A Great Frugal Book Haul

I love reading. It is one of my favorite things to do in down time. Yes, movies and shows are also great, but there's nothing like being curled up with a good book. Growing up I used to satisfy my voracious book appetite by going to the library and bringing home massive piles of books every week or two, often with books ordered via inter-library loans so I could get my hands on books from my favorite authors and try books recommended to me by the librarians that got to know my taste. I almost never bought books, other than some select favorites, because I could get what I wanted from the library.

Moving abroad to a non English speaking country has made reading more challenging for me. There aren't as many libraries here as there were where I grew up, and at least in my area, most don't have English books, and there definitely aren't interlibrary loans like we had growing up. So I never bother using the library because going there was like perusing someone's personal bookshelves, and not like actually going to a library with a large selection and variety. (Our local library has maybe 2 or 3 bookshelves of English books, all told, mostly all old books that locals donated.)

So, so starved as I was for reading material, I got to the point where if I'd see a book in English, I'd give it a shot, as long as it wasn't something that sounded absolutely terrible. I couldn't be picky with such limited options. 

Here and there I'd check out second hand book stores, but the selection there was very limited, and honestly, most of the books there were quite overpriced. 

Instead most of my reading came from books that I borrowed from friends, but that relied on my friends having the books I'd wanted to read. I also found out about these little free libraries placed in bus stops, where people left books they no longer wanted and picked up books that others left there, and that helped a lot, but it wasn't usually the books I wanted, but at least it was something.

I finally found out about Betterworldbooks.com and Bookdepository.com where I could get cheap books with free international shipping, and when a friend didn't have a book I was looking for, or when I loved the book I borrowed from a friend so much that I wanted to own it, that's where I'd purchase it from, by checking between the two to see which had it cheaper.

But there was this one place where I have been able to find great cheap books locally, and all my taste.

This guy that I know has been having a yearly sci-fi/fantasy second hand book sale, and if nothing else, I'm a sci fi/fantasy buff- my favorite books have always been from that genre, ever since I was young. Of course, I also adore a good mystery or suspense novel, and will read anything else that sounds remotely interesting, but yes, sci fi/fantasy will always be my preferred genre.

I went to it last 2 years ago, if I recall correctly, and got some great books, both for myself and my children, but not necessarily things that were on my "I want to read" list but just things that looked good. This year, I went to the sale and came with a "to read" list that I had via Goodreads, and went through the list and saw what was available, then went through the large stack of books that I had, since the total was more than I wanted to spend. I sorted them by price, deciding which of the higher priced books I wanted to get, and which I would pass on, and I narrowed it down to this.

The books ranged from $4.5-$9 each. It was $70 for the lot of ten books, working out to be $7.77 per book on average. This is less than half of what they cost via Book Depository and about a quarter of what they cost locally!

The books I got were, first off, two Robert Jordan books. I'm in the middle of the Wheel of Time series and was going to purchase the next two books anyhow, so this was a great buy for me. Path of Daggers and Crown of Swords.

Garth Nix has always been a favorite of mine, so A Confusion of Princes was an obvious choice.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi was recommended to me by a bunch of people, and I am about half way through now and loving it.

I loved Eoin Colfer's books, both the Artemis Fowl series (I once dressed up as Holly Short in her LEP Recon uniform!) and his book Airman, so when I saw the first book in his series, Warp, the Reluctant Assasin, I decided to try it out.

Other books that were on my "To Read" list that I found at the sale and purchased were:
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart, Time Riders; The Eternal War by Alex Scarrow, Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, and Firestar by Chris D'Lacey for my kid.

Then I went to the free library bus stop which was down the street from the book sale and picked up these books, for free. When it comes to free books, I'll take anything that looks remotely interesting, since it was free after all and I can just return it if I don't like it. So I got the following: (Unless otherwise noted I hadn't heard of this book/author before but it looked interesting.)

Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder (read it years ago and want to reread)
Bright Star by Harold Coyle
Hard Time by Sara Paretzky
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
Siege of Dome by Stephen Lawhead
The Fourth Hand by John Irving
Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut (I read a short story of his in college but never read any of his books and wanted to try)

Then I happened to have been in the area again. (Ok, not true. There wasn't room on my bookshelf for anymore books, so then I made a large donation to the bus stop library and that's why I was there.)

I then picked up the following books:

The English Girl by Daniel Silva- I've loved everything of his that I read.
Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson
I Found This Funny by Judd Apatow
Police by Jo Nesbo
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingslover- I've read other books of hers and loved them (no idea why this one ended up side down)
The Missing File by DA Mishani

To say that I'm excited by these books is putting it mildly. 

While it really frustrates me to not have access to a good library system, getting good hauls of books like this without needing to pay a lot or at all makes me miss my old library just a little bit less.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
Do you read a lot? Generally do you buy or borrow? What do you to do keep down the cost of your reading habit if you're a voracious reader like I am?

Penniless Parenting

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

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