We are all going through hard times at the moment and the one thing that helps us take our mind off reality is reading. But how do we do that when we are on a budget? Reading does not have to necessarily be an expensive hobby and there are several ways one can do that and be on a budget at the same time. After a little research and looking around, I came up with the following ways you can read on a budget.
This post has been a long time coming. At the start of quarantine when bookstores were shut and I was looking for ways to read while on a budget I came up with this post idea. I never got to writing it though until now.
A little disclaimer before going into the post – This post is in no way an advertisement or sponsorship. If I am recommending a service it is because I have used it before and have enjoyed my experience. Also, since I am based in Mumbai most of these tips can be applied to Indian readers. If you are an international reader I’m sure you can find a service similar to these in your country.
Listen to an Audiobook
Yes, audiobooks are “reading” and you cannot tell me otherwise. One advantage that I can think of is they are way cheaper than a physical book and they are convenient to use. All you need is a phone and a pair of earphones.
There are various platforms that offer audiobooks but the one I have been enjoying the most is Storytel. Not only do they have a HUGE catalogue (which include the latest releases) but their plans are also reasonable. Currently, their plans start at INR 299/- with unlimited listening. If you do not have an account and are creating a new subscription then you are also eligible to a 14 day trial period.
Read an Ebook
I never used to read from ebooks before, that is until I got my Kindle Reader. Nowadays you can find me reading ebooks more than the books that I have at home! Ebooks can be read on your phone, e-reader and laptop (depending on the source of your ebook). They are also cheaper than purchasing a hardback/paperback.
One service that I discovered while downloading the Kindle app on my phone was Kindle Unlimited. KU is a great platform to discover indie reads and books that you wouldn’t usually find in bookstores. There are a few popular books available in the catalogue like the Immortals of Mehula and The Hunger Games book series. I currently pay approximately INR 170/- a month for my subscription. There are other plans available too. Just like with Storytel, KU offers you a free trial period before charging you for your subscription.
Visit Your Local Library
A visit to your local library helps a lot when your are looking for a new book. Unfortunately where I live there aren’t any libraries close by so I have to resort to actually purchasing my books if I want to read them. But if you have a library close by I would definitely recommend getting a membership and utilizing it to its full potential.
If you are broke and cannot spend much for a brand new book, your next option is buying second hand. Depending on the state of the book and the type of seller you buy from the price can vary but it is considerably cheaper. There are many second-hand booksellers now selling online.
I discovered Bookchor a couple of years ago and am really impressed by their work. While I have not used them before I have had friends who have and they love it. Another second-hand store that offers books by the kilo is Butterfly Books/Books By Weight. If you live in Mumbai you can check them out once we are back to normalcy again. Books By Weight organizes book sales all across the city where you can buy a book at a very cheap price.
Enter A Giveaway
Yes, this works on chance and your chances are slim. Talking from experience, I have only won one giveaway but I got a free book so. How to participate? Follow book bloggers and publishing houses on Instagram and Twitter. Giveaways are held regularly and if the odds are in your favour, you can win a free book! (See what I did there?)
Have you tried any of the tips I mentioned above? What do you do when you are broke and want to read on a budget? Let me know in the comments below.