Resources for the Broke Bookworm

Hi everyone! How are we doing this fine Thursday morning/evening/afternoon?

A lot’s happened since I first started my blog. I’ve grown as a creator, as a writer, emotionally and mentally (unfortunately not physically. I haven’t got any taller and I’m almost guaranteed to be the shortest in my family). I also graduated school, which was glorious, and got a job, and then another job. Now I’m pursuing a career as a dog trainer, I have very little time for writing (though I’m going to do Camp NaNo next month!) and my blogging schedule is a little out of whack.

Of course, with all this adulting stuff, I’ve become a slightly broke student. Which is less fun than all the other things I’ve done over the last few years. But since I know a lot of my readers are in the same boat as me, I’ve decided to write a post today on resources for the broke bookworm. Because, let’s face it, books are expensive and going to a bookstore and buying fifty brand new books is a fantasy for most of us. 😦 So let’s get into it.

Resource #1: Book Fairs

Book fairs are the best! In Australia, LifeLine (a suicide prevention call service) runs several annual book fairs which are massive and awesome. Other places like the Rotary Clubs, schools, libraries etc, all run smaller ones.

Honestly, book fairs are some of the best ways to pick up books cheaply. You can find almost anything if you have enough determination to do so. New books, old books, out of print books…you’re almost always likely to find something interesting.

In conclusion, book fairs are awesome! Do a quick online search and find out if there are any in your area and if there are, go forth and buy cheap books!

Resource #2: Library Subscription services

This is one that I’ve been taking advantage of a lot lately! Our library, for example, has subscriptions to a number of different services, which means that as a member of the library I can use programs that I might otherwise have to pay for, for free. BorrowBox is one of my favourites and I use it all the time for finding ebooks and audiobooks.  BorrowBox is only one of them too! There’s Overdrive, RB Digital and tonnes of other probably not available over here.

Of course, using these services has it’s limits. I’ve listened to almost all the audiobooks (that interest me in the slightest) on BorrowBox 😦 and you’ve only got a limited amount of books available. But, if you’re broke, these can be a real life saver!

Resource #3: Project Gutenberg and Librivox

Project Gutenberg and Librivox are both resources that provide public domain books for free. Gutenberg only provides ebooks but Librivox provides audiobooks. Both are great resources, especially if you like older, obscure books, or the classics. Sometimes its fun just to browse through thousands of old books written by random authors no one really remembers anymore. I’ve even found a few hidden gems on these sites that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.

As with basically everything on this list, there are a few caveats. I find the Gutenberg ebook formatting (at least in the mobile app) really annoying and the mobile app can be quite picky. Librivox’s audiobooks are all read by volunteers, rather than professional narrators, so the quality can be very hit and miss at times, the app is also annoying and sometimes gets bugs (which eventually caused me to uninstall it).

However, they’re both free, some of the narrators are brilliant, there’s hidden gems. Definitely give them a go!

Resource #4: Kindle

As sad as it is for me, ebooks are often a lot cheaper than physical books and thus, much more affordable for us broke people. So Kindle is definitely the way to go if you don’t mind reading through a screen. I personally haven’t used this option, because ebooks aren’t fun for me, but I know a lot of people love them, or at least don’t care. However, I have checked it out a few times and there’s some great deals on there, lots of free books and the ability to support a lot of smaller authors that you might not be able to support any other way.

Resource #5: Audible

Audible is great! I asked for a subscription from my mum for Christmas last year and I’ve been loving it! As opposed to most of the other things on this list, you do have to pay for Audible (it’s about $16 a month here in Australia), but you get a lot for your money, in my opinion. You get a free book of your choice each month, plus severely reduced prices on other books (non-members can buy Audible books, but much more expensively), free books and deals on rotation, and access to Audible Original Podcasts (I love podcasts! At the moment I’m listening to Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets) for free.

So if you’ve got a few extra dollars and you love listening to audiobooks, definitely check out Audible. Maybe ask for a gift subscription to start off.

Resource #6: Backlist Books

Buying new releases is undeniably more expensive than buying books that have been out for a while. So why not buy backlist books and leave the new releases for borrowing from the library or buying after they’ve been out for a few months. Buying back list books might not be “cool” at the moment, but ultimately, a book’s a book and a good book provides entertainment whether it was released this year or ten years ago.

What about you guys? What tips do you have to deal with low funds? Are any of these your chosen coping mechanisms? What book/s would you love to buy right now?

8 thoughts on “Resources for the Broke Bookworm

  1. These are some good resources; I’ll definitely have to check some of these out! I love book fairs and definitely utilize them as much as possible. When I was in grade school, I’d get sent home with book fair catalogs which I could fill out with book orders and the books came at a pretty good price. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how much they do these anymore and I wouldn’t really have access to them anymore. However, there’s a warehouse which keeps a lot of books for book fairs and they open up every six months or so–maybe it’s more like a year–and I haul a lot of books from that place for a good price. Besides that, though, sometimes I like to check out the shelf at my library which is for books that they’re selling. Their selection’s not always the most exciting to me but sometimes I can find some cool stuff there for a nice, discounted price!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In Charlotte, we have used bookstores and independent bookstores. So more than the big bookstores here.

    I only like having the actual book myself. So, I keep on saying no to a Kindle

    Liked by 1 person


    Bookfest is great! And my library has Borrowbox too… but I can’t get Adobe Digital Editions to open the files. *weeps salty tears*

    And yes, Project Gutenberg is great but looks terrible… I’ve recently found, which formats them nicer? (I’ve downloaded some P.G. Wodehouse, which I hope will be as funny as the book I own…)

    Thank you for sharing these with us, Chelsea! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah no, that’s the worst!
    Yeah, Project Gutenberg doesn’t have the best format. I’ve never heard of Standardebooks though so I should definitely check them out.
    No worries! Glad you enjoyed.


  5. Yeesss bookfairs are the best! I hope our one later in the year isn’t cancelled because I desperately need some more cheap, second hand books!
    Yeah, our library has a book selling every few months (every three or four I think) and that’s a great place to pick up some new favourites too!

    Liked by 1 person

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