Ode to Used Books


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. Matthew Wright says:

    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.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      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.


  2. yourdaughtersbookshelf says:

    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!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rainandcheese says:

    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.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. LizScanlon says:

    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..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Martin says:

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Niraja @ Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them says:

    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. 🙂


  7. Read Diverse Books says:

    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. 😤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MyBookJacket says:

    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!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anne says:

    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…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. luvtoread says:

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Zezee says:

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

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