Welcome to Day #21 of the April A to Z Challenge, where participants are challenged to create a post every day (except Sundays) corresponding to the appropriate letter of the alphabet. If you’d like to learn more, hit the badge on my sidebar.
I’ll be posting about bookish topics each day of the challenge. Here’s today’s post about used books:
I buy A LOT of books—mostly physical books rather than eBook versions. My budget doesn’t allow me to purchase new hardcovers too often—I usually only do so if there’s a new book out by one of my very favorite authors, or if I JUST CAN’T WAIT and want to treat myself to a newly released title.
Most of the time I buy used books so I can stretch my book budget as far as possible. I’m picky about the condition—I don’t want books have dirty covers or torn dustjackets, ripped pages, or a lot of highlighting or writing inside. I’ve found that if you’re willing to do some hunting, you can save a lot of money by purchasing used books that often are in nearly new condition.
I’m a huge fan of the online site abebooks, which is a sort of online clearinghouse for thousands of used bookstores all over the US and Europe. Abebooks makes it incredibly easy to compare the prices and conditions of just about any title you can think of—even out of print books. Lots of the stores even offer free shipping. I’ll often wait until a book I want to own comes out in paperback—then I’ll go online and can usually find a nice used hardcover copy for much less than the price of a new paperback. You can also link directly to abebooks from your Goodreads account and hunt for books from your virtual bookshelves. (Beware—this is dangerous!) Granted, you take a risk when you buy used books online, but I’ve only been disappointed a couple of times over the ten years or so that I’ve been an abebooks customer.
There are also a couple of brick-and-mortar used books stores in my area that I visit every now and then—it’s fun to browse through the shelves because you never know what you’ll find! I usually take a bag of books that I’ve weeded from my bookcases to sell, but I almost always end up using whatever money I get to purchase a few “new” used titles.
How about you? If you buy physical books, do you ever purchase used copies, or do you prefer new editions? Please share!