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My Favourite Cheap Bookstore Finds

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

I love Indigo — who doesn’t? They almost always have the book you want, plus candles, blankets, mugs, and everything else under the sun that can make a little reader happy. I can admit that us readers can be a little weird and obsessive with a brand new book from Indigo; there’s nothing like it. But they’re so expensive! There’s no way we could possibly support our reading addictions there. 

So, to help my fellow paper-readers looking for their next cheap read, I wanted to share my favourite book-thrifting finds in Waterloo!

The Crossings Used Books

There’s nothing better than walls and walls of books, and that is all this little store is. There’s no store sign, so when I first found it, I didn’t realize it had a name. Tucked away in the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market is this tiny treasure, where you can find some seriously good books. It’s my all-time favourite place to restock my reads (or just visit every once in a while and add on to my TBR list). The little store can be hard to locate in the massive maze of tourist-busy stores and aisles, but if you’re able to find the doorway into the back aisle through the Peddler’s Village Food Court, you won’t miss it. There’s bookshelves that are formed together to create walls and little paths for you to explore. Organized from A-Z, there’s thrifted novels from classic eras, to more popular pages you’d find on Bookstagram. 

The best thing about this place was how cheap these books were — I walked away with three books for only $10. With authors like Steven King, Andy Weir, and Diana Gabaldon, I just can’t resist this small jewel in a busy market. I will forever love Indigo, but this place has my heart. 

Antique Stores

I can and will never say enough about antique stores. It might not be the most popular place for a lot of people, but if you’re a fan of the Classics like Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, this is where you need to go. There’s antique stores no matter where you are, but in North Waterloo there are two (also right by St. Jacobs) that have their own paper treasures: Market Road Antiques and St. Jacobs Antique Market. These are the stores where I found an entire publication of Charles Dickens’ novels from Italy — I got 30 books for $80, which is a steal if I’ve ever seen one! They also have amazing vintage prints and home decor; you just need to be willing to look! 

So, there you go! There are so many different places to find affordable books. If becoming an e-reader is your go-to choice, go for it. My reader friends told me about e-readers and online books, and trust me, I’ve tried. It’s cheap, convenient, and easier to carry. Paper can be heavy, hard to bring around with you, and sometimes downright inconvenient — but it’s my forever love, and what takes up all of the space in my room. Personally, I’ll choose the feel of turning physical pages over tapping a screen, but at the end of the day, the choice is yours. 

Arriana Edralin

Waterloo '25

Arriana Edralin is a second year student at the University of Waterloo, where she is completing her BA in Rhetoric and Literature in the Honours Arts and Business Co-op Program. She is currently working as the Student Recruitment Confirmation Coordinator for the University of Waterloo Faculty of Arts.