7 Book-Buying Mistakes I Used To Make

When we first start something really new, we usually don’t know how to navigate it until we’ve made some mistakes and learned from them. 

When it comes to buying books, I definitely made my fair share of mistakes. Looking back, I didn’t have much of an idea of the bookish world – all I knew was that I wanted to own books so I could read them!

Throughout my (continuous) book-buying journey, I have learned a few things about book-buying that would’ve helped me so much in my beginning buying stages. I’m so excited to share these mistakes with you so that you don’t make them as well! These are the top mistakes I wish I knew about at the very beginning.

7 book-buying mistakes I used to make:

  1. Not checking to see if it’s part of a series

Back in the day, I don’t know why but I was never aware that many books are a part of a series – I guess I thought that book series would always be in a box set or something? So I bought books that were actually in the middle of a series and was really confused when I started reading (never again)!

  1. Not waiting until the paperback comes out

I never knew that newly published books come out first in hardcover only. I love hardcovers but I tend to buy paperbacks more because I like the feeling of a light, floppy book in my hands while I’m reading. What I usually do now is wait for the paperback version of books to come out before I buy it (unless I really love it and want a hardcover version instead). It ends up being cheaper as well!

  1. Only buying from chain retailers

Unfortunately, the only bookstore close to me is Indigo, a big box book store in Canada. There are no cute indie stores closeby. I used to only buy books from Indigo but one day I stumbled upon Book Outlet and Book Depository! These websites sell new books at a fraction of the price! It’s amazing, really. The only catch is that the books are not always the best quality but they’re pretty darn close to looking new.

  1. Forgetting to collect points

Most bookstores physical and online have a point rewards system that allow you to collect points as you buy books and trade them in for rewards (usually money off of a future purchase)! Why wouldn’t you want that? At the beginning, I didn’t care to collect points until I realized how much store credit I missed out on!

  1. Buying all the books I want to read

At the start of my reading journey, I somehow thought that I had to buy all the books I wanted to read. I wanted to support the authors and grow my personal library at home. I quickly realized that if I bought every book I “kind of” wanted to read, I would run out of shelf space AND own a lot of books I might not love. After some time, I realized that making use of libraries is key! They’re free and I can read anything I want. Nowadays, I only buy books that I love so that my collection is concise and special to me!

  1. Buying the books I don’t want to read

At the bookstore, I tend to want to buy all the books…even the ones that don’t super excite me. Books that were on sale always got me! Even if I didn’t particularly love the synopsis, I still wanted to buy it because it was on sale and because I thought I’d want to read it once I owned it. I learned the hard way that if I don’t feel called to a book while it’s still in the store, I won’t feel compelled to read it at home either.

  1. Judging solely by the cover

Now I want to be clear…I still judge books by their cover and I don’t think that’s always a bad thing! But something valuable I learned is that I should judge the synopsis first. Even if the cover sucks, if the synopsis is good and draws me in, I’ll probably give the book a shot still – I usually end up liking it!


I want to hear your thoughts! Let me know if you’ve ever made any of these mistakes and which ones I’m missing!

Published by Andrea's Book Corner

Lover of books, book reviewer, book blogger & YA fantasy author in progress! WIP: Project Arenegedden

23 thoughts on “7 Book-Buying Mistakes I Used To Make

  1. I used to buy a lot of books that “well everyone on bookstagram loves this so I probably will too” even if I wasn’t all that interested. Before I was part of the online book world, I rarely bought books unless I’d already read them from the library. I’m moving back to that now, though I do have a few auto-buy authors because I know that I’ll love pretty much anything they write.

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    1. I was exactly like you! It wasn’t until I started realizing that sometimes I dislike popular books…and sometimes I end up loving unpopular ones! It has caused me to be more careful when book-buying for sure 🙂

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  2. Ah I love this. I am definitely guilty of not checking if it was part of a series – sometimes even when I’ve started reading and don’t get why I don’t understand what’s going on. Would be lost without my local library for sure. Great post!

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  3. I often judge only by the cover. And I agree that we should only buy the books we really loved. I have a hard time sticking to my own rules tbh.

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  4. I am a very picky book buyer! I only purchase books if I’ve already read them, loved them, and know I’ll want to read them again. That being said, I don’t cover-buy or buy mid-series. If a book is part of a series, I wait for them all to be released and purchase a box set. And I often pre-order, but only when it’s for an ARC I enjoyed – in which case, I try to make sure I’m purchasing the correct copy and usually get it signed from an indie that the author recommends. I’ve also begun utilizing Book Depository more than anything and also LOVE Bookshop.org. Such a great option to help those smaller bookshops while still having the ease of purchasing online. You’ve got good tips here 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Waiting for all books in a series to be out before buying them is so smart because you don’t run the risk of having different covers or editions for some of the books! I haven’t heard of bookshop.org yet so I’ll be checking it out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  5. I think I used to fall for some of these too! The only one I don’t really have experience with is the hardback one—we usually only get paperback releases here in Australia so that kind of saves me from making that mistake. I think the biggest mistake I make these days is buying things even when I’m not in the mood to read them at the time because then they just sit on my shelves!

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  6. Great post! Judging books by their covers is also one of my past book-buying mistakes. It took several times of being disappointed with cover buys that I finally stopped lol. I also think I fell into the hype a lot- for example I didn’t enjoy Throne of Glass but I knew everyone loved it so I bought the first three books :/

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  7. Great tips. I’ve always prefered paperback (far more comfortable to hold). A mistake I’ve made in the past is buying the same book twice, fort=getting I already had a copy waiting to be read 🙄

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