Discussion: Book Budgets – Do You Have One?

Posted July 25th, 2018 by in Discussions / 4 comments

I understand that budgeting is different and means different things to each person. When my husband received his promotion I knew this was our chance to get our lives back on track financially.

One of the first ways I like to try to save is by slashing what I spend on books. Once I got to digging around on my new library’s website I started to get a little nervous. If a book has been out six months or less I can’t put a request in for inter-library loan (even if another library has a copy and it isn’t checked out!!). If my library has a copy of a book and that book is checked out I am not allowed to place a request for an inter-library loan. I must put that copy from our library on hold. And wait. Patience may be a virtue but I’m afraid it is a virtue I lack. AND all inter-library loans have a fee of $2.00 per inter-library loan.

Y’all I have NEVER had so many rules about how to borrow a book from a library in my life. In IL you searched on the library’s website and you could click “Place Hold” and that book would magically appear a few days later. Now I have to talk to a real person AT the library (and the library hours aren’t great my friends), and pay for these books. This is all completely new for me. I am intimidated to say the least.

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With our new budget we have a good amount of pocket money. I realized I could buy my own books. I’ve switched back to reading mostly physical books and I can get a pretty good amount for them in trade ins at used book stores or trade them online. Regardless it occurred to me that I can still spend money on books without being over budget. I’m definitely going to try to learn how to master using my new library though. $2.00 a book is still MUCH better than I can do buying/selling/trading. I just have to learn a new set of rules.

How about you? Do you use your library? Do you have a book budget? I need to learn money savvy ways!

Stephanie

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4 Responses to “Discussion: Book Budgets – Do You Have One?”

  1. Jeanie Hanna

    Hi Stephanie! I’m glad when I see young people who know the ins and outs of a budget!! Spontaneity and spending should never be part of the same sentence!

    Most of the books in my home library have come from 2 major sources. The majority have come from local library book sales. Abingdon and Galesburg both have two each year. These are usually in April and October. In Galesburg, hardcover books go for usually $2 per book. Even my favorite authors are priced this way!

    In Abingdon you can often get a whole grocery bag of books for $2-$3!! I usually only take 2-3 books each sale. That amount and price seems like highway robbery, even to a former librarian who knows all about the necessity of “weeding” books out of a collection periodically.

    The second source of books for me, has been to request books for every gift giving holiday. A book lover is never hard to buy for! When we still had a mall with a book store, I’d leave a list of books on file with them. That was a nice service! Waldenbooks had a nice assortment of classic books with leather bindings for very reasonable prices. I have a whole shelf of these.

    I also have a section of children’s books in my library. It’s a hit with my grandkids! These books came as gifts from Waldenbooks too.

    Once my shelves are full, I have to “weed” out my least favorites, which are then donated to our library for their next book sale. It’s a really nice cycle!

    Keep up the good work on your blog and your budget!! I’m enjoying this immensely!!

    • Stephanie

      No they shouldn’t! I’ve had a hard time learning that lesson though!

      Library book sales are what started my book hoarding. Lol. I have to admit to loving a book bargain.

      I do miss having a local bookstore. There are a few in Des Moines but those will be special trips.

      A lot of my books have come from trips to ALA’s annual conference. All the big publishers are there as well as smaller publishers. As part of your entrance fee you can approach the publishers and request advanced copies of their upcoming releases. Some publishers will literally throw them in your arms.

      My budget busters lately have been Kindle deals so I’ve stopped looking at them daily and have decided to focus on what I have and what I can borrow. There’s no way I’ll ever read all the books I already own and that makes me a little sad but also makes me more aware too.

      Thank you!! It certainly is a work of heart.

  2. Lover Of Romance

    I do think that its good to have a book budget, I mostly rely on library books and ARC’s. My library has one location, and I don’t have to rely on the inter library loan system and it has a great selection on romance. And so only when its a book I really want will I buy it.

    • Stephanie

      Now that we’re a little more settled I’ve started working out more solid goals for myself. I finally was able to get back to the library on Monday (I hadn’t been since JUNE!). I picked up a few books, placed an inter-library loan, and have goals for October. I think pre-planning what I want to read will help me save money as well. Impulse buys are my downfall!

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