What to know before you go [out to look for books]Apr 5, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line If you know where to look and what to look for, you can be very successful!
As someone who loves to read books, and can tear through a 400 page book in not a lot of time, I have learned that it is more economical to purchase used books. Through the years, I have learned where to go and what to look for when buying used books.
Where to Look
If you are looking for a particular book, buying over the internet may be the first place to look. Half.com is one of my favorite web sites because there are so many sellers, like you and me, who are looking to make a little bit of extra cash by selling some of their old books. Type in the name of an author or title, and you can see what is currently available at that time. The books are categorized into "Like New" "Very Good" "Good" and "Acceptable" categories. They don't have what you want or the price you want? Add it to your wish list, and they will e-mail you when someone puts it on the site to sell. I have purchased several books from this site, and have no complaints! Yes, there is shipping cost, but it is currently 2.25, and you can often come out way ahead of the original price and have a like new book!
If you are looking for books in general categories, such as romance, science fiction, cooking, or children's, then library books sales are the place to go. They often have a very large selection, and charge very little. Books at the library sales tend to show wear, like creases, bends, and broken bindings, but they are still readable. I often walk away from these spending about $5.00, and having a box full of books!
I have tried looking at thrift shops for books, as they often have many books priced at a quarter, but they tend to carry mainly romance novels and beat-up children's books. The selections, at least in my area, are not very good. I no longer waste my time looking at these places.
Garage sales are also a great place to look for cheap used books, though it can be time consuming. Again, romances and children's books are what you will tend to find, though I have seen a lot of classics coming out at the garage sales now. If you don't mind driving around your area each weekend, you can find some really good buys!
What to look for in a used book
When you are searching online at half.com, look at the member rating, and see what people say about that seller. Also, look at the comment about the book. What does the seller say about it. If you want a perfect book, then look for that in the comments!
When actually holding the book before you purchase it, take a moment and really look at the book. Does it look like all pages are intact? Flip through it to make sure there are parts of pages missing. It is horrible to start a book and find that the ending is gone, or that a chapter in the middle has disappeared!
Think about the age of the book relative to the condition. Is it only a year old and in excellent condition? Then expect to pay 40-50% of the original price. Is it an ancient book that has more recent editions and appears really beat up and worn? Then expect to pay only a little for it. This helps you see if you are paying a fair amount for the book.
With these things in mind, I hope you are successful in searching for the "perfect" used book!
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