“When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
-Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Hey guys! As a lot of you who follow me on Instagram (@cosyreads) might notice, I have a lot of books… Like a lot, a lot! I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my little library, like how many books have I got? (Not 100% sure as I have some missing which BUGS ME, but it’s over 1,000), Am I rich? (I’m lucky enough to have money I can buy books with, but no, I’m not a secret millionaire if that’s what you were wondering!), And where did I get them all from?!
Today, I’m going to tell you all where I get my books from!
So I’ve always been a voracious reader, right from early early childhood, when my parents would buy me books and take me every week to the library! I still have most of those books, especially from my teen years, so that is a good little chunk of my collection right there to begin with!
When I was at university in Wales and then London, I didn’t buy tooooo many books. I was usually saving up for some epic travelling trip and with studying English Literature, I had a lot of my reading hours sucked away from me with that! During these years, the library was my best friend and I tended to borrow most of my books from there. To this date, there are vast amounts of classic books I’ve read that I don’t own, and I’m working on collecting pretty editions of those books for my shelves!
Then, I moved to Spain. A little town in rural, deep Spain to be exact. There were no English books in the library there, nor in any bookshop. And I moved to Spain knowing basically three words of Spanish. (The 200ish books I already owned from my teen and Uni years were boxed up and deposited in my parents’ attic.) But having a job has its perks and one of those perks is… Money! So I began buying books. Every one or two months, I’d order a little box of books from Amazon and obsessively hit the tracking link to see when they’d arrive.
Another key way of getting books? PRESENTS! My lovely husband buys me a good stack of books for every birthday and Christmas, boosting my collection a lot. My dad is also very lovely and spoils me with lots of books as well! So asking for books for presents is a great way to bump up your collection!
Then, after 6 years of being in Spain and my book collection growing and growing, we moved back to the UK. The books in my parents’ attic (minus one box *sobs*), were finally reunited with the boxes of books I’d packed in the back of a moving truck and panicked until it had driven all the way up to the UK and back into my arms…. And I had a lot of books. This was also around the time that my bookstagram had grown to around 10k followers and I started getting sent books from publishing companies and Indie authors for the first time and won a few books on competitions on Bookstagram and Twitter. Soooo I suddenly had a LOT of books.
My husband and I moved to Nottingham and we bought the 5 big, white Billy bookcases from Ikea and while he assembled them, I unpacked all the books… Which actually took me longer than his building did!
In the UK, I buy my brand new books and eagerly awaited hardback releases from Amazon or the Book Depository. Sometimes I shop in Waterstones or WHSmiths if I need to buy a book in person, either because I can’t wait (Sarah J. Maas), or I need a specific book (like picking the right under-the-dust-jacket design of Caraval).
You can find some amazing bargains, particularly book bundles on thebookpeople.co.uk, and they’re always having sales! They have a smaller collection but I’ve found some great bargains on there, so keep an eye out. I’ve also found some amazing bargains in The Works, both in their high street shop, and online. Again, the Works have a smaller selection and you need to be discerning, but their prices are great.
I also buy a lot of second-hand books! I”m very good at hunting down book bargains and I look for books in good condition, but a lot of those on my shelves are second-hand! I buy them from Oxfam or other charity shops in person, or on Abebooks online, if I’m looking for a specific book. I also keep an eye out for good book bargains on places online like Twitter, where bookworms are great at spreading the word, along with publishing companies having flash sales!
And, of course, since February this year, I’ve been very lucky to have been sent a lot of bookmail from different publishing companies, which has saved me a lot of money and added a lot to my book collection!
Wow, this blog post sort of turned into the story of my life with books! Thanks for reading guys, and do let me know if there’s anything else about my book collection or collecting books that you’d like me to blog about!