Books On A Budget

As a college student, I’m pretty much broke and being a book nerd does not help with that. How many times have I walked into a Barnes and Noble and gawked at all the fresh new books then go to check the price and nearly drop the book.

Books can be expensive. We all know that. As a result, I decided on making a post for those of you who love to buy books but share the struggle of being broke.

Books For Less:


Buy From Online Book Shops: I do this the most.  There are many online bookshops that sell books for a fraction of their original price. (no I am not being sponsored by them) is the main site that I hit up for books, but there are many other websites that you can purchase from. Here are a few:


Used Book Stores: I love going to a used book store they always have great atmospheres. Here’s a few reasons why you should purchase from used book stores:

  • The books are cheap and you can usually find ones in great condition
  • Can find older cover editions that you can’t find in new book stores
  • The hunting through all the books is fun
  • You can usually sell your books, and get store credit or straight up cash for them


Memberships With Your Bookstores: This is nice since you can save on those super expensive books that you’ve been gawking at for some time. The thing is about these memberships, you usually have to pay a yearly fee, but you get back what you paid for and sometimes even more through coupons and special member savings and perks. Here are the basic perks that you may receive for opening up a membership with a bookstore:

  • A percentage off of your purchase
  • Coupons
  • Exclusive savings
  • Free Online Shipping
  • Early notices on events/sales coming up in those stores


E-books: E-books are usually a lot cheaper than their print counterparts. I just prefer to have tangible books.


Thrift ShopsYou can find used books for super cheap at thrift shops and many times the books are in good condition. Here’s and example of how cheap you could buy books at a thrift shop: At Goodwill you can buy paper backs for $0.99  or $1.99. Now, if you are a student or have a military ID you can show your ID to get 10% off (20% off on Tuesdays). If you are 55 or older, you get 20% off on Wednesdays.


Walmart/Target: A lot of the time, these two stores take a percentage off of the books they sell.


Amazon/E-bay: I don’t really use these sites much since I find the other ways a lot cheaper, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have good prices for some books.


Charity Book Sales: Sometimes charities will sell used books for super cheap to raise money for a cause. The perks of these book sales is that 1) You will be helping out a charity 2) You are satisfying your book hunger. My YMCA is hosting one for a whole week this week.

Garage Sales: Come on. Who doesn’t love a good garage sale. You can even haggle down the price. I don’t know why you would since it’s probably super cheap already but, hey, every penny counts.

Library Sales: Sometimes your local library will sell some of their books for cheap prices. Help your local library out, man.

Books For Free (The Best Part):


Advanced Reader Copies: Publishers and Authors will send out books to a few readers before the book is released to get some feedback about the book. You can request them or the publisher or author will ask you to review the book for them.


Giveaways: Many other bookish individuals, authors, publishers, and booksellers hold giveaways that you can enter to win a free book and possibly some awesome merch to come with it! I always see giveaways on Instagram and Good Reads, so enter away!

Trading/Swapping books: You can do this with other bookish friends, but you can also do this through online websites. Here are a few to check out:

Library: The good ole library. Sometimes I forget that the library is a thing. That’s probably because I like to own my books, but this is a great and more convenient way to read books without paying a dime.

Asking For Books As Gifts: Don’t be afraid to ask for books as gifts. When someone asks you what you want for your birthday don’t stand there like a bafoon. Tell ’em what you want. BOOOOOOKS. Say it with your chest (yes I am a Kev Hart fan). People actually like it when you tell them what you want because it makes it easier to shop for a gift.


E-Books: Not only are e-books usually cheap, a lot of them are free. If you are looking for something new to read, you can find a free e-book to crack into. Usually you don’t see mainstream books as free on e-books, but there are many indie authors out there that have the first book in their series out for free. Think of it as a free trial before you wholly commit to a series.

Final Note:

I know that with these alternative ways to obtain/read books the authors do not always get support. So with this, I encourage you to at least buy one new book if you can (sometimes it feels great to splurge on new books). 

If you can’t, there are other ways to support your favorite authors! Writing reviews for the books you read can help immensely by bringing over more readers to read their books. You don’t even have to write reviews. Just posting the book on social media can gain traffic for that book. Don’t have social media? Then use your voice and let your friends, family, neighbors, and random people on the street know that you’re reading an amazing book. 

