Clever Dude bought me a kindle for Christmas in 2011; little did he know that I spent most of my teen years reading! I would read while my parents watched TV, read while we were on a 20 minute drive to visit my grandmother…I read every chance I got. Although he often complains that I spend most of my free time with my face up to my Kindle Touch, I remind him that besides the initial cost of the Kindle Touch 3G (which was about $150 and they don’t seem to offer free 3G access anymore, just free AT&T hotspot wi-fi access), I have only spent $20 on Kindle books last year. Of the 164 Kindle books that I bought off Amazon, 2 I paid money for; the rest were deals from Amazon and cost me $0.
How did I get 162 free books?
Of these 162 books that I purchased for free, 2 of them were “automatic free books” because they were written over 100 years ago. A few of them were nonfiction, but most of them were contemporary fiction, Christian fiction, teen fiction, or beer books for Clever Dude. Several of these books were first time authors or just deals I got around the holidays.
I have built a wish list of books on Amazon that I want. On the weekends, I will check my wish list to see if any of the interesting books are now free. I also will search Amazon for “free kindle books” and “buy” (I write buy in quotations because they are free but I still have to go through the purchase process) the ones that seem interesting to me.
To continue my frugal reading style without having to leave my home to go to the library or bookstore, our community library has an Overdrive account. With my library card, I have an account and keep a wish list on their website for books that I would like to check out. I regularly compare my Library wish list to my Amazon wish list to see if I can borrow any books that are on my Amazon wish list from the library. And my library will let me recommend books that I would like to read.
This came in handy recently, when a friend of mine and I were eagerly awaiting Kiera Cass’s new book, the Elite. My friend bought it on Amazon (for her Kindle) for $10.99. She read it the day it came out—on 4/23. I recommended this book to my library, and on 5/15, I was able to borrow this book for free from the library. Granted, I could have borrowed the book from her if we both had Amazon Prime, but we haven’t justified the yearly cost yet.
I also have a Goodreads account to track the books I read and share them with my friends. This is a great way for me to remember what I have read over the years and to keep me updated on what books are coming out from the authors I have enjoyed.
If we assume that each book that I could buy from Amazon was $3.99, I have saved approximately $650 in books last year alone.
For the 164 books I bought in 2012, we avoided spending an average of $450. Granted, we could have avoided even more costs if we would just go to the library and borrow books “the old fashioned way” rather than reading on a kindle (or we could just read the borrowed books on our phone, laptop or iPad instead of having purchased the kindle)…but overall, I think I’ve done pretty well in being thrifty with my hobby.
How have you avoided spending with your book purchases? Or are you the type who HAS to have a book as soon as it’s released? 🙂
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