Skip to main content

Getting Ahold of Books When You're Broke

     
     When a girl begins to run low on bat mitzvah money or retirement savings, what's the first thing she worries about?  Not how she is going to pay the mortgage or finance her online shopping, no; she wonders where her books are going to be coming from.
      And with good reason, too.  Ninety-five percent of bookworms perish miserably within 48 hours of finishing their last book and being unable to afford another.  How can we end these senseless deaths and avoid meeting the same fate ourselves?  By sourcing reading material from the venues listed below, of course.
          1.  Second-Hand Stores: It may take a while to dig past the crappy mysteries and romance novels slightly creepy covers, but once you do, you may find some really great books, some for under a dollar each!
          2.  Library Sales: A library sale is when a library wants to get rid of its old books, so it decides to sell them all for really cheap.  I go to one every year in upstate New York that lets you take as many as can fit in your bag for $5.  Awesome.
          3.  Outside People's Houses:  This is like dumpster-diving for books, except without the dirt and dumpsters, and it works especially well if you live in a house-type-neighborhood with lots of foot traffic.  I have neighbors who leave stacks of old books on their front porch for anyone to take.  I've picked up The Lord of the Rings as well as some books by Jane Austen that I didn't even know existed this way.
          4.  Your Friends: I have lent and borrowed more books than I can count, and - guess what? - it's always free!
          5. The Library: This may seem like an obvious choice to most people, and I guess it is.  My one problem with libraries is that you have to return the books, without mucking them up, and within a specific time frame.  The same goes for option #4, come to think of it.
          6.  Teachers: Your English teacher will be so pleasantly surprised you like reading that she will probably supply you with as many books as you want for the rest of the year.  And they actually give really good book suggestions.  They went to college for a reason, guys! ; )
          7. The E-Reader: I suggest this only as a last resort, because I am convinced e-readers were sent from Hell to obliterate my paper-bound babies from this blessed Earth.  If you are utterly broke, you have my permission to read on your friends' or family members' Kindles, because it is better to do that than to not read at all.
(If you have a Nook but no money to buy books, sell your damn Nook and use that money to buy books!)
                      -Carly

Popular posts from this blog

Best Reading from my First Semester

Ok, my only excuse for this long-ass hiatus is that I started college, and what with exams, essays, friends, newfound independence, and minor dramas, I nearly forgot I had a blog until this week.
But I'm back now, and here to tell you about the best books and stories I read during my last semester.

Novels
1. Citizen: An American Epic by Claudia Ward - A multi-media masterpiece about modern racism, with a particular focus on microaggressions.
2. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - The story of a young girl coming of age in an impoverished area of Mississippi, on the brink of one of the great natural disasters of the last decade.
3. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison - A classic allegory of the racial justice movement in America.
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison - Possibly my favorite book ever, Beloved is based on the story of Margaret Garner, a woman who escaped slavery with her children and, when recapture seemed inevitable, killed her children to their being returned to slavery.
Shor…

Book Review: The Spanish American Short Story, edited by Seymour Menton

I love the cover of this book.  Look closely - it's a little skeleton man clasping his hands over a cup of black coffee.  I don't know what it means, but it's delightful.      Anyway, I read this collection of short stories in Spanish - El cuento hispanoamericano - for a class I am taking this semester, but it is also available in English.  According to my professor, it's a unique book in that it offers the best representation of Latin American short stories throughout modern history, with details about literary movements and authors as well.  I liked some stories better than others - "The Tree" by Maria Luisa Bombal and "The Ruby" by Ruben Dario were my favorites - but even the ones I disliked, such as "Secret Love" by Manuel Payno, were included because they were representative of a certain movement or regional style that was worth acknowledging.        My only issue with this book is that a story I just mentioned, "The Tree,&…

Book Review: Che by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon

I'm back with another graphic novel!  And this one isn't about zombies - it's about Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, better known as Che Guevara.  This beautiful, color-illustrated comic book is a biography of the revolutionary figure, from the famous motorcycle trip he took through Argentina partway through medical school, to his success as an Argentinean communist fighting for Fidel Castro in Cuba, to his capture by government soldiers while aiding rebels in Bolivia, and subsequent execution without trial.
     A good fourteen pages of the novel are spent describing in brief the history of every country in South America.  I admit that I found this section boring at first.  But honestly I benefited from it, first of all because in high school I learned very little about South American history.  World Wars I and II got a lot of attention in my history classes, but the revolutions of Latin American countries did not.  So this book gave me a crash course.  Second of all, t…