At the end of 2015, I started analysing how much I spend on books each year (see how much I spent on books in 2014, and how much I spent on books 2015). It’s a really popular post, and one I like to do to try and keep control of the spending situation. Typically, I prefer physical books to eBooks, and I prefer owning books as opposed to borrowing them from the library. This has resulted in a substantial TBR pile (based on my current rate of reading, it would take around 5 years to get through the books I currently own… eek!), and while I’m not a believer of Book Buying Bans, I think it’s a great idea to be mindful of what I’m spending my money on.
In 2016, I definitely started buying more books in physical bookstores (I ❤ Waterstones), and unintentionally (at least initially) reduced the amount I was buying through Amazon. As I’ve gotten older, and become less ignorant of the publishing Industry, I’ve developed a new appreciation for the amount of time and work involved in book publishing, and I’ve begun to understand how Amazon’s pricing policy undermines the Industry.
For a long time, I justified cheaper purchases because I was a student, or a recent graduate, who couldn’t afford to spend a lot on books. While I’m not exactly rolling in riches four years after graduation, I am in a position where I can spend that little bit more for a personal and physical customer experience in a bookstore, and that means something to me. That being said, I’m still a firm believer in value for money, so I rarely buy RRP.
Spending that little bit more means that, hopefully, a physical bookstore will stay part of my high street, and it usually means I’m buying books I’m super interested in, rather than sneaky impulse purchases. I haven’t tracked my in-store spend for 2016, but it’s something I really want to do this year. Surely keeping a receipt jar won’t be too much trouble? (Though it may possibly be a massive eye-opener!).
The following figures are taken from my online order histories, and don’t include gifts or books bought from a charity shop. The amount I’ve spent also doesn’t include the benefits of using discount codes and cash-back deals from Quidco to make further savings (which I highly suggest you do!).
The Book People
- Total Books Bought: 18
- Total Amount Spent: £53.93
- Average Price Per Book: £2.99
- Total RRP: £203.85
- Total Saving: £149.92
- Total Books Bought: 33
- Total Amount Spent: £69.00
- Average Price Per Book: £2.09
- Total RRP: £287.00
- Total Saving: £218.00
- Total Books Bought: 8
- Total Amount Spent: £44.63
- Average Price Per Book: £5.50
- Total RRP: £100.93
- Total Saving: £56.30
*I also bought 1 book from The Book Depository (pre-order of It Ends With Us), and 1 book from Waterstones online (pre-order of Empire of Storms).
- Total Books Bought: 61
- Total Amount Spent: £182.70
- Average Price Per Book: £2.99
- Total RRP: £607.76
- Total Saving: £425.06
In 2014, I spent £205 on 110 books, with an average price per book of £1.86. I was snapping up loads of deals and discounted books then, without giving much consideration to what I was buying, or why. In 2015, I spent £224 on 88 books, with an average price per book of £2.55. By this point, I knew which authors I loved and started buying more pre-orders, which work out a little more expensive than waiting for deals and discounts. In 2016, I spent £182.70 on 61 books, with an average price per book of £2.99. While I’m pleased the online purchases are going down, both in volume and value, I haven’t tracked how much my in-store purchases have went up. So it probably evens out (at least).
I’ve definitely started buying more non-fiction each year, which is inherently more expensive than fiction (one purchase was £16 alone), and this mini-analysis doesn’t take in to account how much I’m enjoying the books I’m buying. But, if I wanted to do that, we’d be here all day. Generally, I’d say I’m being more thoughtful about my purchases, so instead of buying every bargain book going in the hopes I’ll enjoy it, I’m specifically buying books by a certain author, or in a certain genre, which is decreasing the number of books I’m hauling, but racking the price up a little. I think doing this post every year is actually helping me be more of a conscious shopper.
As always, I’ve included any eBook purchases below. For the eBook RRPs, I just went with the current price on Amazon. I’m always aiming to reduce the number of eBooks I purchase, because I rarely get around to reading them. In 2014, I picked up 35 eBooks for £27.88. In 2015, I got 18 eBooks for £10.83, and *drum roll please*… In 2016:
- Total eBooks Bought: 8
- Amount Spent on eBooks: £3.96
- Average Price Per eBook: £0.49
- Total RRP: £28.54
- Total Saving: £24.58
I’d call that a pretty successful year in books!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever added up your annual spend! Has this post made you think about calculating it? Has it made you want to hunt out the best prices for your books? Or has it made you want to buy books more consciously? Get chatting, Book Geeks!