Books on a Budget: The Miracle of The Charity Shop.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but charity shops are a beautiful thing. Not only is your money contributing to good causes, but they’re also incredibly cheap. I have a lot of love for the charity shop. I just finished my book (review in two weeks – you’ll see why on Wednesday!) and although I have another on the go, I’m not quite in the right mood for the style of writing it’s in – it’s not an easy one to get into, and the language can be difficult to tackle. Having only just finished Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, another one with rich and heavy language, I need a break.

I’m travelling to London for a few days on Monday, so I need plenty to read for the train journeys as well, but don’t have a lot of funds – here’s where the charity shop comes in. I bought 3 brand-new books for 49p apiece at Barnardo’s, a children’s charity. All 3 have prices printed on them, and should’ve cost £22 at retail value – not a bad discount!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle – I’m not a snob when it comes to paper vs electronic – and I love a brand new book, but charity shopping for books is generally speaking cheaper, and works much better than Kindle when you don’t know what you want exactly. Of course, you’re less likely to find independent authors or self published works, but they tend to be fairly cheap on Kindle anyway. The main problem I have with charity shopping for books that you don’t get with eBooks is that I never get rid of any – while I should donate my existing books before I buy any new ones, it never happens and the mountain of books I need to sort through just gets bigger and bigger!

I had the added benefit last summer of working at a charity shop, and intend to return once I’m settled in a paying job. I worked at a Cats Protection shop, and not only was the experience incredibly rewarding and something I thoroughly enjoyed, I also often got first look in with the books! I used to sort donations, particularly gift aided ones, so I was often the first person to look at the stock. Clothes go through the process of being steamed, tagged and priced before being ready to be sold, which could take a while if we had a backlog, but books could be put out straight away – meaning I could hoard any I wanted and buy them at the end of the day. This was not a healthy environment for my purse to be in.

Even if you don’t have the time to volunteer, I would definitely recommend going into charity shops for books, especially if you’re on a tight budget or looking for something different and unexpected – you never know what you’ll pick up!

See you soon,

Ro x

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