Star Wars Books: On a Budget

Since Disney took over Star Wars back in 2012, fans have been blessed with a plethora of new content, from books, a brand new TV series, action figures, games, comics, spin-off films and of course the sequel trilogy itself. We really do live in a golden age of Star Wars and it has never been a better time to be a fan.

With this flood of new content comes new fans, or lights the spark in old fans. For me, the Disney takeover meant a panic that the old Legends books would go out of print, so I rushed out and bought as many Legends books as I possibly could (not the wisest financial decision I’ve ever made!). All this new material can be a little overwhelming for fans old and new - especially if you are like me and want to consume as much as possible within the budget you have.

So I thought I would give some of my tips on how to get as much out of Star Wars as possible, and how to emanate our favourite Scavenger and get as much bang for our bucks!

Cherry-picking fandom

Decide your passions and keep within those passions. By this I mean, is gaming your number-one hobby? Or do you like the books? Or are you more of a comic book fan? Ask yourself these questions. For me, books are life. I am content to allow some of the comics to pass me by in order to spend my money on the books as these are what bring me the most joy as a Star Wars fan and book lover.

Like I said, it’s about picking the stuff you like, or have a strong feeling you will like it and then focusing on that. For me, I know I will never be able to keep up with the comics as well as the books, so I don’t. However, I heard rave reviews about Dr. Aphra, so I have collected the Darth Vader comics and I will treat myself to her series too.

Starting points

One of the best places to start when it comes to the Star Wars books is to ask yourself what you're interested in. Whether it’s Imperials, a particular character or a particular era - focus on that and it can make a really good entry point. For me, when I first started reading the Legends novels, I wanted to know what happened after Return of the Jedi so I picked up Truce at Bakura and went on from there. With the new canon, Rogue One intrigued me so much I picked up Catalyst and, of course, I had pre-ordered Thrawn, because, you know, Thrawn!

Books on a Budget

If you do want to start collecting Star Wars books, here are some of my bookish tips:-

  • Buy secondhand. Seriously. I didn’t collect nearly 100 Legends books by buying them new. It simply wouldn’t have been possible. I went on Amazon and ordered the used books for a penny, then I just paid the postage. I quickly learned which sellers were the most honest and reliable when it came to the book condition and shipping, and I stuck with them wherever possible.
  • Scout your local charity shops and secondhand book stores. I just make it part of my habit whenever I’m out shopping to quickly scan the used books as they are usually full of hidden gems (I managed to pick up a hardback copy of Outbound Flight for 50p in my local charity shop!)
  • Go digital. There’s no avoiding it, e-books are just cheaper! If you are happy with a Kindle then I seriously recommend making the switch as not only are the books cheaper but you can usually get monthly deals on other books too!
  • Wait for paperback. Easier said than done I know, but if you can be patient then you can usually save yourself about a tenner! Maybe make a decision, some books hardback if you just can’t wait, and others you are not so desperate to read can wait until paperback. For me, Thrawn is everything so I was happy to splurge on the hardback for him, but I don’t know what I will make of the Aftermath trilogy so I am going to wait until they all come out on paperback. It’s just deciding what you feel most strongly about and then sticking with it!

Read blogs

This isn’t just shameless self-promotion for the blog, but bloggers take a lot of time and effort to put up reviews on the TV series, books and comics. If you don’t think your budget can stretch to everything, then read the blog posts on the stuff you’re going to miss. That way, you keep up with all the information but save yourself the money. I’ve done this with plenty of series where I know I won’t be able to, e.g. the Poe Dameron comic books. I at least have a good idea of what happened to Poe so I am satisfying my Star Wars hunger whilst keeping my pennies saved towards Inferno Squad and finishing my Republic Commando series!

If you don’t think you will like it, don’t buy it!

I can’t stress this one enough. You know what you like, if you love all the epic space battles, ship-to-ship dog fights and pilots, pilots, pilots, then you know you are going to like the X-wing books. Likewise, if you can’t stand Captain Phasma and strongly dislike her character, then you will probably need to swerve the upcoming novel. Seriously, don’t waste your hard-earned cash on something you know you are not going to like! If you are unsure, read some reviews (generally I would again recommend blog sites as Amazon reviews can be a bit squiffy - bloggers will generally offer their honest opinions).

I have never read a bad Star Wars book yet because I read the stuff I pretty much know I am going to like. That’s not to say don’t take risks and make your own mind up about things; you can be pleasantly surprised. I’m just saying, be practical about it! There is no harm in skipping a novel if you don’t enjoy a particular author’s style, or if you just don’t think it will float your boat. This is your hard-earned money here and you want to make sure you spend it on something you are going to enjoy.

Fan-made fun

If you need a Star Wars fix but you simply don’t have the spare cash for a bit - maybe try some fanfiction? There are some seriously great stories out there and plenty of well-known authors have started out their literary lives by writing fan fiction. Just have a potter around the internet and see what you can find!

Alternatively, if fanfiction isn’t your thing but you want to know what’s happening in the world of Star Wars, then you can of course listen to podcasts! There are so many passionate and dedicated people out there talking Star Wars and if you can’t keep up with everything then let them do the hard work for you!

If you are keen to try some different Star Wars fiction, but are watching your credits, you could always try our upcoming audio drama, Star Wars: Convergence. It’s a fan-made audio drama set during the Clone Wars and follows a group of unlikely friends and allies, thrown together during the conflict. One of the (many) great things about the audio drama is that you will be able to listen entirely for free, with episodes coming out every other week. This way you can experience great Star Wars stories without breaking your budget.

So there you have it, just a few of my tips on how to enjoy your Star Wars books and stories on a budget. Good luck in channelling your inner Rey and doing some Star Wars scavenging! MTFBWY!