I have been wanting to spend a few hours in my local used book store, so this week’s Let’s Talk Bookish prompt is timed perfectly!
Do you buy secondhand books? Why or why not?
I do, for many reasons! I like to support independent bookstores when I can and my city has only two bookstores- an Indigo and a used bookstore, so my options are limited. That said, it is a pretty incredible used bookstore and I love spending an afternoon there. I love the experience of shopping for secondhand books- you never know what you are going to find and that is part of the fun for me!
What are the benefits of buying secondhand?
Something that I love is when I can find a hardcover of a book that is now only in paperback, especially if I am trying to find a match to a series! This happened to me in Talon from Julie Kagawa, and I am currently on the hunt for The Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel in hardcover. I love the serotonin I get when I find a book I have been looking for.
I often love finding books that have been thoughtfully annotated by the previous owner. It is so interesting to me to see what stood out to another reader versus what impacted me. It makes for a unique reading experience!
An obvious one, but the price!
What are the cons of secondhand books?
I think the positives of secondhand books could be seen as cons depending on your outlook. Not being able to find a book you are looking for can be frustrating and annotations can be meaningless or takeaway from the reading experience. For me, I go into a used bookstore knowing that my experience is going to be different than when I go to a place like Indigo or Barnes and Noble, and that is the fun of it!
I will say, the prices aren’t always that much better than what I can find online for a new copy, so I always make sure to look before I buy! You also won’t find a lot of new releases secondhand.
I also think the quality of secondhand books that you can find locally depends greatly on your community since they are the people donating/selling the books.
What do you recommend people do to better support secondhand bookstores?
I think just the obvious things- shop there, donate your books there, post about them on social media, follow their social media accounts, etc.