New vs Used Books? Which Should You Buy in 2021?


An avid book reader like to buy one book after another book. In doing so, they usually have to shell out the last lot of money.

Sooner than later, every avid book reader will have the question, should I buy new or used books?

Today, I will solve this confusion for you. I will answer this question and back it up with reasons. Once you go through the post below, it will become easier for you to find the exact answer to this question.

So, should I buy new or used books?

It is recommended to buy used books because they are more affordable, doing so allows you to buy more books and such books are full of surprises. It is a good option for eco-friendly people and those who like the smell of old books.

I will go into other reasons below to provide you with a clear answer.

7 reasons why you should buy used books:

Today, I will share with you not just one or 2 but 7 reasons in total why you should buy used books.

1. Affordable

New books can cost upwards of $25. While a single book costing that much might not make a difference to your budget but when you buy multiple books a month, it does.

The cost can stack up pretty quickly as well. On the other hand, you will often pay less than $10 for every book when you're buying used books. Buying used books can help you save a lot of money.

This is one of the primary reasons why you should buy used books.

2. Opportunity to read more

The aim of most avid book readers is not to save money while buying used books. The objective is to read more.

Since in the same budget, you can buy multiple books, you can certainly read more. It means that without expanding your monthly book budget, you can read more books. More books result in more knowledge.

The opportunity to read more is another reason why you should opt for used books.

3. Full of surprises

Used books are full of surprises. Often, the older owner might have jotted down some notes or underlined some crucial points in the book. These can help you immensely. They can enhance the reading experience as well.

A used book is always full of surprises. Also, you become part of the shared history when you read a used book. This might make the entire reading experience more surprising and exciting for the reader.

4. Easy to pass on to others

When you buy a new book, you're shelling out a significant amount of money. You might or might not be able to pass it on to someone else. That is because your book collection will be worth a lot.

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On the other hand, when you buy used books, the value is comparatively low. You can easily pass on these books to others as well.

The next time around, when a friend or a family member asks for a book, you can give the book to him/her without any hesitation. It will undoubtedly help you instill the habit of reading in others.

Not only that, you can easily donate the books as well. You will not have to think about the cost of the book when you want to donate it.

Consequently, passing on used books is undoubtedly easier as compared to newer ones.

5. Ability to buy vintage copies

Many books these days are not in publication. Due to the same, even if you try to buy a new copy of such a book, you will not find it in the bookstore.

Most publishers do not publish a copy or 2. That is why you either have the option to buy the used book, or you can skip it altogether.

In this case, buying a used book certainly makes sense.

Even for the books that are currently in publication, there might be vintage copies available. Only when you're switching over to used books you can opt for these vintage copies.

If you preserve them properly, the value of these vintage copies can increase over time. You can auction them online as well.

In a nutshell, when you're buying used books, mainly vintage copies, you can make a lot of money in the process. At the start, you might save money by purchasing used books, and when you auction them, you can make more.

It is another reason why buying used books makes sense.

6. Old book smell

A person who does not read will not understand the love of the old book smell.

However, avid readers recognize and appreciate that unique scent. If you too are one of them, used books can undoubtedly provide you with that fragrance. It can once again enhance the entire reading experience.

7. Eco-friendly

Want to reduce your carbon footprint?

If so, you can do so by buying used books. When you buy used books, you are reducing the production of paper. Paper is often made from wood. That is why you are reducing the chopping of trees or deforestation by opting for used books.

Buying used books is much more eco-friendly than buying the newer ones. Thus, buying used books is much more sustainable.

There are multiple reasons to buy used books over new books.

Another question you might need to find the answer is, is it safe to buy secondhand books?

I will answer this below.

Is it safe to buy second-hand books?

Yes, it is entirely safe to buy second hand books.

Most avid readers take great care of their books. That is why they will not be soiled or infested with any contaminants.

Moreover, most readers check their book for any personal possessions, documents, or letters before selling it. That is why you will not be infringing on anyone's privacy as well when you're going with a secondhand book.

Safety isn't a concern while buying secondhand books.

How can I get used books cheap?

Now that you are sure that you want to buy used books, it is time to understand where you can find the same. I will share with you a few avenues through which you can easily buy used books cheap.

1. Amazon

Amazon is famous for new books. What most consumers aren't aware of is that you can buy used books on Amazon as well.

You have to visit the listing of the book. On the right inside, you will get the option to buy new and buy used books. Once you select the option to buy used, it will show you more details and the price of the book. The good news is that Amazon will get it delivered to your home like a typical product.

2. Thristbooks

Thristbooks is another website that allows you to buy used books.

It has a large collection of used books that spans more than 13 million titles. It provides free shipping if you order books over $10. Due to the same, you can save a lot of money when you order from this site.

3. Half price books

If you're looking for a brick and mortar store to buy used books, you can opt for half price books. Half-Price books can undoubtedly provide you with a huge collection of titles when it comes to used books.

You can also search for stores selling used books on Google to find the store nearest you.

Thus, when you're looking to buy used books, these are the few avenues from which you can procure them from.

There are however a few reasons due to which you should think about buying new books as well. I will cover those below to provide you with a balanced view.

You should buy only new books when...

In certain cases, it makes sense to buy new books. These include:

Freshly published book

If the book which you are buying is fresh off the press, you will not find a used copy of that book for long. Only an avid reader knows the excitement of reading a book. Waiting for months to buy a used copy is not an option for them. It makes perfect sense to buy a new book in that case.

Want to keep it for long

Many times, book readers develop a collection of books over time. Such books need to be in perfect condition when you're buying them. Buying them new is the only way in which you can preserve them in excellent condition.

Special edition

Special edition books and autographed books are worth their value in gold. The value of such books increases over time. You will not be able to find the used books having these features. If at all, you find such books, they are considered vintage books. The cost of such books is much higher.

If you're getting a special edition book, you should buy it despite it being completely new.

In some instances like those I have highlighted above, you should go for newer books rather than old ones.

So, should I buy new or used books?

You should try and buy used books as much as possible. There are some exceptions to this statement. These are mentioned above. Apart from this, buying used books has numerous advantages. Due to the same, if you're in 2 minds regarding used books, you should go with the used ones.

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