Something Old, Something New – Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question:

All other things being equal’“do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical speciman, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

I love reading brand new books, especially brand new library books. I like a new book to be perfect if I’m buying it and I’ll go through the copies in a bookshop to find the best one there, the one without any scuffed pages, creased covers, the one no-one else has thumbed through.  There was only one copy left of Les Miserables when I wanted to buy it. Its cover was worn and the whole book was shop-spoiled and when I pointed that out at the till, the shop reduced the price. I’d still have preferred a good copy, but I did buy it.

I buy quite a lot of used books too and then I’m not as fussy. I’ll buy a book in a really poor condition if it’s the only one I can find, or if the ones in better condition are much dearer. As much as I like reading a brand new book that no-one else has read I also like reading a second-hand book that has been well read and I like to see the notes someone else may have made in the book, something I rarely do myself.

17 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New – Booking Through Thursday

  1. I love brand new library books as well, especially as buying new hardbacks is nothing more than a dream for me. Where secondhand books are concerned I tend to go for those which look as if they have been worn through love, rather than just neglect. But as you say, if you want a particular book, you can’t always be choosy.


  2. When it comes to new books it definitely makes sense that they should be in pristine condition, but I like used books for their character and like you I like to see that they have been well read 🙂


  3. I haven’t come across any with notes written in the margins. Perhaps someday I will because I do have a favourite little independant bookstore that sells used books and I love to frequent it. I must remember to take an allergy pill though as there are two cats there who “run” the place. See my answer to this week’s BTT here.


  4. Hi Margaret! It’s been a while since I last was here. 🙂 I buy a lot of my books in secondhand book shops and my hit rate of getting a book with very little to no creases or folds is about 90%. It helps that the bookshops here also stock books that are in fairly good condition. I’m not very picky if the book is new or not, but I’d like it to be as new looking as possible. My longer answer can be viewed here. Cheers!


  5. I’m not real fussy but oh I do love the feel and smell of a brand new book. Most of my purchases are used books and my only pet peeve about them is finding smears of lipstick, food, or God knows what on the pages – same with library books.


  6. If I’m buying new books, then I want them looking unread and in pristine condition. I love the feel of new books, the shiny covers and the fresh pages, they even have a kind of smell that’s bookish. If I’m buying second-hand books, then they have to have all their pages! lol and I don’t like buying with the spines broken, because then pages might fall out – that said, if I really want something and I know its’ out of print, if I find a beat-up copy I’ve been known to buy it, too. Basically I love books and unless they are very special (given as gifts) I buy them anywhere I can.


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