Feeding the Book Addiction

by Kelly · 6 comments

in Living Frugally

Mrs Micah has a book meme up at her blog. The meme’s rules go like this:

  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people.

The book on the top of my pile to take back to the library is Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory. I loved this book. I discovered Philippa Gregory with the Tudor series, and afterwards read any and all of her books that I could get my hands on. While some weren’t as good as others, this one was marvelous.

He kissed her hand in a flirtatious way and ignored her lack of response. ‘Goodnight.’

Elizabeth watched J go up the stairs to his little bed in the attic and then drew the curtains of the four poster around her and John.

This is actually a bit deceptive- it makes you think that J has kissed Elizabeth’s hand when in fact it was another, relatively minor, character who did so. If I were to choose something to excerpt, it wouldn’t be this bit, but I guess that’s the whole point of the meme.

Now for the personal finance and frugality bit! I love to read. In fact, the way my mother punished me when I was a child was by taking away whatever book I was reading at the time. I would come home from the library with my book bag bulging. I was laughed at in school because I would skip ahead in the math book to read the word problems. Cultivating the reading hobby has never been a problem for me.

But guess what? Most books in France are written in French! Who knew? And the books in foreign languages are expensive, because they have to be shipped from their country of origin. So, while I have no qualms about paying $.50 for a schmaltzy novel at an American thrift store, I balk at spending รขโ€šยฌ10 on the same book at a new bookstore.

Fortunately, there are a few options. If I lived in Paris or Lyon I could visit the big English language bookstores, but even my local French bookstore has a good sized English language section. If I find a book that I really want to read (and my willpower is weak) I might buy it, but usually I write it down and put it on my Amazon wishlist.*

The bulk of my reading material, however, comes from three (frugal) sources: friends, our local volunteer library, and Book Mooch. I’ve just discovered the latter, and it’s fantastic: a great way to declutter my house of the books I’ve read just once and don’t want to read again, and as a source of new reads. I posted seven books, and within ten minutes three of them were mooched. I then crossreferenced my Amazon wishlist, and found a book to mooch. Even with paying shipping, it’s less expensive than paying for a new book.

Now my problem is finding time to read all these books- what a problem!

*I don’t feel bad about not buying from them- we buy all of our other books there, and that adds up.


1 CatherineL February 3, 2008

Hi – how strange – my mother used to do that to me to; and also one of my school teachers!I've heard of Phillipa Gregory, but I don't remember reading her, so I'll certainly try out that one.I found you on Mrs Micah's blog, by the way – and I was curious to know what you were reading.So, how long have you lived in France?

2 K February 3, 2008

I’ve been in France since January 2000, just long enough to forget what living in the US is really like!

3 Mrs. Micah February 3, 2008

I’ve seen that book at work—it looks fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

It must be hard not to have libraries you can easily read! I get lots of pf books (and almost anything else) from them.

4 KTHunter February 5, 2008

It was nice to find your blog. I am a book lover too! I will have to check out Book Mooch. It looks great. I have so many books in my study that they are about to take over and rule the roost. Some of them I can read over and over again, and others are great but only get a single reading. I’d like to find a good home for them, so Book Mooch might be the way to go! Thanks!

5 jenefur February 5, 2008

I love getting my books from the Salvation Army. They sometimes do ‘Fill a Bag’ sales and I’ve shoved up to 30 books in and paid only $10-$15!

6 Barbara July 26, 2009

I’m also a bookworm, have been since I could read my first word or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

And Bookmooch is fantastic. Yes, you pay for postage but I’ve gotten brand new or almost brand new books in some cases and saved a lot of money.

Have to admit, though, since Bookmooch I’ve kind of neglected my local library. Maybe it’s time to return…
.-= Barbara´s last blog ..A very special place, St. John 2009, Part 2 =-.

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