English books can break your budget!

You can live very cheaply in Spain - making it ideal for people who retire here - but if you’re a keen reader you will soon discover that buying books in English can break your budget!  This is particularly true for those of us who live inland, as local bookshops stock mainly Spanish books (which aren’t exactly cheap) and the few English books that they sell are expensive. 

That was how we came up with the idea of having a monthly bookswap for other British people living in the area.  I think all of us had brought piles of books  with us when we first moved over here, but had read them all after living here for a few years. 

The garden at Bar La Casa

We decided to hold the bookswap between 11.00 and 12.00  on the first Tuesday of the month in Bar La Casa, which is next to the Centro de Salud in Jumilla.  We chose Tuesday as that is market day, so most people come into Jumilla to buy the delicious – and cheap - fresh fruit and vegetables in the local market.  We decided on Bar La Casa partly because – from necessity – most retired people know where the Health Centre is and partly because there is a lovely enclosed garden at the back, which is an ideal place to enjoy a coffee or cold drink in the summer months.  During the winter months we sit inside in the restaurant area, as they have an open fire there, which usually has a couple of smouldering logs to keep us warm!

If you are thinking of moving to Spain, you may want to set up a similar scheme.  Not only is it a good way of saving money, but also it helps you make more friends who speak the same language.  We have some wonderful Spanish friends here, but it is good to be able to speak your own language occasionally and not have to think about it.  Having said that, one English friend speaks Spanish so fluently that she sometimes forgets the odd English word!

Although the bookswap is a monthly event, most of us now pop into Bar La Casa at about 12.00 on the other Tuesdays of the month, for a general catch up and gossip. Today we looked at the programmes for the fiestas of San Fermin and San Cristobel, and decided which acts we would watch later on in the week.

The good news though, if there aren’t any other English people living in your area, is that you can now order books online from Amazon.co.uk and, if you spend a minimum of £25, they offer free Super Saver delivery to Spain.  If you haven’t read my book “Retiring the Olé Way” yet, why not add it to your basket? (Shameless plug alert!)

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  1. Joan’s avatar

    I understand the cost of English books – I lived in India, Nepal and Thailand during the 1990’s. The most major expense for me were books.

  2. Sue Walker’s avatar

    We are learning Spanish, and I do buy Spanish magazines and newspapers to read and to improve my Spanish. However sometimes you just want to relax and read a good book in your own language!