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It’s a Wrap! Creative Ideas for Wrapping Books

General By December 16, 2020 No Comments

Giving an attractively wrapped book this holiday season doesn’t have to be costly. With a little extra ingenuity and a few items you might have around the house you can put a personal touch on a gift to make it more meaningful. And luckily, books are one of the easier items to wrap!

Choose a plain brown or white paper then you can stamp, string design, twine, or glue pompoms. Try newspapers, magazines, old maps, or recycled books to wrap a book as seen in this creative blog by JaneMeans.

Decorate the exterior with an ornament, greenery, pinecone, paper snowflake or feather, a vintage postcard, or old family photo.  Or attach a favorite sweet like a candy cane or a box of candy. You could cut illustrations from discarded children’s books to decorate or make colorful gift tags like the example on this blog at BookRiot

Give hints to the book’s interior with cookie cutters, art brushes, a magnifying glass, or a garden tool. 

Recycle and use parts of old clothes, a dishtowel, or a blanket as a unique wrapping idea from blogger Creating Really Awesome Fun Things

And finally, consider topping it off with a beautiful bow or ribbon. Blogger Rosemary & Thyme suggests stocking up during sales at craft stores, home goods stores, or even a dollar store. Steeper discounts on ribbons are after Christmas for you to use next season.

But remember, no matter how you wrap a book as a gift, it’s the thought that counts. And remember to use BookScouter to find the BEST prices to buy and sell books. 

Happy Holidays!



Holiday Gift Guide: Books and Other Gifts for Book Lovers

General By December 10, 2020 No Comments

It’s that time of year when your thoughts turn to finding that special holiday gift for friends and family who are book lovers. But what should be a fun, festive task can quickly become overwhelming. We’ve done some of the leg work for you compiling a collection of 14 unique, niche book selections and other gifts reading fans will appreciate. And don’t forget the BEST way to be sure you are getting the lowest prices on books is to use the handy search tools on Bookscouter.com –we do all the work of searching for you!

1. We suggest you begin with Book Riot’s “10 rules for Giving Book Gifts” (hint it’s okay to spy on them for ideas)

2. Check out “20 Books People Actually Want This Year” curated by the L.A. Times

3. Find your inner nerd and see what “Books for Geeks” is all about with options from Star Wars/Star Trek to Doctor Who (and Dungeons and Dragons has a cookbook?)

4. Say Cheese! Easy choices in the “Books for Cheese Lovers” category–there’s only two

5. But Thrillist gives several solid recommendations for the “Best Cocktail Books to Gift Your Friends” and who couldn’t use some extra liquid intelligence?

6. Fore! We suggest “7 Great Gold Books any Golf Fan Would Love for the Holidays” to help them get through the long winter months.

7. For the foodies in your life dig in to “Great Food Books for 2020” and have them make you the recommended rice pudding.

8. A list of items that are sooooo this year with “2020 Holiday Gift Guide: What to Purchase for a Year Like No Other–do these blue light glasses make me look smarter?

9. For the friend with a green thumb, we suggest “Gardening Gifts: From Pots to Tools to Books to Manure”.

10. “Gifts for Pets”–and yes books are listed!

11. Southern bookstores give recommendations in “15 Gift ideas for the Book Lovers in Your Life

12. But for the people that have EVERYTHING here is a list with ideas from mystery thrillers, coffee table books, sports, cooking, bios, and music “Books Gifts for Everyone on Your List

13. The best gifts for bookworms that aren’t just another classic novel “20 Gift Ideas For Bookworms (That Aren’t More Books)

14. And finally Stocking Stuffers Ideas because, duh, books are hard to fit inside a stocking!

Happy Shopping!

p.s. In case you don’t get the book you want…. here is advice on how to sell unwanted holiday gifts


What’s Cookin’? Cookbook Values Can Heat Up

General By November 11, 2020 No Comments

It’s the time of year for a lot of holiday cooking and baking. As you dust off an old cookbook and consider letting it go to make extra space, you might want to first check BookScouter.com to see the current value. If it’s really old, you may want to have it appraised by an antique book dealer. You might decide to hold on to it and then pass it down to a family member. Perhaps you come across a rare find and decide to sell it. Or you might decide that a vintage cookbook would make a thoughtful gift for a cook or collector you know. 

Why are cookbooks so beloved? Cookbooks are often a snapshot in time. They can take you back in time to a kitchen from any decade; to a childhood favorite or even to another century to recreate the past. Cookbooks can take you places; peruse recipes from a favorite restaurant or try exotic dishes from a faraway country. Cookbooks can do more than just provide a recipe, they often tell the story behind the dishes and give insights into their creation. 

