How Much Do You Spend On Books? 2016 Edition

How much do you spend on books 2016

Last January, I put together a post that analysed how much I spent on books throughout the year, and I’ve decided to bring it back for a 2016 edition. I personally prefer physical books to eBooks, and I generally prefer owning books as opposed to borrowing them from the library. This can result in a toppling TBR pile (literally – my sister used to call it my wall of books, now she calls it book-Jenga), and it can also result in a large spend if I’m not careful. I’m a great believer in hunting down deals and bargains (see my previous posts Book Buying Bans and Me and Buying Books As Cheap As Possible), and I’ve always believed that while I do spend money on books, I spend a reasonable amount, and make sure I get a lot for my money.

Last year was the first time I actually tried to add up what I’d spent over the course of a year, and I was pleasantly surprised when I worked it out (£205 for 110 books). This year, I wanted to try and reduce my spend, by reducing the number of impulse purchases I made. Overall, I think this worked well, but 2015 was also the year of the charity shop comeback for me too. Let’s see how I got on…

I’ve spent more than the following if you include purchases in physical stores (which I don’t do often), but being able to view my online orders was the only way to put this together as I don’t keep receipts. Also, I’ve used the RRPs to calculate savings – while most stores will sell for slightly under this, again, this was the only logical way to put together this post. And finally, the amount I spent doesn’t include using discount codes and cash-back from Quidco to make further savings.

The Book People

  • Total Books Bought: 36
  • Total Amount Spent: £68.54
  • Average Price Per Book: £1.90
  • Total RRP: £345.74
  • Total Saving: £277.20

The Works

  • Total Books Bought: 33
  • Total Amount Spent: £64.32
  • Average Price Per Book: £1.95
  • Total RRP: £271.72
  • Total Saving: £207.40


  • Total Books Bought: 19
  • Total Amount Spent: £91.58
  • Average Price Per Book: £4.82
  • Total RRP: £192.82
  • Total Saving: £101.24

*A few Amazon purchases this year were gifts I didn’t purchase myself, but I’ve included them anyway.

2015 Totals

  • Total Books Bought: 88
  • Total Amount Spent: £224.44
  • Average Price Per Book: £2.55
  • Total RRP: £810.28
  • Total Saving: £585.84

My average price is down by £1.19 per book, my total spend for 2015 is around £15 more than last year, but I purchased 22 less books. To me, this shows that I did decrease my impulse purchases, but the books I specifically wanted (illustrated Harry Potter, a new Harry Potter box set, pre-orders by Colleen Hoover and Sarah J Maas) pushed the overall total amount spent up, because it’s difficult to get them at bargain prices. My spend for 2014 worked out at around £17 per month, and my spend for 2015 works out at £18.70 per month. Next year, I’d like to aim for more of the same, but if I could get the total spend down more, that would be perfect!

Out of curiosity, I’ve also included eBook purchases below, for the eBook RRPs, I just went with the current price on Amazon. I wanted to reduce the number of eBooks purchased this year, because I really rarely read them, and I also wanted to reduce the number of “free” eBooks I picked up, because again, they’re just accumulating virtual dust.

  • Total eBooks Bought: 18
  • Amount Spent on eBooks: £10.83
  • Average Price Per eBook: £1.20
  • Total RRP: £27.98
  • Total Saving: £17.15

Overall, I think I did pretty well! I would love to gather receipts for in-store purchases of books in 2016, but I don’t know if I can be that organised!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever added up your annual spend! Has this post made you think about calculating it? Or has it made you want to hunt out the best prices for your books??

About Rachel

Avid reader & #bookblogger. Lover of all things business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

27 Responses

  1. I don’t tend to buy a lot of books so my purchases for the year would probably be less than $100. I have access to a great library system(s) so I get a lot of books that way. But I probably spend quite a bit more on other hobbies like running.


  2. I think you are so brave to add up how much you spend over the course of the year. I am terrified to do the same. I have a feeling I spent more this year than last. I’m angling to spend less in 2016 and actually utilize my library even more than I do.


  3. Oh man. I don’t know. I don’t think I have the guts to do a total of what I spent last year…This year would be a different story for sure, because funds are a little short. Lol.


  4. Brandie

    I think you are a very thrifty shopper and excellent spender! Less than $20 a month on books is fantastic!! Your deals are really great, I’m impressed!

    Could be worse things to spend your hard earned money on. I don’t think there’s any need to cut back. 😉 xx


  5. I had to convert this to USD to get a good feel (and mentally compare it to my own spending habits, of course) for it, because I’m not smart enough to know conversation rates off the top of my head. This is really interesting to see! I’m trying to keep track of how much money I’m spending on books this quarter, too (it’s one of my quarterly goals), just so I can see how to cut back. I’m not including textbooks because I have to buy those (and because they unnecessarily skew my numbers) nor gifts (because those don’t stay on my shelves). I hope my number crunching is similarly illuminating ❤


  6. I think they are very respectable figures, looks like you got good bargains and also some coveted books. Plus hobbies always cost money and you get a product you can keep for life! How bad 😀
    My biggest spend is my audible membership – about $12 per month but both myself and Tom listen to the books so it’s not too bad. Apart from that I don’t buy as much as I used to. I scour second hand book shops and always ask for vouchers for birthdays/Christmas and they help spread the cost too. I used to buy myself an Amazon voucher of $10 every month too but I wasn’t using them so I stopped that. I’m more determined this year to read what I already own rather than topping my TBR up further.


  7. Shona

    I’m feeling okay, I averaged this year at £2.94 per book which considering I bought a couple of hardbacks feels good! I now just need to work on the quantity… I should probably buy less than I read for the next few decades! 😀


  8. […] justification, but it’s now something I want to keep doing out of curiosity (2014  spend / 2015 spend). Realistically, every hobby or interest has a cost associated with it, and judging by my annual […]


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