Books | Why I Buy Books Secondhand

I've always bought books secondhand. I love spending my free moments browsing through charity shops, car boot sales, secondhand book shops and even the likes of eBay, to find new titles to get my nose into. Don't get me wrong, I do love the smell of a new book; there's nothing like it. But there's something so special to me about buying a pre-loved book that just beats it.

In your typical bookshop, books are organised by genre, whereas when buying second hand you're faced with a free for all of genres, with books all higgledy piggledy among each-other. Let's consider a charity shop, for example, where there's no way of predicting what you may find: a romance title may be next to a sci-fi title, a thriller next to a mystery. When browsing, you often find yourself looking at genres which are new to you, as the cover or title or synopsis catches your eye. In allowing yourself this opportunity to explore new genres,  you'll open yourself up to a world of fantasy you never normally would have ventured into.

There's also something so special about falling in love with a novel you bought secondhand. Often you will not recognise the titles you come across, and maybe not even the author, so you have to cross your fingers and toes that you'll get on with it. Then when you do connect with the story, it feels like fate brought you and this little paperback piece of magic together.

For me there is something so magical about reading a copy of a book which was once read by someone else. Chances are you'll never know who that person was but you're connected with a stranger through the written fictional word. I have a love affair with thinking about those who have read that same book before me and considering what they may have thought: will our opinions on the plot differ? Do they connect with the main character in the same way I do? These questions will of course never be answered but it allows me to consider the book from a different angle, which I find deeply interesting.

The other, less deep and meaningful but important all the same, reason as to why I prefer to buy secondhand books is the financial factor. For the price of one brand new book you can often buy two or three (or more if you're lucky) pre-loved books. That's three new worlds for you to dive into instead of just one. Seems like a simple decision to me.

Do you buy books secondhand? Where is your favourite place to buy books?

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