Wrapping Up the Year: $335 in books

We are wrapping up 2021, starting with my my bookish expenses. This is an odd thing to share, but an honest look into a reader’s pocketbook. I often get asked how do you buy your ebooks? Where do you buy your ebooks? How is it cheaper?

Reading is an expensive hobby.

According to Google, in the United States the average cost of a paperback book is $13.95 to $17.95. For a hardcover book the average is $27.98. I started ereading because I lived in a rural area, the library and local grocery store did not have the books I wanted. Since I have embraced digital reading, I only buy and read ebooks.

If you were to buy one paperback a month your annual reading expense would be $215.40, for one hardcover a month the total would be $335.76.

I bought 74 ebooks in 2021. My total of all 74 ebooks was $335.01. The average cost of one ebook from my purchases is $4.53!

I use my Kindle and Kindle app to read ebooks. I use the Kindle Store on the Amazon website to find books and deals, as well as the website BookBub. I get weekly emails from each highlight book deals and coupons.

So let’s look at what I bought this year.


  • Illuminate by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (1.99)
  • All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace (2.99)
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (1.99)
  • Demons of Time: Race to the Seventh Sunset by Varun Sayal (0.00)
  • Bridgerton: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (7.99)
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (2.99)
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Audible)
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Audible)
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (2.99)
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender (2.99)

Total= $23.93


  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Audible)

Total= $0


  • Princess Floralinda and the FortyFlight Tower by Tamsyn Muir (6.99)
  • Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez (1.99)
  • The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (Audible 2 for 1)
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Audible 2 for 1)
  • The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coates (3.99)
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Audible 6.00)

Total= $18.97


  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Audible)
  • The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (14.99 ebook)
  • Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes and Other Bullshit by Jane Morris (6.99)
  • What It’s Really Like: Outrageous Stories from Teachers Around the Country by Jane Morris (7.99)

Total= $29.97


  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Audible)
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman (9.99)
  • The Skinjacker Trilogy by Neal Shusterman (4.99)
  • Dune by Frank Herbert (Audible)
  • The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (Audible)
  • The Hallow Places by T. Kingfisher (Audible)

Total = $14.98


  • Anoka: A Collection of Indigenous Horror by Shane Hawk and Seweryn Jasinski (3.99)
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (7.99)

Total= $7.99


  • The Boy Nowhere by Sheeryl Lim (0.00)
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (1.99)
  • Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa (2.99)
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Audible 2 for 1)
  • The Black Witch by Laurie Forest (Audible 2 for 1)
  • Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab/ V. E. Schwab (10.99)
  • The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (10.99 ebook)
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying a Vampire by Grady Hendrix (13.99)
  • Den of Vipers by K. A. Knight (0.00)

Total= 40.95


  • A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Mass (9.49)
  • Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger and Rovia Cai (0.00)
  • Small Favors by Erin A. Craig (9.98)
  • House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (8.99)
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (9.99)
  • Sad, Black, and Fat by Tangela Williams-Spann and Bri Michelle (16.99)
  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (9.17 w/ gift card)
  • Throne of Glass ebook Bundle by Sarah J. Mass (38.99 w/ gift card)

Total= $55.44


  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon (7.99)
  • Namesake by Adrienne Young (2.99)
  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Audible)
  • Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski (Audible)
  • The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (Audible)
  • The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (6.99)
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (7.99)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (0.99)
  • The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (8.99)
  • Devolution by Max Brooks (11.99)

Total= $47.93


  • The Shadows by Alex North (2.99)
  • The Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe (Audible)
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alex E. Harrow (3.99)
  • The Black Witch Chronicles ebook 1-3 by Laurie Forest (22.97)
  • A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig and Chris Mould (7.99)
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig and Chris Mould (7.99)
  • The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (14.99)
  • Dear Laura by Gemma Amor (2.99)
  • The Festering Ones by S. H. Cooper (3.99)
  • All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue and Stefanie Caponi (2.99)
  • Open Skies: My Life as Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot by Niloofar Rahmani and Adam Sikes (14.99)

Total= $85.88

November + December

  • House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland (2.99)
  • Wandfasted by Laurie Forest (1.99)
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (3.99)

Total= $8.97

What does this mean?

I have spend over $300 on books this year. A good thing or a bad thing? I dunno. What I do know is my average per month spent on books is $27.91 OR two paperbacks OR one hardcover book per month.

The average ebook costing me $4.53. I look at that number and really at the books I bought this year as a whole and cannot rationalize returning to buying physical books. To those of you who only read physical books, I don’t know how you do it but I admire you.

I do not subscribe to any book clubs or boxes and I have Audible through a credit card perk. I do have a few library cards, but once covid hit the wait list for books was too long to actively use.

Reading is not a cheap passion to have. Over the past few years I have pushed myself to switch from physical books to ereading because of the cost and space of books. I have saved a lot of money as an ereader, but I I can do better.

As we wrap up 2021, I look forward to 2022 with goals to read as cheaply as possible.

I would love to see other readers break down their bookish expenses! If you do, tag me in your bookish data.


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