It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with books – cookbooks, in particular – and buy them with the same frequency as diapers, toilet paper and earphones for my teens. (Side note: what’s up with that? Why do they get misplaced SO often?) Some people have a budget for lattes and lunches or shoes and shirts, but seeing as I eat and drink at home and forget what being fashionable even looks like, I reserve my pocket money for building up my collection of books.
There is no denying the price of cookbooks has risen quite a lot in the past few years and I dare say the average price of a new purchase is around $35. Fortunately, Amazon and Chapters regularly offer discounts, and so do stores like Costco, which is where I pick up a lot of the newest titles. I shop there once a week anyway, so it’s convenient and economical. This isn’t really the point of the post though (but maybe some of you will find it helpful!), because what I really want to focus on are the books I’ve been buying for a penny. Yes, you read that right. One cent.
Seeing as we don’t even have pennies in Canada anymore, it seems insane to think that that’s the cost of a cookbook, but thanks to Amazon’s used book section, it’s a reality, and I’ve taken advantage of the low, low, l-o-w prices quite a few times. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that there is a shipping charge added to the cost of the book, naturally, but it’s a flat rate of $6.49 (Cdn.), which brings the total to a whopping $6.50.
Last year, I scooped up Nigella’s Christmas for this price. After flipping through the book in Chapters, I reluctantly passed on buying it when I saw it was listed for $39. I don’t mind paying that for a book I’ll flip through repeatedly, but for a seasonal cookbook the price seemed a little steep. This year I’ve purchased quite a few vintage cookbooks for this same stellar price, including Joy of Cooking’s Christmas Cookies, which was published in 1996. The list price inside the front cover is $22.95 (Cdn.), but I’m pretty sure it’s not available in stores nowadays so my penny purchase is an even better deal.
You’re not going to find these prices on new books or books that are seasonally in demand. I bought my holiday ones at the beginning of the fall, long before people were thinking about filling their freezers with cookies. Having said that, it is still worth checking out the used section when buying because you may end up with a deal anyways. Sometimes the shipping can take awhile, especially because the books are usually coming from the United States or Europe, but regardless of the country of origin the shipping price is still just $6.49 (Cdn.).
Don't you want to go used book shopping now?