books, ness talks about life

the bookworm’s guide to reading on a budget

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I’m currently Saving Money For The Greater Good Of My Future. It’s a trial, but I’m just about bearing it. Here’s how …

The Open Library

for those who like to enjoy the wonder of the library from the comfort of their home (AKA those who avoid other humans at all costs)

You have to sign up for this website, but once you’ve done it – huzzah! You’ve entered a secret cult of booklovers and teadrinkers just accessed a library with zonks worth of books that are yours to read FOR FREE!

walking in bluebells

Project Gutenberg

for those who do not wish to sign up for anything. and like older books. you rebels you.

I’ve spent countless hours using this website. In fact, I read the great majority of G.A Henty’s books on Project Gutenberg and I regret nothing; for now I, too, can write a tale of an honest looking youth – not handsome, mind – around the age of fifteen who is VERY VERY COURAGEOUS! and has MUCH PLUCK! (not the kind of pluck one would do on a chicken’s feathers) and lives an exciting life interspersed with a droning, monotonous voice that says Lord So and So moved his armies to such and such a place in the year something or other.

(If you have ever read a Henty, you will appreciate the very great wit which I have just employed. Probably.)

I also read The Rose-Garden Husband, discovered what a love triangle was (SPOILERS: the heroine chose Bill. Or was his name Bob?), and found Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of the Lammermoor to be disgustingly miserable.

Also – it’s been over eight years and I still can’t spell Gutenberg correctly. I add an extra ‘u’.

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for those who cannot afford Audible. and don’t mind listening to strangers talking. for hours.

LibriVox is the spoken form of Project Gutenburg Gutenberg. Some of them are awfully good. I once tried to persuade my brothers that The Scarlet Pimpernel was a magnificent book of magnificent proportions.

It is, and it was, but I didn’t realise that a) Marguerite had so. many. emotions and b) the emotions took up such a great deal of space. I had to reassure my poor brothers that the really AMAZING AND AWESOME PART was coming up soon. It did not, in fact, come up soon. It was at the end of the book. They were not overly impressed.


The Library. Your Local Library.

for those who are willing to leave the shelter of their homes in search of books. introverts around the world salute you.

I have nine books out right now. Nine. One of which is the hefty five book trilogy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Do you know how much money that would have cost me to purchase? A fortune. A massive fortune.

Do you know how much money I spent? Nothing. NOTHING.

I ordered a book in the other day – instead of buying the ebook version for £4.74, I spent 45p ordering it. FORTY-FIVE PENCE.

It is a universal truth that libraries make you feel good about yourself. They are peaceful places – unless there is a mother and child group in the children’s section. In which case you will be serenaded by the sweet, sweet sounds of The Wheels On The Bus (Go ‘Round and ‘Round). 

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Since making the agonising decision to save money on books (it is painful, I can assure you) no less than THREE books have been published by authors I quite enjoy. But if one must have principles, one should probably stick to them. I am using three libraries – my personal one (if I can call my kindle collection, and bookshelves that), my local one, and the online version.

It can be done, my friends. It can be done.

happy reading!

9 thoughts on “the bookworm’s guide to reading on a budget”

  1. *raises hand* I appreciate your GA Henty wit!

    Though I actually liked THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR. It was deliciously melodramatic.

    1. *is chuffed* As much as some Hentys will always hold something special for me … sometimes, you just can’t help but laugh at the formula (and perhaps wish that it would work in the real world.)

      NOW YOU’VE GONE AND DONE IT SUZANNAH!!! With the two words ‘deliciously melodramatic’ you’ve sealed my fate. Those two words are my kryptonite. It’s been yonks since I tried it (I wanted another Ivanhoe) and now … now I’m so very tempted and best of all, it’s free.

      Dang it, why do you always make me do this?!! 😀

      1. *but admittedly, a bit lacking in plot.

        Sorry. Important qualification. Have you read THE TALISMAN, though? Try that one. I think you’ll appreciate it.

  2. Way to go, girl! Finding ways to not spend money is hard, lol. I just put myself on a budget myself for The Greater Future as well. I should really check out LibriVox, as reading for a long time online gives me bad eyestrain.
    Also, I love that pic of the girl from the back in the forest with the books! I need that beautiful forest in my life haha. 😉

    1. I KNOW! It’s so tempting to think ‘oh, I’ll just buy this’ but then NOOOOOOO you must not. I know – same, I have reading glasses but I sat on them. It was tragic.

      But still, we can do the saving thing!

      Do check it out – sometimes the readers aren’t your cup of tea, but sometimes they are just right. It’s important to know that they aren’t paid, and so it’s more of an act of love.

      It’s a little patch of woodland in Norfolk where the bluebells spread a carpet of wonder in May. I adore it and even found a baby robin there – it was being fed by its mother who was hovering anxiously.

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