Where to Shop for Books, Used or New?

Everyone has Their Preference, but Which Shop is Best?

By: Mark Deutsch

The inside of a used bookstore. Credit:

Book lovers often dispute about new and used books. Used bookstores may have older, rarer books at lower prices; however, chain bookstores have a higher price but better quality. 

There are certain advantages when choosing to either shop at a used or regular bookstore. Of course when selecting a bookstore, it’s more likely to find a big name bookstore in town.

The difference between a regular and a used bookstore is that a used bookstore is just one singular store unlike the bigger chain bookstores. There are more than enough reasons to shop from either kind of bookstore, both of them have unique advantages. 

The biggest reason for shopping in a used bookstore are the prices, which are a great deal. The store has plenty of dated books that are in good condition, however most don’t have recent books. 

The books that are sold in used bookstores can be found in good condition, depending on the store. Most of the books will have creased bindings or bent pages, considering that other people have owned them. This is a disadvantage when it comes to used book shopping.

The big advantage to shopping in a classic Barnes and Noble is having an array of recent books. On the tables and shelves, a person could hunt for books that come during that current month. The books look pristine with only minor creases, however some of the books on the shelves can have a hefty price. 

The physical appearances of used versus chain bookstores can leave an impression on readers. When entering a used bookstore, it may seem small and unobtrusive, while in a big more commercial store, it boasts attractiveness and a wide array of attention since it contains a plethora of books. 

Yet, there’s a choice to be made concerning purchasing books at a sparse amount of small, used bookstores, or shopping at a well-known bookstore chain. Each of those small bookstores has some unique feature to it; one used bookstore sells by the pound. There are various big chain bookstores that come in different sizes, but they mostly have the same business mannerisms. 

Then again, mainstream bookstores like Barnes and Noble have an online website to order from. It’s unlikely that most small used bookstores have a website to order from, giving bigger stores an advantage. Instead of hunting for a bookstore for a few hours, it would be easier to just visit the store’s website.

Besides the possible lack of not having a website, there’s something only used bookstores sell; signed books by famous authors or rare books that aren’t even in print anymore. Then again, not every signed book is on the bookstore’s list, so it’s possible to stumble across one. 

But even the big bookstores sell signed editions of books, however they are only available on their website. The books themselves aren’t aged copies to buy on an auction site, they’re new books from new authors. The book’s value will rise as years go by and if the author has become famous. 

What it comes down to is that each type of bookstore has its own benefits, along with their own drawbacks. Every person has their preferred method of shopping, whether it’s between settling for an older or newer book. Arguably, used bookstores have more advantages considering the quality of the books and the prices on all the books.


Categories: Arts

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