As an emerging author, I get asked quite often by other authors as to why I buy used books. The basic premise is that since the author gets no compensation for a used book sale, buying a used book is akin to treason. While I understand the argument, I actually disagree. Part of the value of a book is in its reusability, resale value, and transferability. Just as with buying a car. Ford doesn’t get a check when you sell that old F-150. But the author does get something–another reader. Someone who might write a review, tell a friend, or buy a different book.
As to why I buy mostly used books, there are a handful of reasons:
#1: My entire family volunteers at HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield Counties. A great organization that provides palliative care for our community on a non-profit basis. And they have a great thrift store, HospiceCare & Share, in Boulder. So we shop there. Me, I buy books there. More books than I can read actually. And frankly I buy used books occasionally at other non-profit thrift shops (just don’t tell the good folks at HospiceCare)
#2: Buying used books is a great way to try out a new author. For a buck or less I can give another emerging author a try. So I am supporting the community of writers, in my own way.
#3: It’s green. Recyling is good; reusing is better.
#4: Used books are cheap. Some say I’m cheap. Coincidence?
#5: When I’m done ready, I donate ’em back to HospiceCare, so they can make a small profit again and someone else can read the book.