As you move forward with buying, selling, or collecting cookbooks here are a few things to keep in mind:

Use All of BookScouter’s Resources

You can check a cookbook’s ISBN to see the SELL value but did you also know you can do a keyword search to buy cookbooks on our site?

Determining Value

Why are some cookbooks worth more than others? Check out this article by The Spruce Crafts that explores why some cookbooks hold a higher value–hint it has nothing to do with the food.

Collectors’ Enjoyment

Learn some of the histories from kitchens of the past in this article from Estate.org titled, “A Guide to American Vintage Cookbooks” which shares cookbook selections dating back to the 1700s up through World War II. 

High-Priced Cookbook Sales 

AbeBooks has compiled a list of the 10 most expensive cookbooks ever sold from their stores. You may be able to guess which country the top priced one is from, but you won’t believe the price! 

Keep your eyes open–you never know when you might come across a truly unique find. Happy hunting!


Find Spooky Books for a Ghoul’d Price

General By October 7, 2020 No Comments

It’s that time of year when you begin to feel a chill in the air, the dark nights start to get longer and you yearn to curl up with a suspenseful tale. We get your October mood and have compiled some Spooky reading suggestions–with links to finding a GHOUL’D, no, the BEST prices online using BookScouter. No need to get scared–our pricing tool does all the price searching for you. So check out our list, but BEWARE of what great books you may find.

Classic Horror- you know the stories but have you read the tale?

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


Made into a movie-try the original source material that inspired the film

The Birds by Daphne DuMaurier

Hellraiser by Clive Barker

Carrie by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King

Psycho by Robert Bloch

The Exorcist by William Peter Blattey

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Vamps, Witches, and Werewolves- take a bite out of one of these series

Stephanie Myers – The Twilight Series

Cassandra Claire – The Mortal Instruments Series 

Anne Rice – Vampire Chronicles 

Deborah Harkness – All Souls Trilogy 

Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls 

Christine Johnson – Claire de Lune series


Short stories- great to read out loud if you dare

Edgar Allan Poe – There are various collections of his short stories

Alvin Schwartz – Three Volumes of Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark 

Henry James – The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories 

Too Scary–you may wish you hadn’t read

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

The Shining – Stephen King

Carrion Comfort – Dan Simmons

Ghost Story – Peter Straub

Bird Box – Josh Malerman


Not too scary–share with your little monsters

Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman – Washington Irving 

Ghosts in the House! – Kazuno Kohara

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt – Riel Nason

Creepy Pair of Underwear! – Aaron Reynolds

Herbert’s First Halloween – Cynthia Rylant and Steven Henry

Zombelina – Kristyn crow and Molly Idle

How to Catch a Monster – Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

Bonaparte Falls Apart – Marjorie Cuyler

Scooby-Doo: A Haunted Halloween – Gail Herman

And finally, you don’t have to take our word on it. Here are a few other lists of spooky Halloween reads: 

Goodreads Halloween 

Oprah Best Halloween Books 

Read It Forward Halloween Books to Spook Your Socks Off

Best Halloween Picture Books 

Buzzfeed 13 Witchy Tales to Keep you Spellbound 

To get in the proper horror reading mood, check out this video for a reading of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe read by Vincent Price, Christopher Walken, James Earl Jones, and Christopher Lee.


Five Ideas to Find Your Next Great Read

General By September 23, 2020 No Comments

Itching to read a good page-turner? Just finish the final book in a multi-volume series? Need to make a vetted suggestion for your next book club? Here are five ideas on how to find your next great read…

Idea No. 1

BookScouter has just formed a partnership with Goodreads which is a popular destination for finding book reading recommendations. Simply tell them what books you’ve enjoyed reading in the past and they will present you with some great options. And you can link socially to friends and family to see what they’re reading or search through their book reviews. And the beauty of the BookScouter partnership is you can add us as a preferred “store” (under account settings Book Links tab) when you find a book you want to buy and it will link to our site to search for the best price through our large offering of online vendors. 

BookRiot is another great spot to find book recommendations. They are the largest independent editorial site in the U.S. and focus on covering a wide range for diverse readers. They have podcasts, blogs, or you can sign-up for more personalized recommendations and exclusive content. Their EPIC BOOK READ is a quarterly book club with options for short stories, novels and epic reads for a low monthly price. 


