A new year, so you might need some new books. Now, not everybody can afford to buy brand new books all the time, and illegally downloading books (or stealing them from a bookshop, which is basically the same) hurts our beloved writers. So what are some nice legal ways to make sure you have enough to read?

  1. Get a library pass
    When I was little I went to the library almost every week. Libraries might have a bit of a stuffy reputation, but actually, a lot of librarians work hard to provide you with new and interesting books. Most libraries have also modernised a lot: you can now get e-books or audiobooks at most libraries. Think you can’t afford a library pass? Most libraries have a lots of discounts for different groups. And if you’re a student, don’t forget that your university library probably also has a lot of fiction on their shelves: you can use your university library as a regular one!


  1. Read e-books
    Personally I prefer paper books, but I do have to admit that e-books tend to be cheaper than paper books. So if you’re short on cash, consider trying some e-books. If you don’t have the money to invest in an e-reader, you can read most formats on your computer or tablet as well. Just don’t download them illegal: that means hard working writers and publishers don’t get paid. And you know what happens when your favourite writer does not get paid? That’s right, they won’t publish a new book.


  1. Exchange books
    With friends or neighbours or classmates. You can always find people who won’t mind lending their books to you. Return the favour and the world is your library! There are also a lot of places trying to make the exchange of books available, like  Free Little Libraries. Take a book out of the cabinet, put a new one in and you’re good to go! This is a world wide project so chances are there’s already a Free Little Library in your area, or you can start one yourself.


  1. Second hand books
    I love second hand book shops and I can spend hours in them. Depending on the store and the books, you can get your fix at only a small part of the original price! Can’t find a second hand bookstore in your area? Some normal bookstores have a small second hand department in the back and you can also find a lot of second hand books online. For the Dutchies, my absolute favourite is the website boekwinkeltjes.nl, where you can find second hand books from independent stores from all over the country!


  1. Keep your eyes open
    Many organisations think reading is important, so keep your eyes open for projects in your area! For example, in my home town there’s a charity organisation, De Boekenzolder, where you can donate books, but you can also take up to ten books with you every time you visit! They are a non-profit organisation running completely on donations, so I try to donate some books every now and then and to donate a few euros when I stop by to pick up some books. Maybe your local library has a similar program!

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