Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Monday–Used Or New?


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my musing for this week–

TBR bookcaseThis is my TBR bookcase. I bought it about a month ago when my piles of unread, purchased books became hazardous stacks in a corner of my bedroom. There are 61 books here—6 of them were bought new, and 55 of them were bought used.

Most of my book purchases used to be new books. This was mainly because I worked in a big-box book store for seven years and enjoyed a very generous employee discount. But when I left that job ten years ago I quickly realized that I just couldn’t keep up the pace of my book buying habit if I was paying new book, non-employee-discount prices—so I started investigating ways to buy more used books.

I’ve always been a fan of used book sales—my local library has a huge one every June and I always pay the “First Look” fee to get in there on the very first evening of the sale. I also love going to actual used book stores, although there are very few in my area. These places are great for browsing and for finding unexpected treasures—but not so successful if you’re looking for a specific title. And now that I’ve been book blogging  for a little over a year, I find that my wish list of titles has exploded because my blogging buddies keep telling me about so many books that I just HAVE TO READ!

For the past ten years or so I’ve bought most of my used books online from independent used bookstores. I use Abebooks for this—it’s a sort of clearinghouse for used books where you can search thousands of used bookstores all across the US and even in Europe for a particular title. (Side note—I have absolutely no affiliation with Abebooks, but I’m a loyal customer and have bought hundreds of books through this site over the years.) I’ve found that I can often find a hardcover in great condition for much less than the price of a paperback—I usually pay less than $5 per book. Plus, you can link to Abebooks (and many other bookbuying sites) directly from Goodreads–very convenient, but very dangerous!

I do still buy some new books. There have been days when I’ve left work on my lunch hour to go to the bookstore to pick up a book on it’s release day because I JUST CAN’T WAIT! And I do still go to the  bookstore to just wander around and buy something that I’ve never heard of but that catches my eye. But used books have definitely become my preferred way to buy books. Unless I suddenly win the lottery, I don’t see this changing anytime soon!

How about you? Do you purchase most of your books new or used? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

34 thoughts on “Musing Monday–Used Or New?

  1. Used books and review copies are how I get most of my books but I do purchase books by my favorite authors and my favorite series. I have two TBR Book Cases Like yours. I will never catch up.

  2. I like use books but there’s not much to choose from in my country. That’s why I end up buying new copies if I’m already paying for shipping :/ Wish Macedonia had more book buying choices

  3. The only time I pay full price for a book is when my local Indie bookstore has an event with the author, and I will be able to get the book signed. That is worth it to me. I do buy a lot of new releases, but not unless I can get them for at least 30% off. If I do buy used, they have to be in really good condition. I have a huge problem with wanting my books to look pristine. I wish I could get over it, but it’s just one of my quirks (yes, I’m that person who doesn’t crease the spine of a paperback when I read it) 🙂

    • Me too! Most of my paperbacks look as though I’ve never read them! And I try to only buy used books that are in really good condition–unless it’s a very hard-to-find book that I just HAVE to have. 🙂

  4. Now that I’m (almost) exclusively using my Nook, I don’t buy physical books. Any that I have are loaners. Having said that, I would troll around for hours on used book sites for my orders. Unfortunately, shipping to my neck of the woods is usually quite a bit more than the price of the book. Ah well. 😉

  5. Working in a book store was a problem for me too! I miss the discount. I enjoy used bookstores as well, especially with staff who really know their stuff. I didn’t even know you could buy used books on-line – thanks!!
    ps. I did your book bingo this week – fun!

  6. My book buying habits have changed quite dramatically since I get so many new releases for review. I used to choose my books from the buy two get one free table in Waterstones (our only bookstore) or buy the deal with the Times newspaper whereas now I tend to wait for the used booksales or occasionally through the booksellers who sell used books on Amazon.

  7. With so many review books in my possession, I rarely buy new or used books. That said, I support my library’s used book sale each spring. At this point, I’ll only buy a new book if I simply must have it, like I did with The Monuments Men after seeing the movie.

    Thanks for visiting The Book Connection.

  8. Right now I do mostly review books but before that I tended to prefer used books. I love and then I used to spend a lot of time at the local used bookstore here. If I buy new books it’s either because I can’t wait, have a gift card or it’s a cookbook. Love this post! It’s nice to see what everyone else does.

  9. I usually get review copies so I have to count them as new. I do go to the library sale and get a few books, but not too many. Most of my books are review copies..

    I love your bookcase, and your blog is great. I haven’t visited in a long time.

    ENJOY your reading week. Happy Halloween.

    I found you in the list of Bloggers Commenting Back and wanted to stop by.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

  10. Most of my books are used. I rarely purchase a new book. Like you, I have an insane TBR pile!

  11. Most every book I get now is used and our library is still very busy, too. That little bookcase is just right. My whole stack almost fell on me last week when I wanted to get out a book in the middle. It’s time to go thrift store shopping for a small bookcase for the bedroom. eeek

  12. I confess I haven’t typically bought used books . . . but you’ve made me reconsider that, if there’s a truly useful clearinghouse where you can find specific titles. Abebooks sounds good–I’ll give it a try next time I want a backlist title!

  13. Mostly used–otherwise, I just can’t afford it. Plus, a lot of the books I want are old and often out of print. I also rely heavily on ebooks from the library. I wouldn’t pay money for them, but for free they are great!

  14. Many of my books are advanced copies, but almost everything else is used. I live in the middle of a decent sized city with several universities, so that means I get great library sales several times a year (my city’s main branch sale is next weekend and I’m already itching for it to get here quicker!).

  15. I usually do used too. It’s much more cheaper, plus I like the actual feel of going to my local used book store and turning up random finds. Much less predictable than the big box stores which all seem to stock the same books.

  16. Out here we don’t have much options in matters of stores selling used books so I have to buy the books i want to read but if I do come across one, I definitely buy them 🙂

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