Oh no, I've done it again. I've bought more books. My book shelves were full years ago! But I only bought three new books so I thought I was being pretty good actually... There was a book sale on campus and I just couldn't say no to a lovely "Country Cookbook" (which is massive and was only $10!!), "Stephen Fry in America" (hardcover and stunning also for only $10) and a Bing Crosby CD (technically not a book but it is quite a good cd. It was $6). And then I went to Chapters and bought a lovely book called “Posters of the Canadian Pacific” which is filled with pictures of drool-worthy art-deco posters. That was bought with a gift card so I like to think it doesn’t actually count :) (And it was reduced to $15 from $50)I have always had a love of books. My mother was a high school English teacher so she always bought me books growing up. Over the years I have ruthlessly culled my collection a number of times, but I am still drowning in books... Which personally I think would be a lovely way to die.
One of the reasons my collection has been able to grow to the size it has, is the fact I never pay more than $15 for a book (normally I pay around $5 or less). So here are some of my tips for book shopping.
Note: There are many great places to buy books online but I didn't include anything about online shopping here since I think flipping through and feeling (and smelling) the book is part of the book buying experience. Does anyone else just love the smell of old books?
1) Know what you are looking for. When shopping used books stores it helps to have a game plan. Used books stores often have a lot of stock poorly displayed, so it helps if you know what you are looking for. I always check for my favourite authors first before aimlessly wandering. I also keep a list of books I want to read and always look for them when visiting used bookstores.
2) Check out the sale tables in chain bookstores. I don't buy many books from Chapters but when I do, they are almost always from the discount tables/sections. It is best to keep an open mind when looking here and not look for specific titles (since when you are looking for something specific it always seems to be full price...). I have gotten some amazing deals on completely stunning coffee table books.
3) Thrift stores often have a very cheap book section. Books are actually one of the few things I buy at the thrift stores around me anymore, since they are the only items at a reasonable price. Carefully check condition before buying since often the ones that end up here are not always in the best shape.
4) Look for books in unexpected places. I often find the best deals when I am least expecting them. Winner/Homesense stores tend to have some lovely books for cheap prices. They are best for coffee table books and cookbooks.
5) Books always make lovely gifts. As I mentioned, I always keep a list of books I want. This means when someone asks what I want for a birthday or Christmas I already have ideas and don’t have to try and come up with something on the spot.
It is hard to judge a book by its cover so take a chance on a lonely book and give it a home. Ok, it's a little sad how much I love my books but a girls got to have a hobby right?