Bargain Buys – Charity begins with BOOKS

You’ve probably all heard the saying Charity begins at Home? And if not, you more than likely will at some point in your life. Well, I have taken that saying and changed it to fit my lifestyle.


The reason for me doing this is because:

  • I work in a charity shop
  • I love a bargain and giving back to people that need it
  • I love love love buying books from charity shops.

Buying a book from here is a fabulous way to fill my collection as the books are generally very reasonably priced (most of the UK Charity Shops sell an individual book for anywhere between the 50p and £2 mark). You can sometimes find books that would have cost you a lot more to buy from an actual bookshop, or even in eBook format. Due to this, I am unable to walk into a charity shop without at least checking the books.

I wanted to showcase some of my Charity Shop buys and the bargain prices I paid for them.


The entire Game of Thrones series of books (so far), boxed, in near perfect condition for a grand total of £3.50. This is probably my best bargain due to the current popularity of this series.

I got these 5 books as part of a 5 for £1 offer. An absolute bargain of a price. The Buffy book wasn’t already on any of my TBR lists but I had to get a fifth to make it up to £1.

All of the books here were priced at £1 each. The Dodger book by Terry Pratchett was definitely the best buy as its a first edition British printing. 

These 4 were all priced at 50p or less, To Kill A Mockingbird only cost 20p.


This manga version of Beautiful Creatures is my favourite of all my charity shop buys, due to 1) it being quite elusive in the UK, not available in any book shops and 2) so expensive on sites like Amazon. I snagged this, purely by accident, for £1.79.

What about you? Have you had any good charity shop book buys? Which are your favourite or best bargains?




Why Amazon’s Free Books are Dangerous

As I have said in many other posts I have always read books. When the eBook phenomenon hit the world I was originally dead set against it, would rather have a physical book. I couldn’t ever see me actually reading an eBook.

Then one day, something happened and I bit the bullet. I bought myself a Kindle. At the time (somewhere around circa 2012) there wasn’t much choice available, in fact, if my memory serves me right, there was only the Kindle Keyboard 3G. So that was what I bought. Within the first few days, I went on a mission downloading FREE books. I was in heaven. Books for FREE. Who doesn’t want FREE books? That you get to keep. Not rentals like the library, but completely and utterly FREE to own. This was how my life went for months on end. Actually, make that years.

I reached a point where I had over ONE THOUSAND eBooks waiting to be read on my Kindle, I would go through the FREE bestseller lists and download everything with an interesting cover. I also signed up to two websites – Kind of Book and Daily Free Books. Both websites send daily emails with FREE and Bargain books. Well, that just added to my total soaring to somewhere near the TWO THOUSAND mark. (See the bottom of page for links to both sites).

Also, as I dislike using the cloud, I prefer to have all UnRead books already downloaded and only the ones I have read (or attempted to read) in the cloud. This, on more than occasion, has broken my Kindle, resulting in Amazon sending me a new one as it stopped downloading books. Read about my ordeal here.

I used to read, on average, 2-3 full length (300+ pages) novels in a month but was downloading easily over 50 each month. That’s when I realised I had a problem. I was downloading books that I would probably never get around to reading and as the majority of the FREE books were only downloaded based on the cover. I didn’t read the blurb or reviews so am going in completely blind. I have also noticed that some of them have had the cover changed by the author, and after looking at the revised cover I wouldn’t have downloaded it in the first place.

A few months ago, I made the decision that enough was enough. I vowed to only download FREE books if they were something that was on my wishlist. So now, when I come across a book I really want, rather than buying it I add it to my wishlist and wait until it has dropped in price or until I get to a point where I am running out of books. At the moment, my Amazon cloud stands at 1899 books and around 1600 of those are WAITING TO BE READ. I also made the decision that I will not worry if I don’t like a book or don’t want to finish one, purely because I have too much to read. I wrote about abandoning books here and am logging books I didn’t finish, here.

