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What Should I Consider When Buying Books?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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Whether you're looking for textbooks, books for work, or books for pleasure, buying books can be fun or it can be a hassle. Buying books online can save you a lot of time and money if you know what you're looking for. You may also want to check out your local second hand book shops.

Second hand book shops can be great for buying books because of the low prices. You may not be able to find the exact book that you've set your sights on, but you may discovers ones that you haven't read in your favorite genre. Plus, many shops will buy your old books or you can trade your old books for ones you haven't read. Watch for sale days such as 50% off, or a two for one special, and you can really save buying second hand books.

When you need a specific text book, you may be better off finding it online and you still could find it online second hand to save money. Some school websites have a forum for buying and selling used textbooks. School bookstore may also offer used text books for sale and/or buy your text book back from you when you're finished your course.

If you need or want a particular book you can't get used, you can compare the online price with that of local bookstores. Of course if your local bookstore has the book in stock you will have it immediately rather than waiting for shipping, so that's a consideration. It's always a great idea to remember the appeal of great books as gifts. Whenever you're buying books, think about those on your gift list and what books suit their interests. For example, if you find a good book on sailing at a great price and you know a friend or family member interested in sailing, buy it to have on hand for a birthday or Christmas gift.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By OceanSwimmer — On Mar 20, 2011

I love to shop at thrift stores. Recently, I was fortunate enough to find one with a great book selection. They had over 1000 books on their shelves. I bought seven different books and didn’t pay more than fifty cents for any of them.

If you can buy used books, that is the most economical route to go.

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