Used books have quietly created a remarkable—and often overlooked—subculture. The emergence of online bookstores in Sri Lanka has made buying new books easier; however, buying and selling used books is a hobby that can be both spiritually fulfilling and surprisingly profitable. For devoted readers, books sales remain the most reliable source for purchasing inexpensive used books, especially when they are bought in bulk. The benefits of owning a used book makes buying a second hand book one to seriously consider.
An obvious benefit of buying used books is the cost; second hand books are often sold for a fraction of their original list prices. This is especially relevant to students who are limited by strict budgets. Avid readers who are looking to expand their libraries can delve into the classics by purchasing used books instead of costly new versions. Thrifty readers often peruse book sales and can frequently find used books that are in “new condition” for a drastically reduced price. Amazon.com is a solid resource for locating used books for sale at very reasonable prices. Additionally, book sales offer spectacular prices—especially if you haggle. Be prepared to bargain and ask for bulk discounts. Most used books will cost 100-400 Rs; ask for two books for 200 Rs, for example.
Build a Revolving Library
And speaking of expanding libraries, for the previously mentioned avid readers who speed through a book once and never pick it up again, second hand books are the perfect option. Readers who investigate used books for sale will typically find titles that have long-dwelled on their reading bucket list. The beauty of buying a used book is that it is the reader’s to keep for as long as he/she would like. Sell it after a week or wait a year, or keep it indefinitely—it doesn’t matter. The book can be resold within any time frame that the reader prefers, and at any price. By buying and selling used books, one can construct a customized, revolving library that is always fresh and interesting.
Searching through books for sale isn’t just an interesting hobby…it can also be a highly lucrative venture for those who are diligent and informed. Browsing through used books can uncover rare gems that may have been overlooked. Out-of-print books can command a high price in online auction sites, as used book sales and stores are the only places in which rarities such as these may be found. Indeed, second hand book collecting has become a profitable business for those who have the patience to weed through book sales in search of the hidden gems that may be found there. First edition books, especially older and more popular titles, can sell at dramatically higher rates than can their newly published counterparts. Buying used books can be a sage investment for the future, as collectable books can substantially increase in value over time. Incubating books in a personal library is money in the bank. The rewards can be extraordinary. Again, do the research and don’t be afraid to negotiate the price during book sales. Bargain hard for the rarest books.
The global trend of environmental awareness and “going green” is particularly relevant to used books. Why would one purchase a new book and cause trees to perish when there are almost always second hand alternates? Buying a used book decreases the need for production of new books and lessens one’s own carbon footprint. It is an innovative way in which to recycle. Help reduce trash by having or supporting book sales—why discard those old books (and needlessly contribute to landfills) when they can generate profit for the seller and enhance the joy of reading for the buyer?
Second Hand Books are Treasures—and Surprises
One of the most remarkable aspects of buying used books is the unexpected wisdom that may be lurking therein. Many readers often add commentary to the margins of their books; questions, opinions about the text or noteworthy observations often lurk on the fringes of the page, just waiting to be puzzled over by a future owner of the book. The previous owner’s insight can add to the overall experience of reading a used book by adding a perspective that may not have been considered previously. It’s almost akin to having a book discussion with an unknown friend. And of course, the current reader can most definitely contribute his/her own thoughts and opinions to the ongoing discourse that is unfolding within the pages of a second hand book, a footprint to be pondered by future readers of the text.
Another rare, unexpected surprise can be the occasional location of a copy that has been autographed by the author. It is possible to uncover signed copies of books, especially at book sales where large donations may frequently occur. Tenacious book hunters with an eye for detail can sometimes find signed copies that make perfect additions to personal libraries or can be sold at a commanding price.
Find Rare, Out-of-Print Books
For locating titles that are no longer in print, buying a used book is obviously the only option. The exciting aspect of this is that any out-of-print book is a collectable, a piece of history that is no longer readily available to the general public. It also means that its valuable may increase substantially if the book is rare enough. Out-of-print books should be strong candidates for library incubation because of their potential.
Discover New Authors with Little Investment
Paying the list price for a new book, and absolutely hating it, is one of the worst feelings a devoted reader can experience. By buying used books, however, the risk is minimal. Newer writers who are attempting to establish their work and reputations owe much to second hand book buyers. While it is true that writers do not make money/royalties from used book purchases, the exposure to their work via used book sales is invaluable. The new writer’s most effective ally is word-of-mouth and the ability to garner a readership. This is best accomplished through buying and selling used books. Devoted readers are more likely to purchase new books from authors to whom they are loyal.
Aesthetic Value and Love of the Written Word
One of the most compelling factors in used book buying is their undeniable aesthetic value. Used books have character. They are sometimes damaged or have a bent spine, but their feel and touch are unique. Experiencing the smell of a second hand book in a café is one of the world’s greatest pleasures. Perpetuating the written word, regardless of the condition of the book, is highly satisfying. It may seem cliché, but love of the written word in the cornerstone to the second hand book market. Book sales allow the written word to be experienced and cherished by a multitude of readers who are eager to embrace new authors, seeking classic favorite tales or partake of the vast wisdom to be found. Buying and selling used books is a hobby that can invoke magic for a lifetime.