Some of the most magical places in the world are secondhand bookstores. There’s just something special about surrounding yourself with books that other people have owned. Plus, secondhand books are typically a lot cheaper than new ones. Check out the many benefits of buying books secondhand.
Why You Should Buy Used Books
People buy used books for many different reasons. Some buy them because they’re affordable, while others love the romance of pre-owned literature. Here are some of the most common reasons to buy used books.
Reduce Paper Waste
It’s no secret that the earth is facing a waste crisis. Most people are well aware that the oceans are filled with trash, and that forests are getting smaller as we cut more trees to make paper and furniture. It’s a big problem that individuals can’t solve by themselves.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help. One of the benefits of buying books secondhand is that it saves old copies from going into landfills. This is one step you can take to remove yourself from the cycle of buying and throwing away items.
Find Rare and Signed Copies for Less
Every once in a while, a used book shopper finds something truly special in the back corner of a bookstore. This could be a signed copy of a book from a famous author, or even a rare and hard-to-find book. Owning these volumes makes your collection unique from others.
Discover Notes and Bookmarks
Part of the fun of reading used books is finding notes left by the previous owner. Did they write personal anecdotes in the margins? Did they highlight their favorite lines? Sometimes, people even leave bookmarks in their books when they sell them. That’s one way to get a truly special bookstore souvenir!
Save Money on Books
Whether you’re a voracious reader or a broke college student, buying used books can be a lifeline. With global paper shortages, new books are getting more expensive. If you’re someone who loves to read and you don’t have much money, used books are an amazing investment. Plus, you can sell them back when you’re done.
Write in Your Books
If you’re someone who loves to read, checking out books from the library is always a fantastic option. However, the library doesn’t always have enough copies of the book you want. Additionally, lots of people love writing in their books, which you’re not supposed to do with library copies. Buying used books is a good solution because it’s inexpensive and you can write whatever you want.
Where To Buy Secondhand Books
Secondhand books are everywhere, but it’s okay if you’re not sure where to start looking. Check out some of the following locations, both online and in your local area.
Used Book Stores
Most medium-size towns will have at least one used bookstore. It might be a large chain, like Half Price Books, or it could be a locally owned store. Either way, these shops are the perfect place to start your hunt for used books because that’s what they specialize in.
Charity shops are places like The Salvation Army and Goodwill, which sell gently used donated items to lower-income individuals. However, everyone is welcome to shop at these stores, so don’t be afraid to check out their book sections.
Yard Sales and Estate Sales
Privately held sales are another place to find interesting books. Sometimes, you can buy them right from the people who originally purchased them and hear their thoughts. It’s also fun to see the kinds of books people collect.
If you’re considering visiting a yard sale or estate sale that advertises books, it’s a good idea to call them first since you never know what those books may be. You could end up traveling a long way to find out the books are just old encyclopedias.
Online Resale Sites
There are plenty of places to shop for used books online. Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, and dozens of other sites can help you find what you’re looking for, whether it’s the next fantasy bestseller or a medical textbook. eBay, in particular, can be a good place to shop for large sets of used books, like an entire series. Here’s a short list of some of the most popular places to buy used books online:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Better World Books
How To Care for Used Books
Some people shy away from buying used books because they worry old books won’t last very long. The truth is that all books can last you a long time if you care for them properly. Consider a few of our favorite care tips for used books.
Store Books Upright
If you want your books to last a long time, make sure they don’t lean. Leaning a book causes the spine to twist, which can weaken the binding. Many modern paperbacks are held together with glue, and they won’t hold up to rough treatment.
Additionally, you should never stack your books on their sides. The weight of the pile can cause the bottom books to warp, which weakens their binding. You can also end up with sun spots on the covers this way.
Keep Books Away From Moisture
Moisture is the enemy of paper. If you want your books to last, make sure you keep them away from moisture in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. Books also absorb smells and oils over time, so it’s a good idea to keep them away from anything you don’t want them to soak up.
Get Rid of Germs
Especially with the recent pandemic, people are more nervous than usual about buying used items. The trick with used books is to let them sit out in the sun or in your garage for a day or so. This will give the germs time to die before you bring the books into your home. You can also wipe down the covers with a gentle household cleaner.
Repair With Book Tape
If you find a book with a damaged spine, don’t worry! You can easily repair the spine with book repair tape from ChromaLabel. We carry both clear and cloth acid-free tape in several different sizes and colors, so you can easily make your books last longer. Contact us today if you have questions about which kind of tape is right for you.