My Visit to the Book Stop for Free Books

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies.

There really is nothing like a good book. In my opinion anyhow.

One of the things that I miss most about living in the States is that locally we don't have a good public library system. Some parts of the country have better than others, but where I live there is just a small public library, with no options of reserving books, no card catalog, and of course no concept of interlibrary loans. On top of that, because I don't live in an English speaking country, most of the books in the library are in the local language, and there's maybe a bookcase or two of English books at our library. The likelihood of you actually finding a book that you're looking for at the library is slim to none.

To say that I miss our libraries growing up is an understatement.

Because of this, when someone wants to read a specific book, people tend to just go to the book store and buy. Second hand book stores are not too difficult to find here, but again, the likelihood of you finding a specific book you want is pretty low.

Basically, books are an expensive habit here.

For this reason, I try to find solutions to lower the cost of this endeavor. I've taken part in book swaps before, and really love that I get my hands on some amazing books that way, without needing to pay a cent.

But they're difficult to arrange, difficult to get to, and difficult to fit into my busy schedule. So I haven't been to many.

I've long known about what they call the "book stop" in a nearby city.

Two old bus stops were turned into an ad hoc library. With shelves and shelves of books, mostly in English, you take whatever books you want from there, and put books you don't want back there as well.

It's lovely!

And it's also on the complete opposite side of the city from where I usually am. Which means I've rarely ever gone there.

However, I've been taking my kids to therapy in that neighborhood, but completely forgot that I was right nearby.

So yesterday, when I was there anyhow, I decided to pay a visit.

And I think I hit the jackpot!

Not one, but three Amy Tan books! I've read two of them before but am glad to now own them, and one more that I haven't yet read.
A few others are authors I know and love, and some more seemed interesting.

I'm also excited about the two cookbooks I got.

While I tend to look for recipes online, or make them up myself, there's nothing like looking through cookbooks for inspiration on what to cook.

One book is easy and quick Japanese cooking, and its filled with so many mouthwatering dishes I want to try, and another 100 Italian rice dishes, which means its probably gluten free heaven!

And Caddie Woodlawn is a book that I'd heard wonderful things about, so I decided that reading it together would be part of our bedtime ritual with the kids.

I'm so glad I remembered about the book stop.

I can't wait to visit it again, this time bringing with me all the books that I've already read and don't plan on rereading, so I can declutter my house a bit.

Are you a big reader? How do you usually get books to read? What's your local library system like?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Such a nice idea! I love Caddie Woodlawn - I bet you and your kids will love it, too. Our local library system is great and has easy online requests and interlibrary loans. Whenever I come across a book title that I like online, I add it to my Amazon wishlist or my Goodreads want to read list. Every month or so, I request a bunch of these books from my library and then pick them up. Even with the occasional late book fine, it's much cheaper than buying new.

  2. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for our wonderful inter library loan program! Sometimes we take for granted the good things in our life.

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