Do you end up spending most of your salary or pocket money on books? Here's how you can save on buying books.

Maintain your passion for reading without getting broke

“There is no friend as loyal as a book” – Ernest Hemingway.

While growing up, all of us have been taught the value of reading. But some of us just need an excuse to read – the temptation of being a part of an unreal, imaginary world is too much to resist. And hence, we end up spending a lot of time and money on books.

However, when expenses like electricity bills, internet bills, groceries etc. deplete your budget, reading sometimes takes a back seat.


Worry not; here are some ways you can keep reading on a low budget:

1. Public library
Fortunately, the good old public libraries still exist. While they are being ignored in this world of Kindle and e-books, they are still a good option to get books for cheap. Many public libraries let you rent, borrow and buy books. If you get a membership card, they also provide monthly packages which help you save up to 30% of what would’ve spent on all the books.  

So, look around for a public library where you live and keep treating yourself with your favourite books.  

2. Start or join a book club
Why not share your book collection with others and vice and
versa? This is how it works – You swap the books you brought with those brought by others, thereby spending almost half on twice the amount of books you would’ve read otherwise.

Alternatively, some book clubs allow members to pool in a certain amount of money and then lets each person buy a book of his/her choice. These books circulate among the members until everyone has read all the books. This amount is much lesser than what you would spend on buying all those books with your money.

What’s more, a book club also gives you an opportunity to meet like-minded people and have interesting conversations with them. So, find some friends or relatives who share your taste in books and convince them to start a book club. If you already know about a book club or someone who is a part of one, then join it.

3. Local thrift shop
You’ll find these shops or vendors usually near schools or colleges. Don’t go by the size of their shop as most of them will have every book on your reading list – right from the Shakespeare to JK Rowling. They sell used books for as low as Rs. 100. Moreover, they are also willing to buy the book back from you after you
done reading it. Now that’s a good deal, isn’t it?

4. Online stores
India has a growing number of online
book stores – like Bookchor, OLX, Pustakkosh - which buy, sell and donate used books. The prices of books here may not be as low as those in thrift shops. However, you’ll spend much lesser than you would at a high-end bookstore. You have an added advantage of getting your books delivered at your doorstep and you can courier the ones you wish to donate.


The habit of reading makes you a confident and well-informed individual. So, go ahead and continue following your passion without worrying about over-spending.

How I did it

Praveen Nair

Ever since I retired, I have looked forward to the festive season with added zeal. It is the buzz that I need once in a year in my laidback post-retirement life. I like to celebrate the occasion, get the house painted or renovated, buy gifts for my dear ones or go on a vacation. These things… Read more

Swati Mehra

A couple of years ago I was over the moon after landing my first job. I celebrated regally during the festive season that ensued, only to land in a financial soup for the next few months. With gargantuan credit card bills and barely any cash left, I had no other option but to default the payment… Read more

Rohansh Pathak

It is highly unlikely that all the expenses made during the festive season were worth making in the first place. This is the time of the year when unavoidable expenses are bound to upset your budget plans, and you can do little about it. However, I have made it a point to have a look at the… Read more

Rahila Khan

I am a single mother of one. I lost my husband just 5 years into my marriage. Life has been a struggle for me, but I have managed it and today I have no complaints. 

I was a young widow with a 3 year old son when my husband passed away due to a heart attack. My parents were my rock… Read more