Saturday, January 28, 2006

New vs. Used -- That same old story

I was asked recently how much money I spend each month on books. The answer was $5.00-$10.00. Given that I buy 30-40 books each month, I obviously don't buy new. I almost felt bad about it for a minute, but then I got over it...

I've read countless articles on this topic on the internet. The authors don't get recognition or royalties from used books, blah, blah, blah. If the publishing industry's royalty model is broken, is it my responsibility as a reader to fix it? Absolutely not! You don't hear GM or Honda complaining that consumers are not buying their products new. They've already factored that into their business model. It seems to me that authors should take up the issue with their publisher instead of trying to make readers feel guilty. Frankly, they should be happy someone wants to read their book.

Given that I never have trouble finding any book I want used, someone is buying those books new. There are some people who don't like reading anything but a brand new book and I say great! It ensures I get the book I want that much quicker!

I am lucky enough to live in Southern California where a tremendous amount of books are available used in Like New condition for $0.25-$0.50. These books are made available through library book sales. I am a huge supporter of libraries. When I started reading at the tender age of 3, my parents couldn't afford to buy me 15 books a week. But they could take me to the library where I could check out my 15 books absolutely free! Maybe this is why I'm unwilling to pay a lot of money for books. 20 years later when I could afford to buy books new, it just seemed like a waste of money to me. I would much rather give my money to the Library Friends who support those kids who can't afford to buy new books. It's a win-win situation and the MBA in me loves the practicality.

Hooray for libraries!


read-a-bunch said...

I don't spend anything. Don't forget the good old lending library, and with inter-library loans, I can get any book that I want.

Don J. Spoon said...

I agree 100%. It is rarely that I buy a book new. I use ABE, Albris,, local used book stores and the thrift stores. Why pay $25.00 for a book when for the same $ you can get 20 books in good condition.

Terescia said...

I'm actually one of those who love the smell and the feel of a new book (not to mention that no one else has had their grubby, germy, potato-chip greasy hands on the thing).

But, I also love libraries. I began reading a long time ago, and I didn't have the money to buy new books. Our librarian always let me know when a book sale was coming up and I always arrived as early as I could so that I had my pick of books.

I don't care about the debate of new over used books. Each of us has our reasons for what we buy and how we buy it. I rarely buy books from the brick and mortar bookstores because they don't discount the books, and I happen to love Amazon. But I haven't bought a used book from Amazon. Ever.

Not because I'm worried about the royalty issue, but because I like new books. :-)

I keep my books. However, on the rare occasion when I want to get rid of a book or twenty, I donate them to my library, where they make them available for the next book sale.