How To Support Books If You… Don’t Buy Books

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Confession: I don’t really buy books.  Not anymore anyway. I used to buy A LOT of books a few years ago. Like 2-3 books a week (back when books were $10 on Amazon), then I used to buy a lot of ebooks when I first got my Kindle. Now, I think I bought about 10 books last year, most of them Lauren Layne ebooks and so far this year I have yet to buy one, even though I know we are only 3 weeks into January. In my defense, I have a lot of fucking books!
This picture is more than 6 months old and although I donated almost 80 books after this picture was taken, I somehow have a lot more than this as of right now.

I sometimes feel a little shitty for being a book blogger and lover of books but not buying any books myself, and although no one has judged me yet, I feel like I could be called a hypocrite for not supporting books because I don’t buy them. I know a lot of book bloggers buy a lot of books all the time but I also know some don’t or can’t for some reason or another. Some may not have the money to spend on books, some may not have the space, some may prefer to use a library instead. For me, it’s a combination of a few things. Sure, I can afford to buy a few books here and there, but looking at the amount of books I have on my shelves unread (not including my unread ebooks I’ve purchased in the past) it’s a little bit hard for me to justify spending money on yet another book. So don’t feel like you have to spend your money on books if you are a book blogger or book lover. Here are some other ways that you can support books if you don’t buy books often or at all.

Review Books:

This one is obvious but I still am a firm believer that the best way to promote books is through reviews. Whether its books you’ve bought or received for review, a review is the best way to inform others what you genuinely thought of the book and it’s a way for other readers to decide if the book is for them or if they should skip it.

Goodreads & Amazon:

Just as important as it is to review books on your blog it’s also just as important (or even more important according to authors) for those reviews to be posted onn Goodreads and Amazon. I admit that I’m not the best when it comes to posting reviews on Amazon (they are so un-user friendly) but it’s been something I’m trying to get better at. Especially for those books that are not as well-known. I do post all my reviews on Goodreads and I try my best to like on similar reviews to boost its visibility.

Use the Library:

Thanks to Nick, I have been taking advantage of my local library recently to not only check out books but also ebooks and audiobooks and I’ve been loving it. The selection in my small town is not the best, but I have been finding most of the books I want to read, including a lot of older books that I’ve had on my TBR for a long time. A librarian commented on a post last week that we should absolutely be requesting a book(s) we want to our librarians so they can provide a better selection.

WOW’s & TTT and Other Creative Posts:

Waiting on Wednesdays and other features like Top Ten Tuesdays are also great ways to promote books you want to read and books you’ve read. Although Nick and I don’t participate in these memes anymore, we still enjoy readng them and we’ve found some great book recs through these posts. I used to do Book Looks (put together an outfit based on the book cover), Where I See Fashion features and Book Mood Boards before too as another fun way to promote books I wanted to read. I’ve seen some other fun posts like this, I know Lauren from Bookmark Lit has a great one where she puts together color palettes based on book covers. Eva from All Books Considered also has a fun So You Want To Go To… post where she puts together books based on certain locations. Alyssa from The Eater of Books has a cool Science in Fiction feature where she tackles science in books and Shannon from It Starts at Midnight has all kinds of fun book related posts. (These are the only feature I can think of at the moment but I know there are more, if you know of them let me know so I can add them to the post!)

Lend People Books:

I know this one may make people cringe but I personally love sharing my books with other readers. I love letting my friend, my sister, my neighbor and other book blogger friends books that I have or that I want them to read. My sister has about 10 of my books right now and my neighbor has about 7 of my books right now. I love when they give them back cause I get to hear about what they thought of the books…then I can let them borrow more books to read!

Give Books Away/Donate:

If you have any extra books (duplicates) or books you don’t want to read or don’t want anymore, you can always do a giveaway, give them away to friends or donate them to a library or used book store. I love to do all of these (except giveaways cause I’m lazy). But I do love giving books away and I donate sooo many books to my local library, especially since my library is so small.  I just can’t keep all the books I’ve bought/received, I don’t have the space, so giving them away and letting other people enjoy them seems like a great option.

RECOMMEND BOOKS!

This is probably one of the most important ways that you can support books, recommend them! Talk to them to other people, friends, bloggers. Nick is always telling me about the books she loves (can’t we all just blame her for our endless TBR’s? Cause I do!) and I do the same. I tell her, my sister, other bloggers, leave recs in comments, etc. Whatever I can do to give that book exposure!

***

So even if you don’t buy books or don’t buy as many books, do not ever let you feel like you are supporting books any less than people who do buy books. Remember that you can support books and authors in several different ways. I used to feel guilty for not using social media to promote books but now I just focus on all the other ways I CAN support books. PS-This isn’t a bash on people that buy books, just a way to show different ways to support books whether you buy books or not…

What about you? Do you buy books? What are other ways to support and promote books? Let me know in the comments!

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Nereyda

Nereyda

Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...
  • Lots of good suggestions to think about here and I am envious of your bookcase! We’re living in a caravan right now so I have maybe 10 real books on my shelf and swap them at campsite book exchanges. I love unexpectedly discovering unusual books this way 🙂

  • Gorgeous bookcase!

