Let’s face it: a trip to the bookstores these days can cost a pretty penny. Judaica books are not cheap…but you, avid reader that you are, are not prepared to forego reading the latest novel or buying books as gifts for others. And now, especially, with Chanukah season fast approaching, chances are that you will be making a trip to your local bookstore in an attempt to find that perfect present for kids, adults, rebbeim, and morahs—whomever it is that you want to show your appreciation to.
Why a book? Because books have always been a most popular gift-giving item. This may be due to the fact that a book is a universally appreciated present, or because between all the various titles and genres, you’re bound to find something appropriate for every occasion. Whatever it is, you usually can’t go wrong when you give a book as a gift.
Still, though, you did promise your husband you’d try to go easy on the credit card… Is there a way to do it all?
The truth is, there are actually a number of ways in which you can save money even while shopping at the bookstore. As seasoned book-shoppers know, there’s a sort of unofficial list of “savings secrets” in this area. If you’ve ever wanted to get the most books out of your dollar, you may find the following tips to be very useful.
- Stock Up at Sales. The major sale periods in Judaica bookstores are Chanukah and Shavua Hasefer in the summer. These are the best times to stock up on bar/bas mitzvah gifts and books you haven’t read yet. If you already have a stock of books at home from when you bought them on sale, pulling one out and wrapping it up as a Chanukah present for your cousin, or as a bar mitzvah gift for your neighbor’s son, saves you a whole lot of time, energy, and of course money.
- Older is Better. Look for slightly older releases that you haven’t yet had a chance to enjoy; these may be on sale even during the rest of the year. A great read doesn’t become “stale” just because it came out last Chanukah instead of this one!
- Access the Internet. The internet can be a great resource to find lower prices on comparable books. Always check with your local neighborhood store, though—often they will be happy to match other advertised prices, if they can. And don’t forget to take into account shipping costs that will be added to your online order, which you would not have to pay at your local retailer. (Of course, that’s not to mention helping a local friend and neighbor…)
- Go for the Gift Sets! This Chanukah season, one innovative company, Israel Bookshop, has created a brand new way for you to save while you read, with “Better Together” Gift Sets, which, in a nutshell, is as follows: Each of their new releases has been paired with a “sister book”—another book by the same author. The set of books is shrink-wrapped together to form a beautiful gift set, which they are offering at the discounted price of 20% off the first book and 50% off the second. This gives you, the customer, a great “buy more, save more” deal.
Reading is an integral part of most people’s lives. If you are a book-lover, as so many of us are, you owe it to yourself to become educated in how to save money while you read. Whichever methods work best for you, we wish you much hatzlachah with book-shopping this season!