“I compared the prices of the same books at Tesco, WHSmith and Waterstones and was completely surprised at which was the cheapest” – Tara Cobham

Few experiences compare to that of buying a new book. You peruse the hushed store, peek at the covers until one catches your eye, then flick through its pages and inhale their woodsy scent, before taking your find to the checkout and to feel that dizziness when your purchase is complete.

But, before you get totally carried away, there are also more practical matters to consider – namely, the money. The price of books actually varies greatly from store to store. So if you’re thinking of venturing into a new read, we’ve compared the prices of some books at a few popular store options.

To start, we picked the bestselling novel “Grown Ups” by beloved author Marian Keyes. The Waterstones description reads: “In Marian Keyes’ bubbly comedy, a woman’s concussion leads to an outpouring of blame and long-hidden secrets, calling into question just how civilized each of us really is. and “adult”. And the bookshop charges £8.99 for the novel. Meanwhile, WHSmith usually sells the book at this price, but is currently offering an 18% offer which has reduced the price to £7.37. Then , Tesco, perhaps the least likely of the three places you’d think of going to buy a book, is selling ‘Grown Ups’ for just £5.

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According to our research, the Waterstones seemed to be the most expensive places to buy your books

Now moving on to an autobiography, we chose Ian Wright’s “A Life in Football: My Autobiography” to compare the three outlets. The Sunday Times bestseller was described by the paper’s Julia Llewellyn Smith as ‘much more engrossing than most bland football memoirs’ due to Wright’s ‘characteristic honesty’. Usually £9.99 at WHSmith, another 18% off means this autobiography would set you back £8.19. While Waterstones sells the book for the full price of £9.99. Although Tesco has undermined both when it comes to the novel, they have a very limited stock of autobiographies and are not even selling ‘A Life in Football: My Autobiography’.

Finally, we investigated the price of a children’s book in different stores. Our choice fell on “Gangsta Granny Strikes Again!”, written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross. “Walliams and Ross return with the sequel to one of their most popular books, as a series of jewelry heists bearing the unmistakable mark of the infamous black cat has Ben wondering if his grandmother might be responsible,” reads Waterstones’ description, alongside its £11.99 price tag – down from £14.99. WHSmith is also offering the back for less than its usual normal price of £14.99 – but for £7.50, which is half that. Finally, Tesco’s version is also available at £7.50, for its standard fare.

Surprisingly, it seems that the more traditional bookshop Waterstones sells its books more expensively than the WHSmith stationery and the Tesco supermarket. Although its selection is more limited, Tesco – the most modest of the trio when it comes to books – actually seems to offer the best value for money.

Want to get in touch? Email tara.cobham@reachplc.com

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