    I do still buy books – especially ones that I’m really excited about and continuations of series that I’m already reading – they’re mostly ebooks though. I borrow a lot of books from my local library and they have a really fantastic ebook library with a couple of different platforms so I’m really lucky there.

    I love your post and how we can continue to support books (which obviously we love) without necessarily having to buy all the books.

    Thanks!

  • This is such a great post!!! I bought way too many books last year and would like to cute down for my wallet’s sake.Still I love all these as supporting books. I try to remember to post reviews to Amazon but like you said it is a pain. I also giveaway my books to people I think will like them. I also love my library <3

  • Chrystal M

    Love this post. I’ve been trying not to buy many books this year as well (unless they are for my 6 month old). I have a lot of unread in my shelf, quite a few review books and I’m enjoying borrowing from my library.

    PS I have requested that my library buy certain books and they have done so in the past. It’s actually kind of fun to ask them to get certain books. Also, the libraries where I live can do interlibrary loans where they can get a book from another library for you to borrow. Kind of cool!

  • kindlemom1

    I think even if you aren’t buying them, reviewing is huge! I mean that is how word of mouth (and recommending them) really gets out.

  • Great post. I do a lot of these things. There are more ways to support the book industry than by just buying books and you list them all.

  • Oh yeah, I don’t buy a ton of books. I do buy some, but it’s more because I’m so excited for the book I don’t want to wait for it at the library. I use the library a ton, but I’m a librarian. I should use the library! Plus I love the library for backlist titles.

  • I hardly buy books anymore either. There is no point as I have so many review copies, I can never get to them all. However, I do almost everything you suggested up there. I am always checking things out from my library, and libraries purchase more books than anyone. I also donate all my books or give them away. Great post.

  • Great post! I live in Belgium so it’s a bit harder for me to get the books I want over here. Our English department in libraries is usually lacking, a lot. And it’s not easy to find bookshops with the books I want either. So I heavily depend on the generosity of friends and eARC’s from Netgalley or Edelweiss to get books. So I have a lot more eBooks than I have physical ones. I do post all my reviews on Goodreads and if I remember it, also on Amazon. And I try to participate in WoW occasionally.

  • Yes yes yes to this post! I don’t buy books all too often, because I live in an apartment with limited space (and, often, I can’t justify spending the money). I try to use my library as much as possible. And I also love lending my books out to people! I know a lot of book lovers cringe at the thought, but it’s never bothered me. And of course, recommending books as often as possible is key (as are writing reviews and including books you want to support in meme posts). I really need to start cross-posting my reviews, especially on Amazon. Great list, Neyreda! 🙂

  • I give a lot of suggestions to the library and many times they listen, yay library

  • Jasprit

    This is a great post Nereyda and I have to agree with a lot of the points that you made. I don’t buy as many books as I used to before, and that is largely because my tbr pile is out control right now, I checked Goodreads the other day and I actually had more books on my own-tbr shelf that my to read shelf. But I do go a book splurge once in a while and I’m always loyal to authors books I’ve loved in the past. But cross posting and a lot of the memes is really the great way to go, I’ve also made a separate account on Instagram for my bookish posts, so love promoting in anyway that I can on there. Like you and Nick I’m also the biggest book pusher, however I’m quite fussy with who I lend my books to! I had a lot of fun reading this post Nereyda, so thank you for sharing it with us 🙂

  • Miss Camila

    I still buy books but I’ve become a more conscious buyer. When I got into YA and blogging, I used to order books on Barnes & Noble, which was super expensive and took the longest time because I live outside the U.S. This changed when I bought my first Kindle (I currently own two…sorry not sorry), and started buying ebooks.
    I’ve developed a system that allows me to save as much money as possible, because what has stopped me from buying more books is money. I’m now subscribed to BookBub and Bookperk and I get sent daily emails on discounted or free ebooks. I also get Amazon notifications when the price of a book in my wish list has dropped. Net Galley has also become one of my bookish best friends because I get to download free ebooks in exchange for a review and it has introduced me to amazing writters such as Ginger Scott and Sue Watson.
    Now, if you definitely don’t want to buy or get new books but still want to be an active part of the bookish community, I suggest social media. I have a Twitter, a Tumblr and an Instagram account, as well as my blog. I also have a YouTube channel though I don’t post bookish videos, I just comment on my favorite booktubers’ videos. I think that’s a nice, free and pretty effortless way to support books and the bookish community without buying books.

  • These are all fantastic suggestions! I still buy WAY too many books but I still totally agree with all of these! Reviewing is SO important, especially for less well-known authors. Great post 😀

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  • I don’t buy many books either and rely on the library a lot. I agree with all your points about promoting books though. I try to read diversely and buy the books when my library doesn’t have it and then donate it to the library and school libraries.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

  • Michelle

    I hardly ever buy books anymore — I just don’t have the funds to support the habit, nor do I have the time to justify buying them anymore. But I do a lot of the things you’ve listed here (I’ve even just recently started my own feature highlighting various “Elements of Fantasy” and recommending books based on themes or creatures or whatever with a bit of history or context on the topic). And one of my good friends has recently taken recommendations of books I’ve loved on audio and has started buying those books for herself. So, it’s ALMOST like I’m buying books? lol I also try to donate my old books to libraries, if/when I ever do shelf clean-outs.

