Since I started loving and reading books as a child, I always wanted to have my own library. And most readers would resonate with this desire and sentiment at some point in their lives. After all, who doesn’t want to have a bookshelf to gaze at, a collection of books they can call their own? If you wish to have a library without spending much of your bank balance, this article is for you. I’ll cover as many aspects as possible while offering different alternatives to match your preferences.
How To Build A Library On A Budget?
1. Buy More Classics If You Prefer To Purchase Only New Books
Do you like the touch and smell of a new book, untouched by any reader before, waiting to be read by you? If you’re like me and only prefer purchasing new books for your collection but also have a limited budget, classic literature is the way to go. Since these books are not bound by copyright, their pricing is very competitive. This means you can get the thickest of books (say, Don Quixote or Anna Karenina) for very low prices that you wouldn’t otherwise get for more contemporary releases.
Several publishers sell these classics for a very affordable price, from Collins to Wordsworth Classics, and you can also build a specific collection if you fancy a particular edition. Thanks to their trademark black spines and covers, many readers proudly sport their Penguin classics collection. This way, you can purchase and read new books without splurging on them. The fact that they’ve all seen the passage of time and are still popular today is a bonus.
2. Go For Second-Hand Books If You’re Okay With It
Only some readers are okay with reading classics all the time. After all, there are so many new and tempting books to choose from! You might want to get the Harry Potter novels or buy that thriller you saw last year. Going for second-hand books is a great way to purchase books without wasting money. Not only are they significantly cheaper, but they also often allow you to observe the journey of a past reader.
Through second-hand books, you might find a gift note someone’s lover left in the pages a long time ago or a reader who left their annotations in the middle of the book. It adds a new layer of experience to your reading journey. Oh, not to mention the rich smell of old books! You can get second-hand books through many avenues. There are online bookstores that sell used books and thrift stores that usually offer rare gems for dirt-cheap prices. You can always exchange or buy books from book lovers around you. And remember the libraries around you. They sell their old books periodically, and it’s an excellent opportunity to grab great titles at throwaway prices.
3. Save For The Festive Season Deals
But what to do when you don’t want to read classics primarily but don’t like purchasing secondhand books? I got you. Most bookstores and online retailers offer great deals and discounts during festive seasons. Whether New Year or Christmas, these sales are an excellent opportunity to buy new books for heavily discounted prices. Moreover, these sales often feature new releases, so you can get your favorite authors’ books without spending too much.
4. Find Basements, Attics, And Other Unused Spaces If You Have Limited Space
Once you have enough books, space is the next issue that invariably comes up. Unless you’re wealthy, in which case you’d probably not be reading this article, your house is bound to have limited space. To counter this, you only need to find empty spaces around your house. Search for spaces that don’t contain excessive dust or moisture, as both tend to ruin your books over time. You can also learn how to store your books properly.
You’d be surprised by how much space you can get by scouting for unused areas around your house. Remember to periodically check your books and keep them in the adjacent area. The raw materials are significantly cheaper than the finished product, and you’ll also feel the joy of creating an entire bookshelf by yourself. Plenty of online tutorials are available across several platforms that assist you in creating one. It’s all up to how you want to go about the process!
5. Select Affordable Seating And Lighting Options For Finishing Touches
Every library is complete with some comfortable seating options. You can purchase new stools and chairs if you want, or you can use the existing furniture in your house. This department has several options but try to create a combination that works well with each other. You can arrange stools in a zig-zag pattern or get some chairs for your library. Ensure it’s a comfortable sitting area for long hours of reading your favorite books.
Then there’s the matter of lighting. Adding lighting elements can completely change your library’s ambiance unless you don’t read at night (but why, my good sir?). Even better is that lighting options are usually very cheap. You can buy LED strips and arrange them around your shelves for gorgeous sights at night. No matter what you choose, it should be something you love. After all, it’s your library and your labor of love.
Conclusion: I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas for building your mini home/office library. Everyone’s journey to building their dream collection will differ, so you should make choices that suit your needs and preferences. It’s often a long process, so have patience and use the tips I provided to create a library on a budget. Happy reading and happy collecting!
Part-time freelance writer, full-time chemistry graduate student, Amritesh loves everything books. Gift him a book if you chance upon him, and he’ll love you forever.