Let’s Talk: Do you buy used books?

Used Books

One of the first things I noticed when I got involved in the book community was how few people purchase used books.  There seems to be a consensus among many book bloggers (and booktubers especially) that every book we add to our personal collection needs to be brand new and untouched.  I’ve seen some people even say that they REFUSE to purchase used books.


People can do what they want, but I’m not made of money! I couldn’t afford to have as many books as I do if I only bought new books. I admit that I do purchase a lot new books, but usually that’s because I’m too impatient to wait until I can find them on a used book site or out in the wild at a thrift shop.  I don’t live in a big city so I don’t have a big selection of used bookstores or thrift stores in my area, and that means I buy new books more often than I’d like. I always search online used book sites before making a new book purchase (unless it’s a brand new release).

Benefits of buying used books: 

  • Much cheaper prices
  • It’s fun to browse through all the shelves of a used bookstore to see what treasures you can find
  • Many used bookstores allow you to donate your old books for credit to buy more
  • A lot of thrift stores donate a portion of their profits to charities
  • The books have a history
  • You can go to the same used bookstore every week and find something different each time
  • If you end up not liking a book, you didn’t spend tons of money on it
  • Sometimes you can find cool editions that are no longer in print
  • Cheaper prices means more books for your money!!
  • Surprises inside?? I’ve purchased used books a few times and realized later that they were autographed copies!  I also love finding bookmarks or notes inside books

Cons of buying used books: 

  • The books aren’t always in the best condition
  • When you buy online, you never really know what you’re getting
  • You’re not directly supporting the authors (usually)
  • It can be difficult to find a specific book

In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the possible negatives. Next week I’m going to be talking about where I buy my used books, so keep an eye out for that post!

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What do you think? Do you buy used book? Why or why not? 

32 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Do you buy used books?

  1. I love perusing second hand book shops and charity shops. I do buy lots of new books too, but I generally don’t mind the condition of a book as long as it’s not falling apart and there is no writing inside!


  2. Omg. I love used books! More than half of the books on my shelves are used. It’s the way to go! Especially when you don’t have a lot of money to spend on books. If I want to read the new releases and I can’t seem to come up with a way to buy it, I get it from the library. Sure, sometimes the wait time is super long, but my TBR stack is piled so high, it’s ok to wait the extra time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I pretty much only buy physical copies of books if I’ve really liked the ebook, so they tend to be nee copies. I jave nothing against used books but the market for them in Greece is very different from the one in the States so it’s not as easy to find them, which is a shame because I find used books to be treasures in their own right.


  4. I love buying used books. There’s a wonderful book exchange in my town and I love wandering through it. It’s an old house and the owner didn’t bother to knock down any of the walls or do any major remodeling beyond installing the shelves. It creates this fantastic maze. And I’ve found a couple of good, dependable used book retailers on Amazon. Nothing like getting cheap books in good condition, knowing they’re coming to you with a history.


  5. I used to be one of those “it has be a brand new book” kind of person. Until, life threw a wrench at me & I found my financial situation a lot different. I still purchase new books but I’m not as “addicted” to it. I used to walk into B&N every other week and walk out with $100 worth of books easily. Now, I purchase a lot more used books. I just wish I could find good used books store in my area.


    • Oh wow! I rarely buy more than one or two books at a time from B&N because I can’t stand to pay cover price for books. Even with my B&N membership, it’s too much. I can’t help but look up the prices on Amazon while I’m in the store and see how much cheaper I can get the book online! I don’t have a used bookstore in my area either. I have to sift through all the books at places like Goodwill.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. I’ve actually been buying a lot of used books in the past few months especially hardcovers. I hate spending basically $20 on a book and I’d much rather buy it for $7. And I always take advantage of the fact that the used book store I go to allows you to sell your books to them. Last time I sold back I got like $60 in store credit (or $30 cash).


    • That’s great! I wish I had a used bookstore like that in my area. There is one a little over an hour away, but they give so little store credit that I’m better off trading with other bloggers or donating the books.


  8. I buy a lot of my books used, and a ton are from Friends of the Library used book sales–great way to find very cheap, often really good condition used books if there aren’t very many used bookstores in your area. I’ll also donate books to the library if I buy something that I don’t end up enjoying, because hopefully someone else can then enjoy it!


    • Yes! My library remodeled a while back and created a tiny room that’s a used “bookstore” to sell the Friends of the Library books. It’s really difficult to find good YA there, but I’ve gotten quite a few adult fiction books that were on my TBR.


  9. I love buying used books. For a while, all of my books were used, and I continue to shop at thrift stores and used book stores for a lot of my books. It’s a great way to save money, and a great way to find out of print books.

    I don’t buy used books online anymore, though. That is something I reserve for class books just because I’ve had terrible luck and customer service when it comes to buying books for pleasure online.


  10. I recently did a post about all my books; how many are bought new, used, gifted, etc. And I have a lot of used books. Im not against buying used at all and I only really buy new because, like you, I am too impatient to wait. After all I am unlikely to find a recently released book in a used store. I buy used books from a local used books store and online from amazon. I LOVE thriftbooks.com but shipping to Canada is so high! If I lived in the states I think I would buy 90% of my books from them. I agree with all your pros on used book buying, I really enjoy the ‘adventure’ and the history of a used book. I really wonder why so many people refuse to buy them? Did you know like 2 million books end up in the landfill every year? It’s so sad. Great post!


    • Have you ever used Abebooks? I think they have free shipping to Canada from some sellers. I don’t know why some people are against used books! I’m not that worried about having perfect looking books on my shelves but I guess some people are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have, but I have never ordered from them. I considered using them for rare books like UK editions but not for more run of the mill used books. I should look into it and see how the price compares to used books on amazon.ca I don’t mind a little wear and tear, the only thing I really hate is old library stickers! I still have some ex-library books though.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hate the library stickers! I don’t mind ex-library books if they’re hardcovers because it’s usually easy to get those stickers off, and the plastic protectors they keep on the books means the dust jacket usually looks brand new when you take it off 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • True but I often find hardcovers with the plastic ATTACHED to the dust jacket. So you can remove it without damaging it. Or the stickers are on the book under the plastic 😦 otherwise I would love ex-library books.


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  14. If I am purchasing a book to eventually own I am more picky of whether or not I buy a used book or not. But if I am buying a book because I simply can’t find it anywhere else then I don’t mind used. I usually end up giving it away or selling it back the way I purchased it. Used books are just as good as news ones.


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