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How to Start Library

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Have I mentioned that I am the proud owner of over 250 books?

Surely I have.

Because, guys, I am the proud owner of 250 books.

And, side note: I am not broke from obtaining those 250 books.

How? Well, I believe that when one desires to someday have a library within their home, they must obtain some important knowledge first namely:

  1. where to find the cheapest books near them

  2. where to find the cheapest books online

  3. where to enter book giveaways to get books for free.

There is also those handy things called gift cards which I seem to be given most birthdays. And they seem to be most often for a bookstore. I don't often buy books first hand (unless they are from one of my favorite authors and then generally I preorder them months in advance and get a preorder gift) but if I have the gift card, might as well spend it.

Now, I do believe I have already covered the first two notes in a previous blog post (namely mentioning our local library's book sales and "thrift books") but let me just take a second now to mention the third because, ladies and gentlemen, I just received a package today I would like to talk about.

It contained the following:

  1. A mask with the words "stop the spread, read instead." And we are talking a high quality mask here. Nothing cheap and flimsy. This mask had an adjustable nose and adjustable elastic.

  2. A canvas book bag which said "booked all week." When I go back to living in normal society, you can best believe this bag will be my library bag (for borrowed and/or bought books)

  3. They Went Left by Monica Hesse

  4. Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

  5. More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

  6. Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

  7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Liani Taylor

This package was delivered to me by Book Riot where I won it in a giveaway.

But it wasn't the only giveaway I won recently.

I also won The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo from Goodreads who also hosts giveaways and just recently received that in the mail as well.

And may I say...

Look how pretty!!

And there are stunning pictures inside as well. I have never read the series (so you know I am an impartial party) but it's now on my to-read list because, again, so pretty.

I want to mention a bit about those two giveaway hosts because though those are the only two giveaways I have won so far with them, they are not the only giveaways they have hosted since I have been visiting their pages nor are they the only ones I have entered.

The two platforms are a little bit different and while I, if I am totally honest, visit them more for the giveaways than for anything else, they also have a great number of other things to look at on their sites such as great book recommendations and even, in the case of Goodreads, voting for the top books of the year.

I might suggest that Goodreads is the IMDb of books. On Goodreads, you, as a member of the community, are able to rate books, see book reviews and descriptions, ask authors who participate questions and ask other members questions, see quotes from the books, and more. Goodreads also allows members to vote for their favorite books of the year in a number of different categories and looking at the top books (both those that were nominated and those that won) can be a great way to find your next read or at least reads to put on the "to-read" list. Goodreads allows the authors themselves to host giveaways (though at a pretty hefty price which is why I have never done it) so when you enter the giveaway on Goodreads, you allow another party to have your address.

Meanwhile, Book Riot seems to me (though I have been dealing with it for a significantly smaller amount of time and pay less attention to it) as though it is geared to a different audience with a different goal in mind. While Goodreads allows authors to upload their book and answer readers' questions as well as allowing readers to rate books, book riot is more like a reviewing site. The worker bees do all the work of reviewing, rating and uploading books. Theirs is a smaller database of books which, from what I have seen is more geared towards young adults and fiction though within young adult fiction they show a huge range of different books. Book Riot seems to be more like a book review blog whereas Goodreads is a database of books. Book Riot also appears to host the giveaways themselves and while Goodreads' giveaways are limited to a single book (signed or unsigned, ARC or released already), book riot has no such limitation. I have seen book riot open giveaways offering things ranging from a single book to a kindle to a library cart.

There are other giveaways out there and I would suggest that those who want to build up a collection of books don't limit themselves to the two sites above. Stretch yourselves. See what you can find. Often an author's site or Instagram will host giveaways once in a while. I have found these two sites to be helpful though so check them out at the links below.

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