We are book fiends in our house. Both of my children love books and I just might be a book
hoarder collector hoarder. While I love the feeling of a crisp new book, I prefer to buy used books whenever possible. That way I get more bang for my buck (to buy more books) and it’s green. Reducing, Reusing, Recycling. Yeah!
I embrace both ebooks and traditional books and think they both have their place, but there are times when I want an old fashioned hard copy book. Especially for young children so they can flip through the pages and “read it” themselves. I think that physical books are essential for young children and most of their library is made up of secondhand books.
These are some of my favorite places for buying used books.
Alibris – Huge selection of books for anyone in your family as well as rare books and textbooks. You can rent textbooks here, too.
Amazon – This is a no-brainer I think. Amazon probably has the best selection and some of the best prices of used books around with some being as low as a penny plus shipping. Most of the used books come from independent sellers who may or may not have a good reputation (though I have never gotten burned). The thing I love most about Amazon is using it to look up a book that I have already read and loved and getting suggestions based on that title.
Half.com – This site is owned by ebay but works more like Amazon. You don’t have to bid on books and there is also a large selection with good prices.
Craigslist – Check out their book category in the for sale selection.
AbeBooks – I have gotten quite a few books from here. Good selection, average prices. In each section they have some lists that you can look at to get ideas such as Best Short Stories or 50 Books For An 11-Year-Old.
Powell’s Books – I had the pleasure of visiting this store while I was in Portland, Oregon and I fell in love. I was ecstatic when I found out that I could order from them online as well. Just look at this place…(drool)
UsedBookSearch.net – This site is best used if you already know what you’re searching for but it is also good for getting recommendations like best thrillers, best children’s books, etc.
ThriftBooks.com – You can find almost anything you could ever want here. The site is very well organized with categories within categories. Plus, free shipping!
Trade your used books with others:
Thrift store: Of course, you could go to a secondhand bookstore, which I love. I could stay in secondhand bookstore for hours just smelling the books, but I find that is one of the most expensive places to purchase them, most being only a very small discount from a brand new book.
If you prefer to buy books in a brick and mortar store, one of my favorite ways is to go your local thrift shop or Goodwill. We have a lot of thrift shops in my area so finding books is a breeze but it could be more hit or miss in your area. Just today I picked these up at a thrift shop for $2.99 or less and in excellent condition.