If you’ve found yourself a solid career and things are looking up, then you’re also probably starting to consider some long-term housing, a place to settle down and leave all your junk.
If you’ve always been a bit of a bookworm, then you’ve probably had some fantasies about setting up a real home library, where you can keep every book you’ve ever owned and use as a place of peace and quiet.
But now, with your own permanent place, you can finally work toward that Beauty and the Beast library.
And while we can’t promise that your own personal home library will be three stories high, it’s definitely a lot easier to put together a nice library than you might think.
Below you’ll find some tips on how to collect books for a home library without spending your nest egg on the venture.
If you’re looking for some book recommendations, then you should take a look at this list of the best novels of the 21st century so far.
What Will Your Library Be?
Before you get started, it might be worth your time to ask yourself what you want your personal library to be.
Do you want to gather reference books and make it a genuine library filled with practical and detailed information? Do you want to Show off your collection of antique books and first-editions?
Or do you just want a place to keep your many books, where you can organize and access them easily?
Making these choices early on will help you make important decisions down the line. For example, if you’d like to collect beautifully bound hardcover books, you should mostly look to library sales or specialty shops that carry rare and old books.
Whether you’re looking for popular titles or rare books that have long since gone out-of-print, e-commerce websites are often one of the best options, and it has the added convenience of requiring only an internet connection.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best sites for buying books for your home library.
Amazon actually got their start by offering books for sale online. This was in the very early days of the internet, and in the long-term, it proved to be a major threat to brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Nowadays, Amazon has integrated a crowd-sourced sellers’ marketplace. Anyone can sell a book using the site.
And this makes for so many options of the same book, even the same edition, that prices stay relatively low.
If, for example, you enjoy a certain author’s work and want to include the rest of their work in your home library, then you could scan Amazon for each individual book and check prices.
Then you can decide whether you want to search for a specific edition or a hardcover copy with cover art you like.
Books sold on eBay tend to be used, new overstocks, or extremely specialized books that have become hard to find.
It’s also a way for sellers to guarantee that their item will attract a fair price. All they need to do is leave it posted for a few days and watch whether there are bidding wars inflating the price.
And unfortunately, if you’re looking for a very specific book that’s no longer in print, it might be your only option.
And as a result, you may have to pay more for it than you originally expected.
Talk to Friends
This recommendation is pretty easy. All you need to do is ask your friends whether they have any books that they don’t really want anymore. Simple, right?
Friends who are moving soon or who are cleaning house are more likely to have a few books that they just don’t need anymore or don’t have room for.
As an added incentive, you can offer to pick up the books from their home so that they don’t have to make any extra effort.
And if they have something of value to offer, don’t assume you’ll be getting it for free. Make an offer for any pieces that you want more than the others.
Library sales aren’t incredibly common, but they’re the perfect way to find inexpensive, high-quality books to add to your collection.
If you haven’t seen any flyers or ads for a library sale lately, then don’t be afraid to ask a librarian when they’re likely to have one.
You can count on about 2 or 3 sales a year, depending on the library. Just plan ahead and give yourself a good idea of what you’d like to look for.
Then, one the day comes set a modest budget for yourself as grab as many books as you’d like. You’re likely to find some inexpensive paperbacks as well as some other hardcover books whose bindings are starting to fade.
And even if you only end up buying a few books, it’s well worth the effort.
Get familiar with your local bookstores, and we don’t mean the shiny new one that’s part of a chain. You’re better off looking for small local bookstores that, most importantly, sell used books.
That’s the key here. Bookstores tend to buy books from sellers who have kept them in good condition.
Bookstores also tend to have real taste in what they select, meaning you’re more likely to find something special here.
Starting your own home library doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does a good bit of time. It’s important to stay patient and not buy books simply as display items.
Your library should mean something to you, even if it’s just a way to remind yourself of your favorite stories.