New or Used?Submitted by John Pappan on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:00pm
Over my short life, I have always bought my books and hardly ever used the library. I always told myself that I was doing it just to help support the authors I liked and also because my library didn't have many of the books that I liked to read. Plus my mother would always come home with a stack of books every other month when she came home from her Wichita shopping trips. She loved giving me books, even bribed me with a few when I was little. My mom told me that if I let her cut my hair, she would buy me three books of my choosing. Now let me tell you this, I hate haircuts. I hated them when I was a kid, when I was a teenager, and will hate them until the day I'm bald and don't have to worry about hair anymore. Now I only get two haircuts a year so that I don't look like I crawled out of a cave. Anyways, I agreed to my mother's bribe and after I showered getting all the loose hairs off my back and shoulders, we took a little trip to Wal-mart.
My mother took me to the book section and I looked at everything, even the nasty romance novels with half-naked men and women that no ten year old should ever have to look at. If I remember correctly, I got a James Patterson novel, Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, and my first ever Stephen King novel Needful Things (which I didn't read until three years later). My mother tried to make me put the S.K. book back but I told her that she said I could get whichever one I wanted and that she couldn't go back on the deal now since it would be impossible to put all of my hair back on my head. So we checked out and I added another three books to my shelf.
Over the years, I have grown my collections with mainly all new books. But more recently, I have started to buy used books. I never did before just because I felt that it might not be in good condition or might be filled with someone else's notes that they put in there (and some do). But, it saves a lot of money and if you're like me, you can go through a good 50 books a year which can be a pretty penny.
One day, I swallowed my pride and bought a few used books online. It took a bit longer for them to get to my house since they were all from third-party sellers, but to my surprise, they were just fine. Of course, the books weren't in perfect condition, but who cares. After you read a book all the way through, the book is in used condition anyway from being in a book bag or falling or the table or just simply holding the book open causes the spine to crease on paperbacks. I saved a lot of money and even got a few extra things in the books.
In one of the books, the previous owner had left a bookmark in the middle and another had a personal letter from the father that had gifted the book to his daughter. It's the little things like that that can give a book another story to go along with it, a story that can't be erased by time or ware. A story that you can't get if you buy a book brand new of the shelf. Sometimes used is better and I'm glad I learned that before I went broke.