Monday, February 1, 2010

Mentor Monday--Used Books

Writers don't get royalties from books that are resold. It's a fact of life, so, if at all possible, please purchase new books. And, preferably from a local independent bookstore.

However, sometimes when a writer is doing research, source material can't be bought new, or, at an affordable price. Then, one goes either goes to the public library and asks for items to be obtained on interlibrary loan, or, one goes to a used book dealer. I'm a librarian, so I'm going to stress that you visit your local library--afterall, you're paying taxes, so you may as well get your money's worth!

Sometimes, though, local libraries may not provide ILL service without charging for materials borrowed from out of state. If this is the case, it is just as easy, and may even be cheaper, for you to try an online used book vendor.

I'm going to give you a few of the places I visit and have ordered from. Their site states, "Search thousands of booksellers selling 110 million books." I've long had success here.

A word of advice--always check the book's description. Many used books are ex-library copies. If so, they have wear, will have the library's name in many places, and will probably have "discard" stamped in conspicuous spots. If you're buying the book just for its contents, this may not be a problem for you. (As a librarian, I've purchased replacement copies of books for the library through Abe. Hardcovers go out of print too quickly nowadays, and paperbacks don't hold up to library use, so I'd rather buy a used hardcover.)

BetterWorldBooks They have free shipping in the U.S. and they claim to be socially conscious by providing funds for literacy programs, and keeping books our of landfills.

eBay This is a little more hit-and-miss, but you can sometimes find what you want. I've also found valuable illustration materials for projects, for example, vintage postcards and other paper ephemera.

Use the comments section below to add your favorites.


1 comment:

Mur said... will also lead you to used books and many that I've purchased come from small independent booksellers.