As readers we should always try to support our authors because they are the ones who transport us to our favorite worlds. 

Until next time yall! 


YMCA Charity Haul 8.05.15

This past week, my YMCA had a charity book sale. They had a book drive a week or two before hand and then relinquished the books for gym-goers to purchase at the book sale. The books were super cheap. $2 for paperbacks and $3 for hardbacks. Not bad right!? They had some awesome books and a huge selection of hardbacks. I was surprised at how good of condition some books were.

They were having a special sale on Wednesday…aka the day I brought cash. The paperbacks were only $1 and the hardbacks were $2. The books were practically free!

Here are the books I picked up:

  • Some Girls: My Life in s Harem by Jillian Lauren – The synopsis on the back sounded really cool and it kind of sounded a bit historical fictiony (Did I say I’m kind of a fan of historical fiction?). Come to find out, its actually a memoir. Even more cool points!
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer – I used to have all of the books to this series, but with all the moves we had I somehow lost it along with my hard copy of Eclipse.
  • Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu – I was going to buy Legend, but it was a little bit torn up. However, these two were in great condition.
  • Monster by Frank Peretti – The back sounded so good. Plus, the cover looked pretty cool.
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I’ve heard amazing things about this book and I have decided that it’s time to pick it up (especially since it was only $1).
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – Again, great things have been said about this book.
  • Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver – The cover caught my eye and the synopsis was pretty solid, so this ended up in my pile.

Here are a few photos of the charity sale:



Mail Time 8.03.15

Another wonderful bookmail from Bookoutlet! I honestly just can’t get over their prices.

Here are the books I bought:

  • Asunder by Jodi Meadows (Bk #2 of Incarnate Trilogy) – It’s been on my to-buy list for a few weeks now, so I decided to buy it. I thought this was the first book, but it turns out to be the second! More reason for me to make another order ahaha!
  • Chosen (House of Night, Bk #3) by P.C. and Kristin Cast– I am slowly making my way to collect all of these books. I may just wait to start reading the second book until I get all of the books so that I can do a straight marathon of the series.
  • Tiger Quest (Bk #2 of Tiger’s Curse series) by Colleen Houck – After many years I’m finally getting my hands on the next book in the series! I may have to reread Tiger’s Curse since I don’t remember much.
  • Atlantis Rising by Gloria Craw – I saw this book and totally just wanted it because of the cover and then I read the back and it seems to be about mermaids so you bet your ass that I picked it up.

Indie Book Fest 2015

This past weekend I attended Indie Book Fest 2015! It was an amazing experience! 

It was hosted by Tawdra Kandle and Mandie Stevens at the Caribe Royal hotel located near Disney and International Drive. 

Sadly, I bought my tickets too late and was only able to get general admission and not the blogger ticket. 

Day One: Friday

Friday was the first day of the convention. Panels started at 9am, but I was working until 12pm (I ended up getting off later since someone forgot to get their shift covered and we scrambled to find someone) and had to pick up my new phone at 3pm. My phone pick up should have taken less than 30 minutes but the phone guy I was supposed to talk to was held up by a distraught customer who could not get a phone. My phrase for the day ended up being “shit happens.” 

If I had gotten my phone on time, I would have made it to fan-fare. Sadly, my friend and I got there 30 minutes before they were cleaning up and only got to talk to two authors. That’s okay right? Shit happens and you go along with it. 

We got to register ourselves in thanks to the lovely Tawdra Kandle (one of the hosts of the event). We had asked a few people earlier if we could register but no one knew if we could. Thankfully I spotted Tawdra when she was pulling for the raffle tickets prize. She quickly gave us our packets and hooked us up with a wonderful swag bag. 

With the gap to go grab dinner before the Gothic Romance Party, my friend and I drove to the closest Golden Corral to get our grub on (classy, right?). Once we were done we headed back to the convention center and got dressed/did our makeup in one of the bathrooms. To our surprised no one came in so I sprawled out all of my makeup on the counter. 


The Gothic Romance Party was great. There were some “nibbles,” aka a good amount of yummy trail mix for the party goers and a cash bar for those who can drink. Author Melissa Lumis was dressed up in a gypsies costume and did tarot readings. I’ve never had one done before so that was a nice experience.

