Going Book Shopping w/ my Co-Blogger (& a $50 limit)

the real title: Going Virtual Book Shopping w/ my Co-Blogger to Somehow Agree on $50 Worth of Books that we Actually won’t be Purchasing in the End (it’s just for a post)

It’s been a L-O-N-G while since I bought myself a book and the desire is overwhelming. Ever since my work closed due to lockdown orders*, money has been tight, and the only purchases I’ve felt comfortable making are “selfless” ones—hence the BPR giveaways during May, which were soooo much fun to run. BUT I missed browsing for books!

lilo and stitch hug GIF
*hugs to everyone going through similar situations, we will get through this together! ♥️

This challenge was the greatest way to dig back into my TBR and see what I would buy if I could, and also share in what Mandy has her eye on these days. Also … fifty dollars seems like a lot, but when you’re book shopping, not so much! It was a perfect way to battle down on what we could buy and what we would have to *sob* leave behind in our carts. We won’t forget you!!


the challenge

✨ mandy & i each create our own book hauls totaling $50 USD on bookdepository.com
✨  we share our hauls and whittle them down to one $50 haul

individually building our hauls

SHA: my first plan of attack was to hit the ✨ BARGAIN SHOP ✨ section. the cheaper the books, the more i can fit into my haul. however, Book Depository is clearly not feeling my vibes right now, because i’m having suCH a hard time finding things!

eventually, i abandoned course with the bargain shop and started going through some book titles i had saved up on my phone after #RamadanReadathon which i didn’t join because … i had none of these amazing books! feast ur eyes on my haul!!


MANDY: While Sha was smart and headed for the bargaining, I immediately started adding in two books that I knew that I wanted and were at the top of my list for purchasing. I was expecting them to be decently discounted, but they were almost exactly full price (I’m looking at you Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab), but it was no good.

I just realized that me and Sha have to both approve this book, so I went for some middle grade that I know her and I both will love. You can see my final haul below!


one non-negotiable entry

each person is allowed to enter ONE book into the final haul as non-negotiable

SHA: “all the things we never said” by Yasmin Rahman. this book has too many things that make a fiction YA for me. female friendship. discussions of mental illness. characters with strongly developed family lives. it’s unreal how much i want to read this right now.

MANDY: The Falling in Love Montage – it sounds like such a cute book (perfect for my pride month reading as well), and I ADORE THAT COVER SO MUCH. I just want that cover on my shelves, so I can stare at it for eternity. It’s one I’ve been debating about getting it period, so it’s a must for me!


one pick from the other person’s list

each person must pick a book from the other’s list

SHA:  “loveless” by Alice Oseman. not only because the author comes heavily recommended by Margaret but i need more ace rep in my reading.

MANDY: The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf. It’s a book I’ve been eyeing for a while, since I saw an amazing review of it that instantly put it on my TBR. It’s price range still puts it definitely in as a contender. The rest of the books still seemed intriguing, but I definitely wanted to make sure that this one gets in our pile.


battle for the last spot

make an argument for why one of your books deserves the last spot

SHA: i’ll be kind and let u pick a new book to replace Paola Santiage, since as lovely as that book is, she’s too expensive for us rn. and your other two books are part of a series, so you can’t push for book two. 

(^ doesn’t realize she only has one book she can push for, herself)

MANDY: I pick Dark and Deepest Red — it’s exactly in our price range, allowing us enough to scoop it up.

I’m going to push for Dark and Deepest Red, even though it was the last minute addition. It’s $11.00, so it fits exactly in our price range. It blends historical fiction (something Sha and I both enjoy) along with the contemporary. There is talk of witchcraft (both Sha and I do love a good witch story), and this line in the summary: “Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.” It’s going to take a lot for Sha to convince me otherwise, especially when I’m throwing in a lot of things I know she likes in here. 

SHA: (has finally realized she only has one book she can pick) my push is for Thorn. i’ve been eyeing it a while, because it’s a fairy tale relling (our wheelhouse!) with a princess protag who is caught between her own freedom and protecting the people of a country that rejects her. *fist pumps for a fierce female lead* it’s by a Muslim author who initially indie pubbed but the book had such success it was picked up by a major publisher! how can we not support?

<off-screen heated debate ensues>
<mandy cracks out Google>
<sha links a wordpress review>
<sound of furious typing>

final picks revealed



How many of these have you read? How would you build up a $50 book order? Let’s discuss!


ways to help and educate yourself on BLM : blacklivesmatters.carrd.co

29 thoughts on “Going Book Shopping w/ my Co-Blogger (& a $50 limit)

  1. I had been doing so well about not buying books during unemployment. And then fourth of July weekend my stepmom told me to buy some when I talked to her on the phone. And there was a ebook sale. I did good then by only spending like $10.

    But then I had a Amazon gift card last weekend. Used up all $40! And then I spent 40 more. My excuse was because the extra money was going away this week I needed to stock up one last time for a long time. Plus I hit a savings goal too while unemployed.

    I’m going to go back on a ban now.


  2. This was such a fun post to read! I really felt like I could hear you two debating and deciding what to buy.
    I recently bought some books too for around the same price range and fit in 11 (8 physical + 3 ebooks) by being really picky and looking for discounts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post, Jayati! It was really fun to put together. Ahh, you did even better than us! eBooks an be a lot cheaper, for sure, and if you hunt hard for discounts even physical books can be very cheap. Maybe I need to take you book shopping with me next time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read and love Montage, so I totally approve of that book. I hope the Rahman book gets a US release because you have me really excited about it.


  4. ah, this is such a fun post!! i highly recommend the falling in love montage! it’s such a cute contemporary that’s perfect for the summer, and you’re right—that cover is absolutely GORGEOUS. i also can’t wait to read loveless! margaret’s rave review of it made me so excited to read it, and alice oseman is one of my fave authors, ahhhh

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This post is so cute!! Hahaha, adding books to your cart and then not actually buying them is a COVID-19 mood 😪 I have done this maaaany times within the last few months.

    I love your final haul! I want to read The Falling in Love Montage and The Weight of Our Sky, and I just read Loveless a few days ago and it was really good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved reading this and seeing your negotiation process 😂 What a fun idea! Sad that you can’t buy the books, but hopefully someday!! I’m very happy to see Loveless on your list (hooray for ace rep!), and I’m also so excited to read The Falling in Love Montage ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG this was so much fun! $50 is a lot and yet not a lot of money when we’re talking books (worse if its CAD dollars) but I loved your choices! I think Thorn would be my #1 pick!


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