedule as well!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      It is definitely super hard to get away from the negative parts of consumerism since there is so many avenues that promote it.
      I actually haven’t bought any merch yet since I wanna buy (another XD) new bookshelf first to put my series on and my standalones on the other one.
      That’s a really good way to do it! I tend to buy books in a series if I have read them all, or in the process of really loving it. It’s hard to buy them though and find you don’t like the last book (*cough* *cough* War Storm *cough). Have you seen Sabrina’s post about the money she saved using the library? It was really interesting! I am thinking about doing something like it in my EOY wrap up.
      I don’t use Amazon but I do use book depository since I didn’t know it was owned by Amazon until recently. Now I try to save up for books at my shops but still consider using BD if I am hauling or buying a series.
      Thank you!
      Here is Sabrina’s post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely understand that I don’t think I will be buying any merch for a while but a new bookshelf sounds so exciting for you!!
        Yeah series can be really risky I tend to do it one book at a time now!! It is shame if the last one lets you down though!!
        I just read Sabrina’s post (thank you) and it was really interesting and well written!! It definitely shows what an amazing resource the library is and why we should take advantage!! I would love that if you decide to do it!! 🙂
        I only discovered that fairly recently as well, I’m trying to use Wordery from now on as it has lots of books the UK doesn’t always have, free shipping, great prices and supports independent book stores (I just realised how much of an advertiser I sound like haha) !!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you! I loved setting it up, it was super fun to redo my whole shelf.
        It is a shame! I hate it because you feel betrayed.
        Thank you! I am thinking about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post! Personally, I haven’t bought a book on my TBR since November 2018 (oop) so I can’t really relate 😅 but I hope that soon I’ll be able to buy more books!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teach me how! I swear I am gonna need a loan soon since I have no shelf control (haha, I’m punny. My friend just glared at me when I said that joke outloud though so I don’t think he agrees)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That pun was goldennnn lmao. But since I’m a kid (wah) my parents decide what and what not to buy. I’m sure if I asked they’d let me get at least a few books a year but we don’t have much space lmao.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. you voiced my book-buying struggles SO well, Emma!! books can get way too expensive, and it’s so sad that when they’re cheaper on retailers like Amazon, it actually hurts the rest of the community. 😦 small bookshops always have the best atmospheres, i really need to go to those more often. interacting with people about books is definitely a most beautiful experience!!

    your tips were really helpful, i agree about not buying a series until you’re positive that you will love it. i personally tend to buy books i LOVE and have read a few times before, so i know it won’t be a disappointment, lol. 😉 lovely post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does really hurt book stores but I am glad to think and hope that the atmosphere and cosiness and feeling of home in a bookstore can’t be replicated by Amazon and Book Depository and other online retailers.

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Ash. It’s always wonderful to see your name pop into my screen ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post! I tend to only buy new releases at full price and everything else I’ll consider if it’s on sale, generally I make use of the library and its ‘suggest an item’ feature which is truly life-saving; that usually takes about a month or more after the release date though so if it’s anything I want to read immediately I’ll go buy it (I recently ran out of my stock of book vouchers from school competitions and prizegivings though sadly).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have such a large To Buy list that I’m scared to prioritise anything 😂
      Suggesting books has certainly saved me more than once, but I find that when I can’t use my school library everything takes way too long to get.
      I wish my school did competitions like that! They do kind of, but you can only log books from their library and I don’t know if they’ve included the EPlatform or not if we get closed for COVID19.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny because I actually have quite a small to buy list but a long to read list? There aren’t that many books I feel I need to buy as long as I can read them, if that makes sense. And yeah I’m stuck at home until April so I can’t go to the library or anything :/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know what you mean! There are some books I want to read but not put on my bookshelves?
        Some libraries have a lot of audio and digital options, hopefully you can access them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know my library here said we can’t return them, but that we wouldn’t get fined so hopefully it’s similar for you ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ve been trying to find info and it hasn’t been on council websites or news which has been really frustrating but there was a new update on the library website saying that that’s the case which is good because I already have overdues haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such an interesting post, Emma!
    I personally am horrible at buying books. Like, every time I get into a bookstore, I have to buy at least one book. And I have so many books on my TBR that every time I shop online for books I’m like: I want that and that and that…
    And thanks for the tips! I’ll actually try to follow them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post and there’s some lovely advice in it too! I get a lot of my books as ebooks because I keep spotting them on offer for around 99p and I just can’t resist them when they’re at such an incredible price. I have been trying to get more new releases out of the library too (although that’s kind of gone wrong atm as A) I keep struggling to read & B) the library and it’s request system are currently closed. And I also do tend to check if any of the books I’m interested in have any second hand copies available online due to the price difference involved. It is kind of a gamble as you never know if the buyer description will be accurate but I’ve mostly been happy with the second hand books that I’ve received. One was even unexpectedly signed 😀

    Special editions look stunning so I definitely understand the appeal to get them all. But yes they can also be majorly pricey so I suppose it’s best to get them only in the books you’re most desperate for. Although oddly one of the UK bookseller chains does some special editions, exclusive to them, for the same price as the regular hardback. That’s why I pre-ordered A Court Of Miracles from them. I couldn’t resist it and it would have been the same to buy the standard edition anyway.

    Merchandise is definitely pricey to try and get though. I wouldn’t even know where to start because there’s so much of it. And the book boxes are so, so tempting but I always talk myself out of getting them somehow :L I definitely recommend using libraries more though – especially if they have a request system – they get a surprising number of new releases in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am a sucker for getting books for my Kindle, I have so many now!
      That sounds amazing! I tend to only buy series online because after shipping, a second hand book can still be around 17 – 18 dollars, which in some cases is only a dollar less than a new copy.

      I don’t know of any sellers that do special editions here other than Amazon, Book Depository and really expensive stores that also do college books, unfortunately :/

      It is so expensive! I know why, but it is still rather upsetting especially as an international blogger because I can’t get a lot of these things that my peers can.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah me too. It’s just too easy to click ‘buy now’ :L plus they’re generally pretty cheap too.
        Aww that’s such a shame. I have noticed that with some books too – especially newer ones.

        I’m sorry to hear that. I only really know about Waterstone’s special editions tbh. I have no idea where else does them around me.

        Aww I completely understand. I feel the same way sometimes, especially about book boxes. I have no idea how some people can afford so many of them. I do think shipping prices are odd tbh.

        Liked by 1 person

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