If you want to receive emails for FREE and Bargain books, check out both of these sites. The links are for the UK site but they can be changed to various different countries.




What My Kids are READING

My kids read. A lot. This is one thing (amongst many many others) that I am super proud of them for. Of course, this stems from my own love of reading. If I didn’t read, I don’t think the amount they read would bother me as much so to see them curled up with a book is pretty amazing.

My son is 8. He has really come on in his reading over the past year and is starting to venture into the kind of books that I would have read when I was his age. My daughter is 4. She is currently into picture books but I imagine when she starts school in September that will change (hopefully, and if not then so be it. It won’t matter to me if she decides she isn’t much of a reader).

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. I was reading Stephen King books at age 11 so it has always been a big part of my life no matter how little I read sometimes. I love nothing more than sitting down with the children and reading with or to them. I am currently working my way through the Harry Potter books by reading to them at bed time. Not only is fun for me as I get to re-read the stories, I also get to see them through their eyes. I only wish we had Harry Potter when I was their ages. Instead, I had Alice in Wonderland. It still remains one of my favourite books to this day.

Anyway, the point of this post is really just to share what the children are reading.

What are your children reading?

Being A Reading Mum

If you've taken the time to read my "about" page then you'll know I have two (wonderful) children.
I see other "Reading Mums" through their blogs and various social networking sites that are plowing through books like there's no tomorrow and I can't help but feel insanely jealous.
Here I am, managing to find maybe twenty to thirty minutes a day (usually when I go to bed, quite often falling asleep with my kindle or phone to cuddle with) and my "to read" list getting longer with every living breath.
When the kids are out at school and nursery, once I've done the arbitrary housework etc, I sometimes manage to grab an extra hour reading time but now, the dreaded six week holiday has begun.
Not dreaded because the kids are at home but also dreaded because they ARE at home. I love them being at home. I wish they could stay at home and not go to school. I love spending time on and with them, playing and other exciting things BUT my reading time is dramatically reduced to even less than the required twenty minutes at bedtime because I'm soooo shattered from being fun mum that I struggle with finding time to be Jo.
So I have made a promise to myself (yet another promise, see my post on leaving a book behind) that while I continue to be fun mum for the most part of the day I will set aside random sessions for me to be Jo and do the thing I love the most, READ.

Goodreads and Me 3 – A Change in Heart IS on the Cards

Today, after having time to calm down and do some investigation I have had a change of heart regarding news I heard recently from Goodreads. Check out my posts Goodreads and Me and Goodreads and Me 2.

I will make a point of saying that sometimes I overreact and I think that I may have done just that. However, some questions still remain unanswered so we will see what happens as we move forwards.

In my first Goodreads and Me post I mentioned about adding books to a user-created shelf. I had pointed out that adding books to one of these shelves automatically added it to my “read” shelf, which in some cases I didn’t want this to happen. Deciding to do the sensible thing, I reached out the Goodreads community. I have been made aware that if I make a shelf “exclusive” in the settings, then any books added to that shelf will ONLY be added to the selected shelf. I must say, I don’t know why I didn’t think of asking earlier, I am so grateful to that community member. I am now able to add books that I want to read but DO NOT own yet onto my Goodreads catalogue. I attempted to transfer my Amazon wishlist, but the import function didn’t work (I followed all the instructions) so that will probably be my next job, ask the community what I did wrong.

Onto the second thing, today is the 13th July and WordPress integration should have stopped on the 12th. However, the review I added today allowed me to post directly to my blog. IF or WHEN they eventually remove that option, I have since found out (again through the community – thank you) that if I copy the HTML code from the side of my completed review over to WordPress it generates the same review as the automatic posting. I am hoping that they don’t stop that from being possible as part of the change.


Finally, I have asked the community if the end of the WordPress integration will affect any previously published posts. I would hate for that to happen to all my reviews I have shared so far. I am currently waiting for an answer to this.