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6 ways to read more books for less money

<Breaking Tsundoku - Part 6>

This post will cover:

  • Local libraries

  • Charity shops

  • Cafe book exchanges

  • Little free libraries

  • Safari books online

  • E-Book lending


Not everyone can afford a steady supply of new books on a regular basis. But, there are plenty of low-cost ways to quench your thirst for stories and knowledge. Here's my top 6.

Your local Library - The libraries across my borough contain over 6 million books 😱 that I can borrow for free.

Not at the same time though. That would be ridiculous.

In the UK the Public Libraries Act 1850 gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries and was the first step toward providing universal free access to information and literature.

Typically all you need to get access to borrow books is a letter dated in the last 3 months to prove your address. An increasing number of boroughs also have online registration forms.

Having to return the book within 4 weeks is also great motivation not to leave the books lying around, and to pick them up and read.

Charity shops - This is my personal favourite. I picked up these yesterday and still had change from £5.

3 of them are basically new as they've never been read.

Cafe's - An increasing number have book exchange initiatives.

You simply help yourself to a book and bring it (or a different one) back with you next time you visit. Good for business and good for us book lovers too!

Little Free Libraries - A growing community initiative that is popping up all over the world.

This is where people make their own wooden book box, put it outside their house and fill it with books they're happy to give away. Check out their website for more information and take a look at the map to find your nearest one.

Safari books online - Many organisations subscribe to this site to offer employees free access to c.70,000 non-fiction titles.

It's definitely worth asking if your organisation has it, or if they're willing to sign up for it (don't forget to mention it's tax deductible 😉)

Ask a friend to share an ebook - Did you know that anyone can lend a Kindle book to anyone else?

There are some limitations - the person receiving has access for 14 days, and the person 'lending' can't access the book during that period. Full details of how do this can be found here. The receiver can simply download the free Kindle app to start reading.

The time box of only having access for 14 days is a great incentive to get through the content whilst you can.


Bottom line - Don't let socio-economic factors stop you becoming a book worm.

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