Used Books

Confession time: I might be addicted to books. Not just reading them, though, but buying them as well. In fact, I bought ten books on Friday.

*le gasp*

How on earth can I afford to buy ten books at once? I buy them used, of course!

Here’s why I love buying used books.

1. They’re cheap. I buy from Goodwill, Salvation Army, and my local library. At the first two books are around a dollar, depending on whether they’re hardback or softcover. At the library, it’s 25Β’ a book. I can afford to only spend $10 and get ten books out of it! These days, I can’t get a brand-new book for that much. Also, all three places have a generous selection of books. I always find at least two or three I like when I go in.

2. They’re good. The kinds of books I find used–Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, Treasure Island, etc.–are much better than some of the trash that’s being published today. Give me a classic or a children’s book overTwilight any day.

3. They are modern (some). I have The City of Ember, Dragon Rider, and House used, and I’ve found other popular books as well. I’ve found that people tend to buy these books, read them once or twice, and then donate them. Stinks for them, but it’s pretty awesome for me!

4. I love books. Yeah. I love books, so I buy them all the time. It’s probably good for my bank account that I buy them used.

Now I don’t always buy used books. If I’m looking for a specific book (usually one that just came out), I buy it new. If I’m buying a book for a friend as a gift*, then I buy it new. But otherwise, I basically buy all used books.

My mom commented the other day (after I brought home more books than clothing on a clothing-specific shopping trip) that I’m definitely an English teacher in the making. I poked through my bookshelf, counted the number of “classic literature” novels, and completely agreed.

*Unless I’m buying for my friend Emily. Then I just buy her books I think she’ll like, since she raids the used book sections just as often as I do. (Of course, we both now have the same problem–not enough space for all the books!)

~Mercia Dragonslayer

Do you buy used or new books? Why?


About merciatremblac

I'm a junior in college, creative writing major, currently living in the mountains of North Carolina with my best friend for a roommate.
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14 Responses to Used Books

  1. Maggie says:

    I rarely buy books, but when I do, I buy used. As you say, much cheaper. And if a new book comes out that I want to buy, I usually wait until I can get it used.

    • That’s a pretty good idea–I’m sure I could find copies of books like The Hunger Games used if I looked hard and often enough. How long do you have to wait for specific books? And where you do most often find the ones you do buy?

  2. Heather LaShell says:

    I suppose you could give away or re-sell some of those books to make room for more?

    Then again, perhaps you are related to your grandfather. When he dies, someone may want to inherit his books.

    You will want to inherit his bookshelves

    Love, Grandma

    May God give you more and more grace and peace. 1 Peter 1:2

    • I suppose I could! I actually have one book of Poe’s short stories that I need to give away, because I bought a complete collection.

      As for Grandpa’s books… I’d take his fiction books, for sure! πŸ˜€ And his bookshelves would be awesome. (Do the ones in the basement move? I thought they were built-in…) But of course I hope that won’t be for a loooooooong time!

  3. John LaShell says:

    The bookshelves in the office belong to the church–I guess I made one set, so I could take those. The ones at the house are attached to the wall, but they are easy to unscrew. (Same at church). I buy books for study new. I don’t buy many reading books, and certainly not new. I have acquired some from book sales or used book stores. Others I get from the library.

    • Oh, well. I wouldn’t want to take church bookshelves. πŸ˜‰

      I seem to find plenty of fiction books to read at your house when we visit. O.o I think I could name a good number of them, at least by author, anyway. (And there’s that one amazing autobiography by Richard Feynman which I, for some inexplicable reason, feel the need to reread every time we come up…)

  4. godsgirl95 says:

    Yep. I buy used books. Pretty much for the same reasons you do πŸ˜‰

  5. I’m running out of space for books. I had to rearrange my shelves the other day and I cannot believe how many I have. And I just keep buying them. New, used, reduced, whatever I just can’t stop picking up books. I have a plan to get through them though; or at least deal with the ones that I don’t want to hold onto.
    I’m going to become the ‘free book fairy.’ πŸ˜‰

    • Haha! That sounds awesome! XD I’m probably going to end up picking up duplicates of books I own at some point (whether because I forgot I had it, or because the edition is cooler), and then I shall become the free book fairy as well…

      • At one point I actually had three copies of The Hobbit. Even now I still have two. One is part of a set though, and the other is a special edition, boxed awesome thing. So I can’t see myself getting rid of either any time soon. πŸ™‚

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