Discussion: Used Books

December 8, 2014     erinbook     Discussion, Feature


Used Books
I don’t know about you, but for the last four years I’ve been a poor college student. I can’t afford to buy new hardcovers every other day, no matter how much I wish I could. So used books have been a great asset for me, especially with the awesome stores for them we have around here.
I’m very strange about how I like my used books, For YA books I usually like them to be in really good shape. I’ll rarely buy a YA paperback with a cracked spine or a hardcover without the dust jacket. When it comes to the rest of my collection I’m much less strict. Quite a few of my adult mass market paperbacks have cracks in the spine, though I usually test to see if the pages are still solidly bound within the book. It’s still rare that I buy an adult hardcover without a dust jacket but not unheard of. I also avoid books with writing, underlining, and highlighting. I find it extremely distracting and rarely write in books myself. Only my sarcastically annotated Twilight collection is the exception.
Nearby I have several places I can go for used books, making it very easy to get them. We have the usual goodwills and Salvation Armies as well as three used book stores (whose volunteers often know me by sight if not by name). I have also gotten quite a few books from the website Better World Books and one or two from the Amazon Marketplace.
I love used books, they’re better for my bank account and always keeps me in something to read. It also helps when a lot of the stores I frequent support literacy and other worthy efforts. I call it a win-win.
So the question is how do you feel about used books? Do you get them? Are you strict about their condition? Where do you get them? Share in the comments.

16 responses to “Discussion: Used Books

  1. Books are soo sooo soo expensive. And it pains me that I don't have a job of my own where I could frequently go to Barnes & Noble and sit down to read and buy some books. I agree, used books are really efficient in times when I can't afford a book but I really want to add it to my collection. What an insightful post you got there!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. I do buy a lot of used books (we have a great neighborhood used bookstore that I frequent) but I am also super picky about the quality. Pretty much the only time I'll go for one with cracked spines or damage is if it's very minimal or if the book is particularly hard to find.

  3. I've always bought used books. They're the best! I like the think that my books have already been on adventures. I've never found a book with writing or highlighting or anything, so I guess I'm lucky. I'm not so picky about my condition, but I like it to have all of the pages obviously and not have them falling out all over. I almost always buy paperbacks, because they're smaller, lighter, and cheaper. I have the best used book store just down the road from my house and yes I'm on a first name basis with the owners.

  4. I love my local used book store. The place is huge, and has 2 stories as well as a resident cat! I'm more picky about my books than you are I think. If I find a book I want to buy, it has to be in good condition.

    Besides the no writing/highlights/underlines/etc., the pages can't be torn or falling out. Spine has to be in good condition too, don't want to have to worry that the book will fall apart or rip in half after 1-2 readings.

    Don't mind if the book is missing it's dust jacket, though I do prefer to have it, it won't keep me from buying the book. I also won't buy a book with stains or water damage.

    I've always been picky about how my books are taken care of though, even ones I've bought brand new. I still have books I've owned since I was a kid that are in good reading condition because I'm super careful.

    • Ok yours is way cooler than our three. I'm really picky when it comes to my YA, a lot of the same things you said here. But my adult is different. I'm not as crazy about those.

  5. I don't have a lot of money and I wish I could get used to the idea of used books, but I just can't stand to read an used book. I am always really carefull with my own books and hate reading books with obvious wear marks. Instead I mostly buy e-books and sometimes one or twice a year I splurge and buy some paperbacks.

    • Not all used book have wear marks, there are plenty of people who take good care of their books or they donate it after only reading it once. Used doesn't mean worn. You just have to look.

  6. Kel

    I wish I had that many used bookstores around! Almost all my books are used. Better World Books is a favorite, especially when they have 40% or 45% off sales. Amazon Marketplace sometimes works, though shipping gets in the way of a good price, and BookOutlet also has the occasional good sale, though they charge shipping, too.

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