I’ve loved to read ever since I learned how to read. It started with Henry and Mudge, Dr. Seuss books, and Danny the Dinosaur. Then it progressed to Magic Tree House and Junie-B-Jones. I moved on to Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Eragon, as well as other teen fiction series. Today I’m mostly interested in historical fiction, social sciences, and philosophy.

In a generation that is so dominated by technology (specifically social media), I try to get myself away from screens and read as much as possible. I’ve tried reading on a kindle, but I much prefer reading an actual book because I like annotating while I read (I know you can annotate on a kindle but it’s not the same).

There’s just one problem. Books are expensive! A three-hundred page paperback book costs between $20-25, and don’t even get me started on hardback books. My advice would be to either make more use of your local library, or to buy your books from thrift stores.

I’ve been taking advantage of both of these options a lot more now that I’m in college and broke. Even Simpson Library at UMW has the books I want to read 75% of the time. Although if you are like me and want to keep the books that you enjoyed and are really meaningful to you, the library isn’t always the best bet.

Some of my favorite books I’ve ever read have been spontaneously found in thrift stores. Shopping for books in thrift stores is good for when you don’t have an idea of what you want to read, because they almost always have a wide variety of options. Most thrift stores on charge a dollar for paperbacks and two for hardcovers.

Unfortunately, thrift stores are not the best option if you are looking for a specific book (unless it’s the Bible or the Twilight series because they always have them for some reason). I would also not advise going book browsing in thrift stores until covid dies down a lot more.

Also, this option is a lot pricier, but local bookstores need your support now more than ever! If there is a book you want, search online for bookstores around your area instead of going straight to Amazon. They could really use your help during these hard times!

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