  • Angel @Angel Reads

    I don’t buy many books either mainly because I don’t have the money to – I am a uni student about to go in my second course and I don’t have a job because of my health. So having money for books is not really on the top of my list. The only ones I really buy are the ones that I am dying to read or if they are cheap. I go to op shops a lot so I buy from there.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Bookworm Brandee

    These are great tips, Nereyda. I’m trying not to buy as many books because my shelves look just like yours. And then there’s my virtual shelves. Ugh! So many books. I’m making better use of my library when there’s a new release I just *have* to read. And I’m also working at *thinning* my shelves and donating the books. Great post!

  • This post definitely is relevant to what I’m currently experiencing! I used to buy dozens of Kindle ebooks but branched out to physical copies when I started bookstagram and going into the book community in general. However, now that I’m going off the college my mom doesn’t want me to keep on buying books. The horror! Anyways, I’ve been really quite selective in my reading nowadays and doing more promo through social media and blogging with these specific books.

    – Aila @ One Way Or An Author

  • I’m like you – I really don’t buy a lot of books. Most of the books I buy are Amazon Kindle books that are on sale (like all of the steamy Brazen novels). During the holidays I find that I preorder hardcovers more than I would during any other time of year, but it’ll be like, three books total. Yay Black Friday. BUT I’d say I do well with reviews, cross-posting on so many sites, recommending and lending, especially with non-blogger friends. I put in buy-requests in my local public library but I don’t really borrow from the library like I used to. :/ Book blogger problems!

    One thing I do often is donate books! I’m still not sure what to do with my old ARCs, but I donate a lot of hardcover and paperback copies that I’m sent. I have an accumulation of unsolicited finished copies that pile up. I love that Maryland has such great programs for donating books that go to low-income families, especially in Baltimore!

    Very interesting post, Nereyda! Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  • I love this post! I wrote a similar one a while back. I don’t buy many books either, but I have come to learn that I do support books/authors in many ways. You covered them all in this point. I have been donating old ARCs to Little Free Libraries with stickers promoting my blog, so I’m spreading the word about books and my book reviews at the same time. 🙂

  • This is such a great post! I bought less than 5 physical books between 2013 and and last summer. I wasn’t blogging as much in those 3 years but I was still reviewing most everything that I read. I always cross post all reviews to Amazon and Goodreads and promote on Instagram. There’s so many ways to get the word out about good books! I have been buying a lot recently. I feel like I’m playing catch up, but it’s still not tons.

  • Excellent blog! I would like to reblog it on my WordPress blog. I do many of your suggestions.

  • Such an awesome post, Nereyda! I agree with you, I think reviews are the best way to promote/support books. I don’t buy a lot of books any more because I move around so much (and books are such a pain to move, lol) but I do recommend books for purchase to the library constantly. Most library systems, even small ones like yours, have an option for patrons to recommend/suggest purchases! I also like gifting books of authors I love to my friends. 😊

  • This is so great Neredya! I feel like we can’t help feeling guilty for not being able to buy ALL of the books, but it’s important to remind ourselves that there are other ways to help an author other than financially. I agree that reviewing books is a great way to help others find books, so I need to be better at crossposting. Ugh.

  • Charlie Anderson

    I often feel like a bad reader because I don’t really buy books anymore. I get them directly from the publisher or author or free via Amazon, but I read and review on my blog and on Amazon and Goodreads. Thank your for sharing this with us!

  • Well, I am the exact opposite in that I buy way too many books and I wish I did more things to creatively support books without spending all my money, I may have to give some of these suggestions a try. I am restraining myself because I don’t in fact want to live at home forever, no matter how convenient the prospect is. I didn’t realise you bought so few books, I feel like I need to ask you to show me your ways but I have a crazy urge to continually have unread books around so there is little hope for me. It’s great supporting your local library though. I know mine needs all the support it can get.

  • Great post, Nereyda! I use to buy a ton of books too but never got around to reading them. Now I usually just buy the ones I really want. I’m definitely trying to do more creative posts and writing reviews (: Thanks for the suggestions!

  • I’ve been buying more books than usual lately, but I’ve never been a big book buyer. Until recently I’ve never bought a book I LOVED that I’d already read, because I felt like I could better spend my money on books I haven’t read. But that changed with Bookstagram because now I want to take pictures of the books I really really loved so that people will maybe think to read them.

    I totally agree that us book bloggers have so many ways to support books besides actually buying them. I think the exposure we give is worth more than that anyway 🙂

  • I buy books just not as much as I used to. I mostly try the library or review books if available. Now if its a book I really really want to read and don’t want to wait forever to get it at the library, I will buy it. I don’t buy as much paper as I used to. Although there is a bookstore here Half Priced Books that make book buying way cheaper. So if I ever go there its near impossible for me to walk away without buying anything hehe