Today, we’re talking book-buying habits.
I go back and forth between what kinds of books I like to buy. While paperbacks are my favorite form, I love the convenience of audiobooks and the low cost of ebooks. And there’s nothing like digging through a secondhand bookstore and finding an absolute gem.
There’s no right way to buy books; all methods and formats have their benefits and flaws. Here are some of the pros and cons of buying new versus secondhand.
PROS OF BUYING NEW BOOKS…
New books supports authors. When buying new books, the author gets a cut of royalties from your purchase.
New purchases keep books in print longer. Buying new books sends a message to the publisher that the book is still in demand. If readers are still willing to buy the book, the publisher is likely to print another run of the book.
The books are better quality. Because they haven’t been previously owned, you get a nice, fresh copy direct from the publisher.
You know exactly what you’re getting. With any new purchase, you can be confident that your purchase is going to be clean, unmarked, and up to the publisher’s standards.
CONS OF BUYING NEW BOOKS…
New books use more paper. The downside of new books is that they aren’t the most sustainable option.
They’re more expensive. For anyone on a tight budget who still wants to have access to new titles, new copies are tough to come by at reasonable prices.
PRO OF BUYING USED BOOKS:
They’re more sustainable. The book already existed before you purchased it, so it took no additional resources to create.
They have character and history. There’s something so romantic about owning a book that’s changed hands a few times. I think it adds a level of character and intrigue to the physical book itself.
You can find hidden gems. Sometimes, you’ll uncover a signed copy or a first edition at the same price as other books. This has actually happened to me a few times and it’s such a sweet surprise.
They’re often less expensive. Buying secondhand is a great way to build your library while being conscious of your budget.
CONS OF BUYING USED BOOKS:
No money goes to the author. Unlike new books, used books don’t earn any royalties for the author.
They can be lower quality. While it’s entirely possible to find a like new book while shopping secondhand, it’s more common to find books with a little wear and tear.
The most important thing is that you are a reader no matter what kind of books you buy (or if you don’t buy books at all). Whether you prefer paper books, audiobooks, ebooks, or another form, reading makes you a valid reader.
Do you prefer buying new or secondhand?
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