How Much Do You Spend On Books? 2017 Edition

How much do you spend on books 2017

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


The Works

  • 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).

2016 Totals

  • Total Books Bought: 61
  • Total Amount Spent: £182.70
  • Average Price Per Book: £2.99
  • Total RRP: £607.76
  • Total Saving: £425.06

The Analysis

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!

About Rachel

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

32 Responses

  1. I’ve never thought about adding up my annual book spend before, but this is really interesting! Now I REALLY want to know how much I spend on books each year… I might have to start keeping track in 2017!
    I rarely buy books online unless they’re for school, so I would say that the bulk of my book buying happens in physical bookstores. I just love the atmosphere of bookstores and the fact that you can physically pick up the book you’re thinking about buying and know exactly what quality you’ll be getting.
    Awesome post! 🙂


  2. I’ve never done this, but it is very interesting! I buy most of my books from charity shops, and waterstones, and on the whole i only buy books i know i already want. But i still manage to spent a lot. I might give this a go for 2017… if i can remember what i’ve bought so far (only a week into the year – eek)!


      1. The odd £1.50 in charity shops adds up, though! Especially on a decent haul day and i come home with 10+ books :\

        Checking goodreads (the only way i can keep track), i own 270 books yet to be read. If i’m generous to my current reading speed and say i’ll read 35 a year, that’s nearly EIGHT YEARS. Shit. I need to read faster.

        I checked my most recent wordery order and i placed it on 31 December, so i’m £0.00 on zero books so far in 2017, woo! 😀


  3. Interesting breakdown! I’ve never specifically tracked how much I spend on books before, but I do know I buy a lot fewer books than most people assume I do. I’m a pretty avid fan of the library. 😉


  4. I always love posts like this. And you have inspired me to track my purchases this year (but I might have said the same on last years post and never followed through!). I don’t buy huge amounts of books anymore though, as I love using my library and my budget is a bit more limited at the moment. Like you I’m mindful about the books I buy and that makes it an even more enjoyable experience for me as I don’t just buy willy nilly the way I used to. Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be doing a similiar post!


  5. This was such an interesting post! I don’t keep much track of how much I spend on books, but maybe I should. I’m usually pretty good at hanging on to my money since I don’t mind checking books out of the library. So if the library has it, I rarely buy it (unless I need to have a copy for myself)


  6. I have never tracked how much I spend on books but over the years I have spent a lot on magazines (A LOT!) and I have stopped buying pretty much all but one or two of them. I do want to maybe use that savings from magazines to buy books. Like I wouldn’t buy one or two books a month because I’d think ‘oh that’s €20/€30 a month, I can’t spend that much!’ but I used to pick up one or three magazines a week and because they’re cheaper I wouldn’t think of the cost that much but really I was probably spending that €20-30 on magazines and it would have been better spent on books!


  7. Although my stats would not be nearly as detailed as yours, I think I’m in the same boat. In previous years, I snatched up books because they were such a great deal. Last year, I definitely bought lots of brand new books, some of which were on sale, others were full price, simply because they were books by beloved authors that I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on! And with the exception of three books, I’d read all of my purchased books by the end of the year! I consider that to be a success, because I was buying and reading right away, not buying and storing for “someday” when I’d feel like picking up that pariticular book.


  8. I’ve never added up my book purchases but to be honest I buy a lot of ebooks and they don’t amount to very much. I’m also very lucky to have a lot of promotion companies send me Arcs. I work in libraries, So what I do is throughout the year when I read good books I make sure there on our purchase request list to buy. I’ve bought in a lot of Indie authors this way, that would never have been bought in otherwise. I feel this makes up for me buying all my books in ebook format.


      1. It’s perfectly understandable I’d be the same. I pay for kindle unlimited every month and it works out at about €10 a month so that’s me before I’ve even bought anymore books.


  9. Shona

    So this year I spent £5.31 on average per book, though, if we took out HP&tCC and Fantastic Beasts which were pre-ordered hardbacks then its only £4.32.
    This is still more expensive than last year but I bought much fewer books, like you I’m trying to focus more on what I actually want to read rather than just fabulous deals!

    I love these posts! Yep, I’m so cool! Xx


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