Tbh, the most frugal hobby out there is plonking oneself down in front of the telly and staring blindly at it until it’s time to shift your focus from the TV to your phone and go to bed. But that’s not good for oneself. So get yourself sat down on the sofa, all cosy with a blanket and a coffee/wine and get stuck into a good book. I DON’T CARE IF YOU THINK IT’S BORING. Reading is the best. It’s good for you, it’s mind-expanding and can be totally free.
Even you can’t be arsed to go to the library and pick something out, there are a plethora of free ebooks available. For a start you can get all the classics from either iBooks or Kindle – I just use my iPad, but you could use your computer or phone, whichever you prefer.
There’s a vast array of non-fiction titles around too, so if Oliver Twist really doesn’t tickle your pickle, you could teach yourself how to rewire a plug, write a book, whatevs you fancy.
You could even grab yourself a free month of Audible (an Amazon audiobook subscription service), but trust me, before you going selecting your favourite book, listen to the sample first just in case you hate the narration. I went with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because I’m basic af.
Jingo (Terry Pratchett)
I freaking love Terry Pratchett. His blend of satire, fantasy and comedy is incredible. I couldn’t pick a favourite, but Jingo is definitely up there. There are 40 in the Discworld series alone, and they’re pretty much all stand alone novels except for Lords and Ladies, which follows on from Witches Abroad.
The Whisperer – Donato Carrisi
If you like crime novels you’ll LOVE these. I don’t particularly love crime, but Carrisi’s books have the best twists (which are impossible to guess) and every chapter ends on a cliffhanger. They’re set in Italy (and translated from Italian) so I feel super swish when I read them.
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
This is novel within a novel – a journalist goes to interview a reclusive artist in a super creepy house in the middle of nowhere and the artist tells her the story. It’s one of those books that leaves you feeling seriously creeped out, but you’ll force other people to read it because it’s sooo compelling and they’ll think you’re weird for recommending it but will, in turn, recommend it to others. It was made into a TV film last Christmas with Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) as the lead, and I MISSED IT because I’m a fool.
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
Obviously. They’re indescribably awesome. If you’ve never read them, I urge you to give them a go, even if you hated the films. There’s seriously no better way to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon. If you have seen the films and wasn’t impressed, I’ll hesitantly recommend you skip 1 and 2 and dive straight into the Prisoner of Azkaban(I love how Grammarly has no issue with that word) – that’s where everything really starts to kick off and JK really hits her stride.
Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
Don’t listen to the hate or think you’re too old for them. They’re the most readable books ever, and you’ll steam through the first one in a day. Bella’s not as annoying in the books and the vampires are much cooler. There’s also a pleasing amount of extra information online. In my opinion, they’re superior to other YA fiction such as the Hunger Games or The Maze Runner.
WELL. It turns out that library services in my area are changing, and my membership is being terminated. FINE. I think they’re doing some kind of mobile library thingy. Libraries, in general, are going down the tubes in the UK, and it’ll probably get worse before it gets better, since most of the money that goes towards library funding in the UK came from the EU and, unless something miraculous happens (pleasepleaseplease), we’ve turned our back on that. Fail.
I also remembered something else. If you have Amazon Prime (if you don’t you really should – find out why here and sign up here) you can opt for 3-5 day free shipping (instead of the usual 1-2 day free shipping) and earn a £1 credit for either Amazon Instant Video or a Kindle Book. Pretty sweet, no?
If you’ve always thought of yourself as a non-reader, give it a try. If you’re dyslexic or just can’t be bothered definitely try Audible – pop it on your phone when you’re on your commute or going for a run or cooking dinner. You don’t even have to listen properly – if you don’t and have to relisten, then just think of it as getting more bang for your buck 🙂