5 Money-saving Tips for the Holidays: The Bookworm Edition

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Written By Chua Jia Ying


Christmas is inching closer each day. One of the most exciting things about this particular holiday season is that Christmas shopping gives us an excuse to splurge a little. While I certainly enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of a shopping spree, my wallet certainly doesn’t share the same sentiments.


If you’re a bookworm like me, you’d know that a lot of book releases are coming our way a jaw-dropping 82 new young adult releases, to be exact. So many books, but so little cash! Can we really save enough money in time for both Christmas gifts and books? Fear not, the deliberation is over! Here are 5 money-saving tips for bookworms this holiday season.


  1. Getting a digital copy.

When “Turtles All the Way Down”, penned by the one and only John Green, was released, it was only available in local bookstores as the hardcover edition, costing a hefty RM75. When I found out about this, I stood in the middle of the store, trying to convince myself that maybe my shampoo and conditioner was less important than the first John Green novel released in almost half a decade.

Ultimately, I was unable to forgo the importance of hygiene and opted to leave the bookstore empty-handed. Then, it hit me. Why not get a digital copy instead? Scouring for the lowest price on Amazon took me well over an hour but, I was able to secure myself a digital copy of “Turtles All the Way Down” at only RM7! In that moment, and for the next five hours as I finished the book in one sitting (yes, I am hardcore like that), I was the happiest girl on Earth.

Source: Twitter

Not only did I get to enjoy the book, I did so while saving myself a whopping RM68! So, if you’re really desperate to find out what went down in a book but cannot afford to splurge on a physical copy of it, a great alternative is getting a digitized version of it instead.

Unfortunately, not many bookworms fancy digital books and would much rather see their very own copy of the book sitting on their shelves, which brings us to the next tip…


  1. Getting a pre-owned copy.

Okay, I have to admit. That feeling of sliding in a new book into your shelf can be the most satisfying thing ever. So, if you’re someone who, as the Chinese would say, would “die die” want to own that hard copy book while on a budget, then getting a pre-owned copy would be the perfect solution for you.

Over the years, mobile apps and websites like Lazada and Shopee have prevailed since they conveniently allow people to both purchase and sell things online with minimal effort.

Source: Carousell

The increasing popularity of online shopping gave rise to apps such as Carousell, which is a platform targeted at those who are interested in selling and buying pre-owned items at heavily discounted prices. Carousell has its own little section dedicated to books. One can expect to find a multitude of genres, ranging from educational to fictional books.

Since downloading it last April, it has been remained one of my favorite apps to scour for pre-owned novels. There are books you can find on Carousell that are sold at 50% off of their retail prices, or at an even lower price.  


  1. Selling some of your old books.

As aforementioned, Carousell enables all their users to be both buyers and sellers simultaneously. With that being said, you can sell some of your books that you’ve either lost interest in or old books that you don’t need anymore. Now, none of these books have to sit on your shelves collecting dust and you will have shelf space for new titles while keeping your bank account slightly more loaded than it was.

Of course, online businesses come with risks that a handful isn’t willing to take. What if someone really doesn’t want to buy or sell things online, but would still kill for a hard copy of the book?


  1. Swap books.

Simple, the answer to that question would be to swap books. Swapping is a great way to let go of a book you’re ready to boot out of your shelf and fill your collection, while helping another person do the exact same – all without spending a single cent.

Source: paperbackswap.com

You can either opt for postal or to meet up with the other party for your books. It’s fairly easy to find book swappers. There are book swapping groups that have been established on Facebook and countless of websites for the same purpose in mind. If you really cannot find a person to swap with you, asking around your peers would be a good start.

Say, if you’re curious about a book, but not nearly enough to want to spend any money on it, what do you do then? That brings us to our last tip (but by no means our least), that is…


  1. Joining a book club.

A book club is a place where bookworms like you and I can mingle and get to know one another. Almost every college or university has their very own book club. The Sunway University’s Book Lovers United meets on Tuesdays to have discussions about the book of the week with mouth-watering treats and snacks.

Source: storyplanet.ca

In a book club, you can expect discussions about a certain book to be carried out. It’s a great way to not only find out about the plot of a book but also gain insight on how others perceive it.

And hey, in a place with that many avid book collectors, maybe you’d have some luck finding someone who would be willing to swap books with you!


BONUS: Book Fairs!


Now, we know about book swapping and buying pre-owned copies for a more affordable price tag, but there are some of us out there who are just insatiable unless we get our hands on a brand new copy of a book. Well then, book fairs are the way to go! These fairs are often held towards the end of the year or any major school holidays and you can expect to find brand new copies of books spanning across all genres at extremely cheap prices.


Source: KL Expat Malaysia


I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Big Bad Wolf fairs that have taken over the hearts of all Malaysian bookworms over the past few years. Guess what? They’re back this holiday at The Mines, MIECC for 257 hours of endless book shopping! You can visit them from December 8th all the way until December 18th to treat yourselves with books priced as low as RM5.

Did you find any of these tips helpful? Share with us in the comments down below if you have any tips to add because we bookworms would seriously appreciate that.


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