Going second-hand book shopping is always a positive experience. Who doesn’t love to buy books?

From the titles I’ve never heard of, to discovering classics or out of stock books, there is a lot to discover. However, it can be overwhelming. There is so much choice!

In this blog post, I will give thrifting tips. Next time you go thrifting for used books, keep these in mind for an enjoyable and fulfilling experience!

Let’s begin.

Tip One: Only Buy Books If they Interest You 

Sometimes, buying used books isn’t the best choice. If you buy books for the sake of buying books, then they’ll gather dust. It’s best to buy books if you plan to read it someday.

When I go to second-hand bookstores, I’m throwing books into my basket within seconds. This is a bad practice. Be honest and ask yourself if you will read all the books you purchase.

Remember, you will need space in your home for these purchases. Personally? I’ve run out of space on my bookshelves. I feel cluttered and a bit overwhelmed. That’s not great.

Buy books you have room for and want to read. It’s better for your mental state.

Tip Two: Always Check Out The Non-Fiction

Biographies. Cooking and recipes. Military. True crime.

The non-fiction that’s offered at school fetes or second-hand bookstores is terrific. I can’t overstate how many biographies you can find.

Through second-hand bookstores, I’ve discovered that I love books about exploration. Whether it’s James Cook navigating the seas or space itself, I love hearing stories of humans venturing in unknown lands.

You can use second-hand bookstores as an affordable way to develop your interests. Want to know more about Chinese philosophy but are on a budget? Thrift shops and school fairs are your friends.

Tip Three: Think of the Conditions

Books in second-hand bookstores come in a variety of conditions. Some have yellow pages, some have stains, some are pristine and brand new. If you are interested in a novel but dislike the book’s condition, then maybe it is not the right time to buy that book.

Think about the conditions of the books on your bookshelf. Are you likely to read a book that has shown wear? If so, no problem! Purchase away. But you must be honest with yourself.

Years ago, I bought second-hand books at a school bazaar. Some were in terrific condition, and some showed obvious signs of wear. It turns out I like books in great condition!

This is human psychology. We gravitate towards what we are used to. If you are not familiar with novels that have ripped covers, then maybe it’s not a purchase you should make (no matter how awesome the price is).

And don’t feel bad! Chances are that someone who loves pre-loved, worn-out books will pick the novel up. We all have different tastes!

Tip Four: Chat Away

Book bazaars, school fetes, and even second-hand bookstores can be very social. It’s the perfect opportunity to smile at others or to comment on how great a book is when someone picks up your favourite novel.

There is magic within the pages of each novel because books start conversations. Although reading is a solidarity activity, it’s amazing at how they can bring people together.

At a bookstore (second hand or new), I always talk to the staff about what they are reading or if they are familiar with any books, I’m buying. I get great answers, and they are happy to talk to me.

If you are shy, that’s okay! Bookstores and fetes are friendly environments. Everyone is here because they love books. And you can share that love with others!


That brings this article to an end. I love buying books second hand. Although I find I’m not the smartest buyer! In the comments below, share any tips you have. I’d love to read them!

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