Idea No. 2

Award lists are a good go-to for finding a book. National and international lists appear annually such as the Pulitzer, Nobel, Booker, Newbery, and many more.  And you can challenge yourself to complete an award list by going back decades to find selections. Or you can select award lists based upon a favorite genre to find the best Sci-Fi offerings for example. Likewise, you can view lists based on sales such as the New York Times Bestsellers list. 

Idea No. 3

Another great way to find a good book suggestion is to join a book club. Often a book club will challenge members to try offerings outside their standard selections. And because you want to join in the discussions there is a motivation to finish the book. You can find book clubs at local libraries, online, in Facebook groups, or start your own with a group of friends or associates. 

Idea No. 4 

Don’t be afraid to work your connections. Hit up friends and family who are readers. Notice when someone mentions a book on social media and jot it down for later. Follow the hashtag #bookstagram on Instagram. Have a favorite guru? Often they produce reading lists you can find online. Search engines can be your best source of inspiration. 

Idea No. 5

And finally, our last idea for finding book recommendations is to judge a book by its cover. Browse a library or bookstore, view covers online, and see what catches your eye then read a synopsis or review. You might capture your mood that day and find inspiration from a cover that resonates with you at the moment. 

Happy Hunting and good luck finding your next great read! 



Common Mistakes Students Make With Money

General By September 9, 2020 No Comments

Common Mistakes Students Make With Money

Part of the learning experience of being a college student is managing your own finances for the first time.  That independence can also introduce a wealth of pitfalls!  Here are some common mistakes students make with money and how you can avoid them.

Failing to Set a Budget

Start by determining a budget. Items to include in your budget: any monthly bills, expenses like groceries, miscellaneous charges, and a fund to cover unexpected expenses. Know how much ‘fun money’ you can spend each month and when it’s gone, stop spending! It may sound simple but you need to have a handle on your income and be able to distinguish needs from wants. 

Now is the best time to learn smart budgeting habits that can benefit you beyond college. Here are some tips to learn how to set a budget or try a free and easy app like Mint that automatically helps set up a budget you can customize. 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Letting Credit Card Debt Add Up

How much is a t-shirt worth?  Financial institutions often offer enticements like t-shirts or discounts if you apply for their credit card.  However, if you don’t pay off the balance every month, the interest piles up fast.  Not only does each item you charged end up costing a lot more than you bargained for, but this will affect your credit score as well. 

DaveRamsey.com advises students “…credit card companies take advantage of this lack of knowledge by making college students—especially incoming college freshmen—their target audience…The college-bound kids you know will more than likely fall into this trap of “normal” unless you arm them now before it’s too late! They don’t realize that the decisions they will make in the next four years can affect them for the next 40 years.” 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Overspending Financial Aid

Some financial aid will let you apply funding towards eligible living expenses like housing, food, and school supplies. But that doesn’t mean you can go crazy with expensive meals and over-the-top decor. Read “Seven Ways Students Overspend” in this article and don’t fall into these traps 

Students should understand that their funding has to last throughout the semester. Try to use it to pay for only necessary items. Then if you have money left over at the end of the semester, they can roll it forward to use for the next semester, which cuts down the amount of money you will need to borrow.

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Not Shopping Smart

Watch for items that can make you easily overspend; tech, clothes, food, textbooks.  Do you need the brand name or would a less-expensive substitute suffice? Doing your homework on price comparisons can save you a pretty penny.  One of the best ways to shop smart is to use the Textbook Price Comparison Tool at BookScouter.com to see the best prices to Buy, Rent, and Sell textbooks. 

Don’t miss the chances to save money as a student–get student discounts, use the campus facilities to save money on a gym membership, attend free events at school rather than paying to go out. 

Not Scheduling Classes Right or Failing a Class

At first glance, this might seem like a small thing, but it can still cost you in the long run. 

If a student wants to drop a class and do it before the deadline, it’s fine. But if you miss it there are fines, which is just wasted money. And failing a class is even worse.  In both cases, you’ve also lost time by missing a chance to take a class to help graduate on time. Even adding a single additional semester adds up financially and could delay graduation. It could also mean that you have an overloaded semester to make up the difference which is a bigger strain on your time. 

Extra time in school means more than just extra tuition, it means years of lost wages, and less money put into retirement. So prepare wisely to avoid mistakes with your schedule and use resources like your college advisor to plan out a clear path to graduation. 

In conclusion, for many young people, college is their first money management experience. One of the leading reasons that students drop out of college is because of finances – which is often due to poor money management. See the bigger picture with a long future ahead of you and learn how to make better decisions with your money!