College Blogging 101 is a weekly meme hosted by Lili's Reflections where a variety of hosts answer questions and give advice in regards to blogging in college. The purpose of this is to help upcoming college students and to create an open discussion forum. If you would like to write a guest post, please fill out this form. If you have a question you want answered, please fill out this form.
This week's post is covering where to find books in college. If you aren't like me and able to store books, you've got to be able to hunt them down! Kelly from Effortlessly Reading has decided to share her tips and processes on how to hunt down books in college!
When you're a college student dorming in a whole new area that you've never been to, it's obviously going to be complicated and hard to get used to. I was lucky enough to be living at home while attending college, but I was facing the exact same problem book lovers who dorm at college was: I had no clue where to get books.
No need to be so shocked, guys.
This might seem weird to you guys, I know, but I've never started book blogging until I attended college. I've stopped reading throughout high school so I can do other things and it was not until my senior year of high school that I slowly started reading again. I decided I wanted to start blogging when I attended college my freshmen year and like most book bloggers, my wishlist grew exponentially when I started blogging. My main problem was, where do I buy books?
The answer might be quite obvious to some of you now: You can buy books online from places like Amazon, duh, but unlike most college students, I didn't have my own credit card and asking my parents to use theirs was not an option. Also, now that I'm a book blogger and had learned more about why it's so important to support independent bookstores, buying from online retailers like Amazon would not be a good option for me, unless I really had no other choice but to buy from them.
So where did I buy my books? Simple. At first I didn't buy any (I know, the horror!). I just constantly borrowed books from my local library. Here's the amazing thing about New York City libraries: You can request or put a hold on any book they have on their catalog and they'll deliver it to your library for you to pickup for free. (I'm emphasizing the words "for free" because I know in some countries, you have to pay in order to use that option.) I constantly borrowed books from the library for about a year.
However, as I read more and more books, my wishlist grew bigger until I finally accepted the fact that hey, I just have to own these books and went to the next to most obvious retailer besides Amazon: Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble has this handy option on their website where you can find a Barnes & Noble store nearest to you when you enter your zip code. At first, I started to buy all my books there.
As for independent bookstores around my area (which would be New York City), I discovered them by accident. Let me explain: I was stalking one of my favorite authors (okay, not stalking but I was browsing their author website) when I saw that the author was coming to NYC for a book event. I went to the author's appearance page and saw the bookstore in which the event was going to take place. A simple google search later revealed that hey, I can go to that independent bookstore and meet that author! On the plus side, I also discovered a new bookstore to buy books from.
I discovered three other independent bookstores this way: I stalk my favorite authors page (or even a random author that just tweeted about an event on twitter), see if any of the events take place in NYC and if I can go to that independent bookstore where the book event is, and attend the event. I'm still discovering new independent bookstores in New York City that way.
Another way to find a place to buy books is to ask other bloggers who live in your area where they buy their books. If you're a shy person (kind of like me) and don't want to ask them, you can look at their Stacking the Shelves meme or any other meme similar to that. Some bloggers have videos where they discuss where they get their books or they write down where they get their books and it could be a place that you've never heard of before. That's how I discovered Strandbooks, by browsing different blogs whose bloggers lived in my area.
I don't know if you guys know, but I'm on a budget this year to save up money so I can attend BEA. I know I'm luckier than most people since I already live in NYC, but I still have to buy that ticket. For situations like these where you can't spend any money but want to buy books, instead of buying books you can trade for them. I personally use the YA Book Exchange created by Krista and Becca from NawandaFiles. You can also trade books through the Book Blogging trade feature.
And yeah, that's all for now!
Thank you so much for stopping by, Kelly! It means so much to us that you took the time to share with us!
Next week's post: Nelli from The Anti-Trafficking Independence Project discusses how commuting effects your blogging life. Since Kelly was a commuter, it's only natural to see how her blogging life is different. This girl is a very good friend of mine from college and I'm so excited to bridge both my bookish world and my reality.
Next next week's post: I answer the question of how English majors can balance their heavy academic reading workload and their pleasure reading workload!
Please share your personal tips and tricks to hunting down books below!