The popularity of purchasing used books seems to be rising with more people opting for cheap books still in good condition. Some say there's nothing like the smell of new prints and stepping into an upscale store that carries expensive titles. But another half sticks by previously owned books, stating that the amazing deals you can get are enough to fill a small library.
It's true that purchasing new prints has an appeal but they're sometimes practically unsound. The amount of wood needed to manufacture paper is staggering even if trees are sourced from sustainable forests. Not every buyer decides to retain every purchased book either which amounts to a waste of money and resources if discarded.
The same can't be said of previously owned books. It's a form of recycling that makes a big impact on how much money and resources can be saved. Textbooks, in particular, are valuable for students unable to afford new and expensive books. An added invaluable benefit is the notes and points jotted down by previous owners which help future students during tests and examinations. The same used books can also be resold for almost the same price. This is true for educational books like encyclopedias as well.
Used book dealers can be found in almost every town. The range of titles they carry is also impressive. Stores are generally classified into two types, those that sell general reading materials and others that deal in rare books. This isn't always the case with independent stores though chain bookstores do carry them albeit at the printed price.
Like chains and independent stores, most used book sellers are taking to cyberspace to market their wares in addition to having brick and mortar stores. This strategy allows customers to choose from a very wide selection of titles at a cheap cost. In fact, online marketing is the only way for many customers to find desperately needed titles especially if they live in a place where bookstores are few.
Used bookstores are typically set up by small enterprises, individuals and charity groups. A majority of the books are donated and a few purchased from used book dealers. While stores selling rare and antiquated titles usually set themselves apart, shops carrying general purpose books may also have rare titles hidden away in the shelves.
Perhaps one of the biggest contributions used books make to society is making available much-needed tomes to the underprivileged. In regions where illiteracy is high and poverty pervasive, the idea of purchasing brand new books is unthinkable. Charity organizations that aim to increase literacy are better off distributing used books because it saves money and gets the job done. The fact that it also keeps precious books from ending up in landfills is a bonus.
For donors, donating or selling used books is a great way to get rid of junk. Depositing old books in the trash is painful for anyone but they do take up a lot of space. Charity groups regularly hold drives inviting communities to donate used books while dealers buy them. Some online stores also have a buy/sell strategy and a few go the swapping route (customers swap their used books for other used books). So whichever way you look at it, there are benefits to be enjoyed by all stakeholders which is why previously owned books have even facilitated the establishment of popular centers for used book sellers.