books · discussions · shanti

How to get books!

Hiiiii Virtually Readers! It’s Shanti, here to tell you how to get books. I know that this is quite random, but a bookworm’s common lament is how expensive books are, even though we do love to buy them. However, buying isn’t the only option. So this brief (ish) post is going to list a few ideas about locating books without having to resort to the dodgy, illegal Russian website. (Seriously. Don’t do that. Piracy is not cool.)

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Method number one: buy books. Online or in bookshops, it’s pretty easy to get books if you live in an area with decen bookships, and most places will have some form of online shipping (sadly the book depository doesn’t deliver to India, but wordery and amazon india do). Another great option is secondhand books. These don’t directly profit an author, but they do mean that the books get a good home and encourage people to have books. If someone is having a garage sale, you can look for books; library sales and second-hand shops are also a great option.

Method number two: Libraries! Again, not all places will have libraries in English. Most schools and universities will have libraries, though, and if you live in a place with a decent public library system, get a library card and use it! Even if you don’t live near a library branch, there are options like Overdrive (which is where I get all my digital books; it’s very very wonderful, and means I can access New Zealand libraries in India), and mobile libraries which may come near you.

Method number three: borrow! I know a lot of people like to keep their books safe and don’t trust other people with them, but I love lending books! It shares the joy, you get other people who have read the same books as you close to you, so you can talk about it, and it’s excellent. If you’re at someone’s house and see a book you need/want, just ask to borrow it! Most bookworms are super nice.

If you’re lending out a lot of books, you may want to make a note of it, e.g. ‘Wihelmina has Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Our Chemical Hearts, and The Knife of Never Letting Go’, just for your own reference. It’s a good idea also to write down the name of the person you borrowed the book from, just so you don’t lose it, and if you do damage it in some way, own up and offer to pay for a replacement. Treat other people’s books as you would like them to treat your books.

Method number four: be given books which you actually want to read by kind friends and relations. Even better, gift cards to bookshops. This can be achieved with heavy hinting, maybe some amazon links, and talking about books at every possible moment. (Which I’m sure you do already). It can be helpful to align the release of a book you want with your birthday. For example, the gift edition of Night of Cake and Puppets comes out a few weeks before my birthday. I’m just saying.

Method number five: Get ARCs. I personally don’t do this, but you can contact publishers, join Netgalley or Edelweiss, or have a friend who does these things and passes them on to you. (thank you so much, Helen!)

Was this at all helpful, or just redundant? How do you get books? What’s a book that releases close to your birthday? tell me in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “How to get books!

  1. Ohh great tips – thank you for writing this, Shanti, I’m sure this will be useful t many people 🙂 I mostly buy all of my books, as you know I don’t have libraries with books in English so I buy everything…well, almost ahah, I have a budget obviously since I don’t have unlimited money to spend on books. That would be a dream, ahah. Also, to answer your question, John Green’s new book is releasing on my birthday month and this makes me VERY HAPPY ahah. 🙂

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    1. I’m glad this was useful. One advantage of buying books though is that you have a physical record of most of your reading plus it’s great for bookstagram haha. We have the same birthday month then, yay!

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  2. These are a really good reminder, thanks! I’m happy to read about another lending-books-lover. I’m not much of a re-reader but I like to keep a collection of good books, because then when a friend says ‘hmm, I don’t know what to read next’ I can just whip a nice book from my shelf and feel all warm and fuzzy (and super bookwormy) inside :).

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  3. I get most of my books from the sunday book market here which has a treasure trove of collection and are damn cheap (average costs just 20 rupees).. and if one has the patience, getting a rare copy or a signed edition isn’t that difficult ☺️

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    1. Oh wow that’s so lucky. The occasional decent secondhand book washes up here, but for the most part I can only find what I want in Amazon. Second hand books are great though.

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  4. I mostly buy books for school and then borrow my other books from the library. I also love used bookstores because it’s sort of the best of both worlds: cheap books that you can keep! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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