The music was kept family friendly with a lot of older songs. I’m not a great dancer, but I did dance the Cupid shuffle. It was fun watching everyone else dance. I’m pretty sure if I got up there and let loose peopl’s eyeballs would burn from the sight of terrible dance moves and rhythm. 

Every table also had goodie bags for the party goers to take. 

  The “swag” I picked up on day one. 

Day Two: Saturday

We were pretty tired from the day before so we ended up leaving out of our area late and got there at about 11:45.  We ended up going  to the 12pm panel for getting your story out there. As we waited for the next panel to start, we got awesome badges where you get to pick what type of fairytale character you want to be. I chose to be a werewolf queen. H.D. Smith was really awesome and gave me a short story called Onyx that is about werewolves because of this! 


The panel was very insightful and it made me wish I had made it to the panels the day before. Dan Woods from DRAFT2DIGITAL was the speaker and made some great points about what to do with your stories and how to get more people in your audience. One point that he made that I appreciate so much is the point to put your stories through different sales channels. Recently, I’ve been looking at books by some indie authors and their only sales outlet is Amazon for e-books. I don’t have a kindle or e-reader. I use my I pad and get books off from there. People may have the same situation as me, so having the story in more places makes t available for more people. 

After the panel, we had a gap to get our lunch. We found ourselves at Pollo Tropical. This is when I realized that I left my debit card (aka my only way to buy books) and my license at home. Great. I was so bent on purchasing Dark Awakened by H.D. Smith. 

On the plus side, I did have $6 with me to use for food. At least I wasn’t hungry! I decided that we would drive back to my house to grab my debit and license after the book signing portion and get ready at my house for the “Fairytales and Happily Ever Afters”/Beach party then drive back to the event. It sucked not to be able to buy books, but I had no way of driving home and then driving back in time for the signing. 

The book signing was so much fun! We were given a scavenger hunt to do where we had to go visit all the authors and get their square signed in order to be put in a drawing for an iPad mini. I think we mostly went to every author for all the “swag” rather than for the raffle, though. 

I had an amazing time talking to all of the authors. We even spoke to the ones who weren’t on the sheet too. I was bummed out that I couldn’t get any signed paperbacks, but that totally changed when Ceci Giltenan gave me a free signed copy of her novella Highland Revenge. She said I could have it as long as I would read it and of course I took it! 

When I hit up H.D. Smith’s table I told her what happened with my debit because earlier I told her I would purchase her book at the signing when I got my badge. She offered to give it to me for free but I said no. She still tried to give it to me, so I took it and I told her I would pay her back later. Bless her heart. She said she trusted me. (I did pay her back at the party if you were wondering.)

Again, because I didn’t have my debit I couldn’t buy anything but I did grab all the post cards, fliers, bookmarks, and business cards on every authors table so that I can remember to check out their books; whether it be e-book or paper back. They all worked really hard to write their books, so I think it would be right to get at least one from each (if my wallet allows it)

When we were finished doing our rounds through the tables of authors, we totes our full bags over to the front table to slip in our sheets for the raffle. We took a well needed seat outside to rest our near freezing toes. The AC was up high and probably nearing a polar freeze. A little girl came up to us at one point and said that they hid some books around the place and that we should go look for them…so we did. We walked maybe ten steps and found the copies. 

We had our fill of fun talks with the authors and freebies so we headed over to my house to get ready. Next year, I’m definitely going to try to get a hotel room so that I don’t have to be driving back and forth!

The party that night was great too. I love how the authors, readers, and bloggers were hanging around together and having fun. This time there was food (deserts and pretzels), so we gorged our self on cookies and other desserts. I went as a last minute attempt at a mermaid and my friend went with more of a beachy style. They had some rad fortune cookies where some of them had hidden prizes. To my surprise, I won a signed paperback where I can choose between a book from H.D. Smith or Ceci Giltenan. I chose one of Ceci Giltenan’s books since I already had H.D. Smith’s books. 

This is the stuff I picked up that day: 

Day Three: Saturday

Sadly, I could not make it to any events on this day since I had work and copious assignments to do. Next year, I will definitely plan accordingly! 

Here are the books I picked up during the weekend: 


I hope I can get to these books soon!

I can’t wait for next years festivities. Maybe I’ll see some of yall there? 

Until next time yall!