Ode to Used Books

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O slightly ruffled books, how I love thee!

Though your creases and stains are plain to see,

And, let’s be honest, you do kind of smell,

The words inside you read just as well-

So three cheers for old books cos let’s be fair

I can’t get a better deal anywhere!

Ok- that’s enough of that- you get the idea! (I suck at poetry!) Point is- I love used books! Sure they may be in bad nick, but it’s the words that count!

PS in case it wasn’t obvious I bought more books! (Ah well they were only £12 and two of them are three books in one- what a bargain!)

Who else feels this way about second hand books? Let me know if you share this love in the comments!

47 thoughts on “Ode to Used Books

  1. I have a lot of used books, though less than I used to after the last ‘I’ve even run out of storage box space’ purge! My late Mum had an enormous collection of them – at least 2000. She was good friends with a local second-hand bookstore owner, right around the corner from where she lived. Even now there’s no other way of getting hold of some older literature or non-fic – and there’s something indefinably wonderful about holding a book that you know somebody else has used and loved.

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    1. haha I understand- I always have to give away a lot of books cos of lack of space!! It’s tragic! Oh wow- I would love to have even half that number one day! That’s incredible! Yes- that’s definitely true- including for the Bashevis Singer books in this pile- which are available in the US but are out of print in the UK. Yes- I completely agree- old books have that well-loved feel.

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  2. I keep all my new books pristine, yet there is something magical about a well-read book with soft edges and tattered covers and a broken spine. A book is meant to be read, and I love imagining the people who have gone before me, and read the same words.

    Great post!

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  3. I love second hand books (and second hand bookstores! You never know what you could find there). I especially like books with underlines and highlights, plus the little notes on the margins and the greetings in the first page that says a lot about how the book came to the previous author’s hands, usually as birthday gifts.

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  4. That’s a really cool poem!
    And I love second hand book shops and used books… there’s something so comforting about them.. even when the pages are ruffled and feel old, they just give more character to a book, I think..

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  5. A lot of the shops near me have charity book stall on the way out and I always stop and browse. I take more risks with second hand books and I’ve made some great discoveries. Then I pass them on to someone else or give them back to charity.
    BTW I’ve referred to your blog in my latest post.

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  6. Used books are wonderful, but I must admit I don’t buy them as often as I should (because sometimes new books off of Amazon are only a dollar or two more than used books). I just love the idea of reading the same copy that someone has owned (and hopefully loved) before, and imagining what their thoughts and experiences were with the book. 🙂

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  7. Hehe, I love your poem too.
    I’m usually buying new books because I’m irrationally addicted to buying new books, but recently have discovered a library bookstore in my city that sells tons of amazing books all under $2, so I’ve discovered a new found love for used books because I can fill my home library a lot more cheaply with them. 😤

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  8. Oh I ADORE old books. Half my shelves are filled with used books! They’re amazing. Especially when some of them come with notes and stuff tucked into them! (One had a letter from a dad to his son I think saying that the book is a must read at this age. I loved it!)

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  9. Brilliant piece of poetry there! ;D This is why I got a restraint order from the local thrift shops. Or well, from my parents and my husband to not go there anymore. I don’t care if books are old or new. And because old books are cheaper…huzzah! I’m actually trying to find a 2nd hand copy of Miss Peregrine’s now…

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  10. There’s just something special about a used book. Especially when you pick up a used book that has obviously been loved, or comes with a lovely inscription. I feel connected to other readers more when I read a used book.

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  11. Haha! I don’t feel the same about used books but I sure enjoyed reading poems.
    I prefer them shiny and uncreased with no smudges or stains or odd odors or folded, bent, torn, bitten off pages.

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