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11 Places to Buy Used Books Online to Build Your Library

by Regan

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11 places to find and buy used books for cheap

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)

11 Places to Buy Used Books to Build Your (or your child’s) Library

Image credit: insatiableculturalite.wordpress.com/

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:

What’s on My Bookshelf? 
Paperback Swap I have traded a lot of books here.

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.

11 Places to Buy Used Books to Build Your (or your child’s) Library

Where is your favorite place to buy used books?

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Delacey December 30, 2013 - 10:46 pm

I often get my toddler a book or two when we go to the thrift store. It’s the first place we look and then I have him look at the book while I browse my sections. If the book interests him for most/all of the time in the shop it comes home with us 🙂

Regan December 31, 2013 - 12:20 am

I do the same. I am becoming addicted to thrift store shopping and the book section has been my savior. My oldest sits in the book section and my toddler looks at a book in the cart while I shop. Even if I’m not planning on buying books I usually do. I’ll need to start buying more bookshelves soon.

Jill S January 1, 2014 - 3:08 pm

we have gotten a few from our library–free. they do sell them sometimes, but often they have to GET RID of books as they get brand new ones in… it’s worth an ‘ask’ at the front desk to see how often they do it.

ours just put them out in the lobby with a ‘free’ sign on them!!!

Suzi Satterfield January 2, 2014 - 12:44 pm

I got a lot of my oldest boy’s books when he was tiny from Grolier. I really wish we could get that up here in Canada! I tend to do a lot of our kids books at Costco.

Mindy January 2, 2014 - 1:19 pm

I like Abe’s and Albrius too. Better World Books is awesome because they donate books as well. I also love Powell’s. Such an amazing store in person!

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