Where To Buy Secondhand Books

It’s World Book Day on Friday so here are some great places to buy secondhand books. And I bet you haven’t thought of the last one before!

  1. Local book stores – Most stores have a secondhand or lightly used shelf mixed in with their other products.
  2. Online, like Abe Books – This is the best place to go if you’re looking for a specific book, you can’t always guarantee it’s there but it’s way more likely than hunting in your local stores.
  3. Car boot sales/garage sales – you never know what you’re going to find until you come across it but this is probably the cheapest way. I’ve seen books for literal pennies at car boot sales before

But the best place for good quality secondhand books is a library sale! If you’re a member of your local library (which you absolutely should be by the way!) you’ll know that libraries have regular sales where they sell off old stock that doesn’t get checked out too often, or that’s even just slightly damaged so it can’t be on the library shelves anymore. This is an amazing place to get some cheap secondhand books, especially because the money goes directly into your local community. Plus, most Libraries are more than just books! You can get manga and graphic novels, CDs, and DVDs. And let’s face it, physical media is totally making a comeback

I also wanted to give you some tips on what to look out for when you’re shopping for secondhand books

  1. This first tip is pretty obvious: check for the quality before buying. The bookseller may have missed some damage when shelving the book. It might have a missing page or two and nothing is worse than getting really into a scene only have half of it missing.
  2. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then ask! Small booksellers and independent stores will be more than happy to hunt down a secondhand copy of a book for you if you’re struggling to find it. Some antiquarian stores actually specialise in finding rare books and first editions for their customers.
  3. Speaking of first editions, check the copyright page of a book before you buy it. You never know when you might come across a rare and expensive copy of the book you’re looking for.
  4. and lastly, if you’re buying from online resellers then comb through the photos and description as best you can. I once thought I’d bought a copy of Paradise Lost on Abe Books but when it arrived it was a book of essays about Paradise Lost. I still have it though, it could be fun to read when I actually get a copy of Paradise Lost.

Happy World Book Day! And don’t forget to subscribe for more thrifting tips.

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