9 tips on how to buy books without going broke!


Finally, here’s the first post in the ‘Friday’s List’ series. It was a super busy day because I wasted most of it browsing internet, as always. Anyway, finally it’s here. This idea of how to save up on books was there in my head subconsciously ever since I read a similar post on bluchickenninja. If you are a book lover, you are most likely a book hoarder too and that is never good for your wallet. Here are some tips on how I satiate my cravings to buy books without going broke:

  1. Know your city’s book haunts                                                                                                                               Every city has it. If you are shaking your head and saying no, then you probably don’t know about it in your city. Every city would have some market where you can buy old books for cheap, it would either be a small dingy shop or a big famous weekly market or an old library but something would definitely be there. For example, in Delhi (and I do realize Delhi has advantages when it comes to markets), there is a Sunday book market in DaryaGanj (Old Delhi), there is this and many, many more small shops that we are not aware of. It helps being aware of these places (although I have never been to these two). This point also includes those ‘a kilo for 100 rupees’ kind of shops/stalls. 🙂
  2. Be aware of online discounts                                                                                                                                  Yes, stating the obvious. With other things, you can estimate whether the quality is worth your money but, with books, there is only one rule – how badly you want it. You can never justify the amount. Any discount is good discount but you can easily notice that good websites for books like Amazon India and Flipkart come up with great discounts every once in a while. So, you don’t have to give up before those bumper sales, don’t fall for 10%-20%, wait, 60% is coming. For example, I have noticed that Amazon has amazing sales on books around Independence Day. 🙂                           IMG_20140823_134130
  3. Know your city’s book cafes                                                                                                                                    This trend is soon catching up and who wouldn’t love food+books in one cozy place? Although I don’t have much experience, but I think you can sit and read for as long as you want at most of these places. Of course, this is not exactly buying the book but, maybe, just maybe, you wouldn’t want to buy afterwards. The experience might be fulfilling enough. These places host book launches as well. For example, Oxford Bookstore, N-Block, Connaught Place. MUST VISIT place if you are into books.
  4. Wait for the hype to die down                                                                                                                                       If you can, that is. 🙂 In today’s fast changing world, even new releases get discounted pretty soon and if you combine that with point 2, your wallet will thank you.                                                                                                                      IMG_20141006_232330  
  5. Be the patron of a store                                                                                                                                                  If you visit some local store of your city regularly to buy books, the store people feel equally warmed up to you as you are to the store. They would always keep you updated about discounts, new launches, availability. This will especially be valid for small cities.
  6. Know your libraries well                                                                                                                                                 Again, this is not exactly buying books but once you find some place to get continuous flow of books for reading, your hunger to actually buy will subside a bit. Caution: This backfires too. I ask my mom to get books from her office library and they are such lovely old editions that it hurts to return them. :/                                                                                 IMG_20140712_114336
  7. Keep an eye for ‘buy/sell/rent books’ platforms                                                                                                         There are many websites and physical stores which provide the facility of selling books and buying books, even renting them. It’s hard to sell off books but there would definitely be some in your cupboard that you might want to. Plus, buying books from these places might come out cheaper.
  8. Do not just confine to your reading list                                                                                                                        Yes, we all have reading lists but don’t confuse it with a buying list. There should never be a buying list. Be adventurous about buying books. If you are getting a good deal, take chances about buying books that you weren’t even aware of.
  9. Book Swaps                                                                                                                                                                     Again, this is not exactly buying but, at times, this may help you in getting a book that you want to read by giving away one that you are fine parting away with. I have hardly done this.                                                                                     DSC_8982

That’s it. As for myself, I follow 2, 4, 8 strictly. 😀 I follow 1 quite less due to time constraints but I would love to follow it more often. I have slowly begun doing 3 and I am loving it.

Which ideas do you agree/disagree with? Any more tips to save on books? 😀

58 thoughts on “9 tips on how to buy books without going broke!

  1. I can give you all my books for free-though am not sure if you read that kind of books much. But if you want,they are yours 🙂

    I like the idea of this post. Comprehensive.

    There is this library I have subscribed to in Sahitya Akademi- amazing collection 🙂 but of course, I don’t think they have so much of contemporary fiction which you are so much into.

    You forgot that bookstore outside pvr plaza? Remember, i told you about it… You should check it out.

    Haven’t been to book cafe either. But I guess that is for those with leisure time- college kids 🙂 Plus, I kind of like my study table (got a new one!). Where do you prefer reading your novels?

    • Why do you want to give away the books? Oh, you are ok giving away books once you have read them?
      Sahitya Akademi? Please tell me more, have only heard the phrase before. I like Classics in Hindi, but that too fiction. Like, Rabindranath Tagore stories, Premchand and Sharatchandra (None of which wrote originally in Hindi 😛 ) but English classics I don’t connect much with so far.

      No, I remember the book store you told me about. But I haven’t been able to spot it yet. Is it the Jain Book Store? I am not sure if I looked outside PVR Plaza. I think I had Odeon in my mind. I am probably going to CP again tomorrow. Will see if i find it.

      Really? Although I see college kids frequenting these places, I feel it’s a very nice place for elderly people to sit and read, of course, I mean elderly than us. As for myself, I love the Oxford Bookstore to bits, I just wish it was less crowded. It’s VERY crowded. Plus, in my college, we never had leisure time. :/ Ummm, I don’t think I have a favorite place, I like metro quite a lot 😛 because there are no signals underground, so no phones and nobody to talk to either (of course, when I am going alone 😛 ) I hardly sit on study tables, remember miss potato?

