A Dose of Dijana: On Buying Books Second-Hand

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re a book lover.

But if you’re also one of those people who get really, really excited about buying books, then you’re at the right place.

First things first.

Yes, I’m one of those people that buy random stuff to feel better.

While I’m not that big of a money-spender, I do like to treat myself occasionally. And it goes without saying that this involves buying books as well.

So you can imagine the sheer excitement that followed when I stumbled upon Awesome Books, a website where you can buy cheap second-hand books.

This probably won’t be news to you but it was for me.

An online store rarely ships to Macedonia, so I haven’t even bothered to look for a second-hand book website before. I mostly stick to Book Depository but if you order several books per month, they’re not that cheap. 

Another thing I was blown away with is the price of the books. In Macedonia, second-hand books are often priced the same as new books – and don’t get me started on the poor selection.

As any other reasonable bookworm would do, I placed my order of $13.99 with ZERO expectations. (note – I paid $3.99 for the shipping)

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

The four books I received were almost as good as new. I mean, sure, you could see someone had used them; however, there weren’t any pages missing, the covers were intact, there were no stains and they didn’t smell stale.

Basically, whoever owned them before, took really good care of them. The books were just being passed from one book lover to the next. *aww*  

I reached the same conclusion with the next four – or five?! – orders.

For anyone wondering, here’s what an average second-hand book haul looks like for me compared to buying new books.

Please note prices may vary

So far, buying books second-hand for me has worked perfectly because:

1) I don’t like reading on a Kindle and I needed a budget-friendly way to supply myself with fresh books. (not much of a choice at the local library)

2) I buy fiction books I’m probably going to read only once so I don’t feel as guilty about passing them down or exchanging them later on.

3) I get to save money!

4) I get to reuse books and give old books some lovin’.

5) I don’t feel as stressed out around second-hand books – I feel free to carry them on the bus or keep them near beverages. (yeah, I know)

The best part is that I usually get a story within the story.

For example, one of the books came with its own bookmark and another book had a barely visible pencil note scribbled on the back. Come to think of it, it’s like buying books with personalities.

Of course, I don’t buy all of my books second-hand.

The general rule I follow is this: check on Awesome Books first and then compare prices with other bookstores that ship to Macedonia.

If I want to read a book only once, I’m very likely buying it second-hand. For example, I probably won’t be re-reading any of the Jodi Picoult books – not that they aren’t that good but it’s just that they’ve served their purpose to me.

If I want to add it to my library long-term, I may invest more in it and buy it fresh out of the print!

It’s my estimate that so far, I’ve saved around $200 on books, which isn’t that bad at all – I’m only ordering second-hand books for 6 months or so. *yes, I buy a lot of books*

I’m planning to use the money to go on a weekend somewhere around Europe!

How about you?

Are you buying books second-hand?

P.S. Use code ‘read20’ to get an additional 20% discount on Awesome Books with every order!

Next time, I’ll be doing a review of Sapiens!

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