Monday 29 April 2024

Reasons to buy a second hand book

This post was prompted by a post from Wob (World of Books) on Facebook last week - apparently buying 144 pre-loved books will save one tree. I must admit that does still seem like quite a lot of books, but one of the reasons that I love buying my books second hand is for environmental reasons. Not only does it save on the resources required to print a new book, it also reduces waste and means that the same book can be enjoyed by many people.

It's not the only reason that I buy many of my books second hand - here are some of the others:

To save money

This is very important to me. Recently I was looking to buy a book for my son which is fairly niche and a few years old. £15 on Amazon and £7 from Wob - an easy decision! Also Wob are almost always running a special offer where many of their books are buy three and get one free as well as other regular discount codes, making it even more worthwhile. When I buy a book from a charity shop I would expect to spend £1-£1.50 for a paperback which is a fantastic price.

To take a chance on a book

If you are browsing in a charity shop or second hand bookshop you may not be able to find the specific book that you are after. It's exciting when you do! But it's an opportunity to try something new, maybe another book by an author that you've enjoyed or just something that you wouldn't normally pick up. 

To support a charity

I often support a charity shop twice when I buy a book from them - I frequently donate back books and other items as part of the same visit!

Shop selling second hand books
Photo credit Noémi Macavei-Katócz via Unsplash

To feel a connection to a previous reader

I don't want to buy a book that has writing or highlighting on the pages, but I don't mind at all if there is an inscription or a name written in the front. I love to see evidence of the book having being read - like worn and folded pages or a cracked spine. I've also been delighted to find a bookmark or a cryptic note tucked between pages!

To not have to worry about keeping the book pristine

I often travel with my books, and I don't want to worry about reading them by the pool or on a beach. Or just in the bath at home.

To make an old book feel loved again

I love the thought of re-reading a book that may have been abandoned on someone's bookshelf for years before being donated!

Do you buy second hand books? Can you relate to any of my reasons?

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