Charity Shops: Tips and Tricks for Book Shopping

So as someone who loves books and doesn’t have much money; charity shops are my saviour. I use the library too but sometimes you’ll find things in a charity shop that you can’t get in the library and you can also wind up getting a whole series for cheap.

I know that Becca from Becca and the Books on YouTube has done a video showing how many books you can get from a charity shop for £15. I’ve never quite been able to spend quite that much in charity shops as I’ve never found that many books I want at once. But there’s something so pleasing about the thought of getting so many books for so little if I so wanted.

Even though that’s already out there, I still wanted to do something to encourage more people to make use of charity shops and secondhand books.

So are you ready to go charity shop hunting? Here’s my tips for you:

1. Don’t go in expecting to find a certain book…

I know this one sounds pretty obvious. But we’ve all wandered into a shop hoping we’ll get lucky and find this amazing book. And unless you either already know it’s there or it’s one of the books that always seem to pop up in charity shops. It ‘aint gonna happen and you’ll just wind up disappointed.

2. But be open to what you stumble across.

I’ve come across plenty of books I’ve had recommended to me on GoodReads that I’ve never expected to see. These are books I’ve instantly grabbed as even though I haven’t been looking for them, I know they’ll probably be in my wheelhouse and I usually enjoy them. Plus there’s the odd book I’ve never heard of that just look good and I’m like why not?

3. Don’t feel like you have to go home with something

I know it can sometimes feel like you need to get something. Everything is so cheap that it would be a waste to miss this opportunity. But when you do that you usually wind up either not enjoying the book or just getting rid of it again straight away.

It’s pointless. Only go home with things you really want. The charity shop probably won’t go anywhere.

4. Learn what charity shops work out best for you

The ones that tend to get more books you enjoy dropped out, the shops with the best deals or those that are easiest for you to access.

There’s a charity shop in my town that often gets books I like and consistently has a 2 books for £1 offer. It’s cheap, wonderful and the book stock changes often enough I can visit regularly. I don’t always get books but it’s my preferred shop.

It might mean visiting shops a little too regularly for a bit but, hey, you might get lucky and find books every time.

5. Remember to give back as this is for a good cause

If you’re utilizing charity shops for your buying needs, if you ever need to unhaul then you’re better off dropping them at a charity shop. Buying books and leaving them are both things that are going to help support charities.

And at least this way you know your books will find a loving new home and you can feel like you’ve done something to help someone else.

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