Grumpy Book Grrrl

a writer and reader

Today is my birthday, and I guess I’ll go ahead and just say it: I’ll be turning 44. Wow. For some reason, this birthday is a tough one for me. I have never been a big birthday celebrator and I’m not even that enthusiastic for holidays. (I celebrate them for my wonderful daughter, who must continue to discover all the little joys in life!)

Partly, I realize it’s due to my crusty nature, and with all my obligations as a single working mom (also back in school no less), I just don’t have the motivation. Whatever the deeper underlying issues may be (I won’t go into them here – you’re welcome), my depression and anxiety has reared its ugly head.


I’m grouchy, irritable, gloomy, melancholy… a real doozy. To top it off, I’m dead broke, so forget about buying any gifts for myself or getting my “hair did” or a mani/pedi, etc. Sooooooo, what’s a girl – okay, I guess I really can’t myself a “girl” anymore at 44 – what’s a lady to do?


Along with using this blog post as a way to wallow and vent my birthday distress, I thought I’d try and come up with some inexpensive ways book lovers can beat depression, and also maybe post a few comfort books I can always count on to brighten my day.

  • Find your local thrift stores (or used book stores) and go shopping! It’s cheap, distracting, and you feel accomplished after you’re done! I did this recently and look what I found. (There’s my favorite photo bomber, Kitty, in pic #2. She must smell another animal on these used books!)


  • Go to Amazon and search for free or cheap books to add to your Kindle! This one      can be hit or miss, but you can get lucky sometimes! Again, it’s distracting (this is a key component to fighting depression and anxiety) and fun. I recently found a book I really liked called Karma by Donna Augustine and it’s still only $0.99 on US Amazon!
  • Go to a local coffee/tea shop and drink your beverage of choice and read a book or magazine. It’s less expensive than going to a restaurant and buying a whole meal, and let’s face it, there is just a good vibe in coffee houses. Or there should be. They smell fantastic too!
  • Go to your local library! Free books you can check out and a free place to sit and hang with people while being introverted! Most libraries are interconnected, so you can search for books you want, and if your local one doesn’t have it, they can get it for you from a neighboring library. Also, since audio books are more expensive, try finding them here! I found some AWESOME series on audio that made me feel all the right feels!

Examples: The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Will Patton, anything narrated by Steve West.

  • Talk to co-workers. You may be pleasantly surprised to find people you never expected have similar reading tastes and will let you borrow stuff for free (just remember to return it in the same condition). My love for graphic novels was rekindled this way and I got to read the entire Preacher series and The Invisibles this way!

I’ll end this long post by leaving you (and thank you so much if you’re still here with me) with a few of my comfort reads. They never fail to lift my heart and allow me a respite from the drudgery and survival mode I often find myself in.


Because Barrons and The Nine.


Because I love all the characters and want to be Kate. I totally ship Hugh also. Hey, it’s my fantasy world, right? 🙂


Because sometimes you just need the fantasy of a hot alien falling for you no matter what flaws you may have!


The Vampire Blood series by Juliette Cross – because I love vampires and vampire romances are my go-to for a good escape.

(Honorable mentions: Eric Northman, all the guys from Black Dagger Brotherhood, Bones and Ian from Night Huntress, Spike from Buffy, enough said.)

Okay, I will leave you with one last technique I find amazingly effective in distracting the moody bookish person who may need an intervention….


Look at hot men (or women, whatever your preferred flavor may be) on the internet! The Dust Off Your MacHalo group at Goodreads has a “harem” topic where we post pics of hot guys and I promise, it can make a person very happy!

See. I already feel so much better! 🙂 If you struggle with depression or anxiety, know that you are not alone. Never give up. As with early parenting, distraction and redirection are two great methods to manage it.

If you feel like sharing your emotional status and/or have easy and cheap ways to find and enjoy books, leave a comment below. Or just comment on guys you find hot. Beards are good. Very good. Am I right?


8 thoughts on “Cheap Bookish Ways to Beat Depression

  1. Novelties says:

    Happy birthday! ☺️

    Ah, this is such a great post! I cannot remember how many times books got me out my tough period in life.

    AbeBooks is also an option for buyers looking for cheap books as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment, Novelties. I will have to check AbeBooks out. I don’t think I’ve heard of it before. Books have definitely saved me time and again! 🙂 – Shelly ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday! is pretty sweet too if you haven’t checked it out. I just found out about it this past week and am having a hard time resisting buying LOTS of books. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks cupcakesandmachetes (I love your blog name). I haven’t heard of either!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post from an equally awesome co-blogger (and friend.)

    It’s funny how a book can be so much more than just a book. It can be an esacpe when reality starts to suck and a lifeline and a friend when no one else seems to “get” it. I also find playing games helpful (if you didn’t already know that lol) and have used a few times to purchase books as well.

    Hope you find a great way to celebrate your birthday, Shelly! -Sam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sam! Love ya! – Shelly

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy birthday and great tips!
    – Caidyn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Caidyn! 🙂 – Shelly


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