      • Not that these books are bad, but they are like..one time read. It is an interesting point to have come up. The re-readability of books. There are some books that I have ( like Jonathan Livingston Seafull, Ayn Rand stuff which I will take to my deathbed ) which are like one time read. You read, you like but after that they just sit in the cartooon boxes 😦 I don’t mind if someone gets to read them as well.. You know when London was redeveloped (after mobile phone revolution ), they converted telephone booths ( the red ones ) into book-exchanges: you donate your old books voluntarily and pick those of your choice for free. Wish if that was possible even here…

        Sahitya Akademi is an autonomous organisation under Culture ministry ( I think ). Family history hai ( Nanaji, father )- writers and panelists…so, have been interested in their stuff. They have a library too, whichmost don’t know about. Great collection of classics as well as contemporary books. If you can, do pay a visit. Check out their collection first, then if you feel like you can become a member too ( 1000 security charge+100 per year ).

        Arre dekho…. if you stand facing PVR plaza, then look almost 30degrees to left. Its a famous second hand book shop not that Jain shop.

        I meant itna fursat kaha hota hai middle-age mein. Reading in metro is so cool! I can barely travel metro without getting a body massage, if you know what I mean… 😛

        Miss Potato 😀 Now, who can forget that 🙂

                • Haha… Story interesting banaane k liye idea bura nai hai vaise. Sunne mein kaisa lagega. “Library k liye ladki bhaag gayi” 😉

                  • I am so scared of this whole ladki bhaagne wala business, because the ruckus that the entire khaandan creates that merko isse related jokes pe hassi bhi nhi aa paati, imagine how scared all these ruckuses have made me 😥

                    • Arre come on!
                      Apologies if that touched a weak nerve of yours 🙂
                      You are too young after all… Relax 🙂

                    • Arey! why apologies? i think i did not put it the way i thought of it in my head. umm, i meant i find this business very scary because of crying families 😛 like poor people who ran away :/ they are put through so much trouble, and if I dare say this in front of their families, you know who will be grabbing eye balls then 😛

                    • Haha… I agree. Was part of such an ‘endeavour’ recently. Haryana-Bengal union 😀 As much as you can expect 🙂
                      It is difficult to give a blanket justification to anything. That said, people taking such a step should have the audacity to face consequences- if at all things go wrong. Unfortunately, they come crying back to their parents- killing the very essence of independent decision making 😦

                      So, running away is fine. Crying families are fine. But one has to protect and endure come what may.

                      OF course, there is honour killing- on the other extreme :\ which is whole another devil

                    • :/ i dont even know what to say. half of the energies of my generation and my parents generation is gone ‘fighting’ for this, for this simple thing. So much so that we actually forget to consider whether we actually want to marry the person we are fighting for because we are so busy first in convincing. :/ who am i to say, same problems, no guts.

                    • I understand…
                      Been there, with a smarter girl who took off when it got rough 😛

                      MY contention is that when the time comes, if people are really convinced about their choice, they either find a way- or they find an excuse.

                    • Hmmm, i am inclined to say that you are right but i honestly don’t know what my contention is about this thing. I know one thing though, i dont want to hear this for myself, what you just said for the, well, smarter girl. 🙂

  2. Hi Srishty, I used to read a lot too but now I think I have lost track. I can’t just read anywhere you know and specially when there are people in the house so book cafes are a big no no. 😦 . I love ransacking the small dingy street shops too, you can find hidden treasures there you know and they do give priority to regulars 🙂 . And also I have to admit I am damn possessive about my books and hates it when somebody else even touches it! He he. Btw well written Srish, I am yet to try online shopping too :-).

  3. Hey srish,
    I thought you postponed the fridays list. But here it is..:D:))
    Infibeam also has some good discounts.One thing that really pisses me off is that people fold the pages instead of using a book mark or use pencil to underline..

    • Haha, I thought I would end up postponing it. After checking out clothes on websites all day long, my eyes were hurting while writing this. 😛 Tell me about Infibeam, I don’t know what it is despite reading this word many times.

      • Hehe.
        Though stressed
        You pressed
        We all are impressed.
        I’m a crazy rhyming nut.. so you gotta bear it srish:P:D

        Infibeam is same as flipkart. I generally compare prices on diff online stores before i place an order.. I ordered twice and prices were low when compared to other sites..

  4. Dont bore us with long posts.. Just tell me your address in delhi and I ll be there to buy your books 100 rupee per KG lol.. I have seen the pics of your collection often and find that amusing..
    I am serious, I can buy all of them if you sell..


  5. I like those ‘100 a kilo’ wale exhibitions 😛
    I hate swapping books 😦 I hate how people fold the corners of the pages, and even hold the books while reading which spoils the front and back cover :/
    I need to read more in the following year 😦 😦

  6. Pingback: Which features you like on Life of Srish | Monday Mumbles 4 | Life of Srish

  7. Very neat. I used to buy a lot of books till recently [and I still buy books for my son all the time]. I follow a simple rule. I select the discounts in the range of 60% and above [on online bookshops], and then go about selecting books. But now I have so many books, I even stopped taking books for reviews, as I never found time to the wonderful ones on my shelf.
    By the way, your blog is lovely. And yeah, I also have ‘Rasidi Ticket’.

Have something to say? I would love to hear from you :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s