I have a ridiculous number of books. Many of them I've read, but my "to read" shelf is sufficiently stocked to keep me reading for a year or two. Still, I have a bit of an obsession for acquiring books. I love the idea of having a massive library - an entire room filled with books. In my dream house, there are floor to ceiling bookcases completely crammed with books and comfy chairs with pillows. So despite the fact that I don't need anything new to read, I continue to buy books.
But over the past year or so, I've made an effort not to buy books new. New books are very expensive and I don't want my book purchases to have a negative impact on the environment.
Here are two of my favorite places to shop for used books:
Harvard Book Store on Mass Ave. in Cambridge. Head down to the basement. Oh my gosh, I could browse down there for ages!
Raven Used Books on Newbury Street in Boston. There's also a Harvard Square location. Last time I was there. I got a hardcover copy of When You Are Engulfed In Flames for nine bucks. Which is cheap for a hardcover.
I've found that typically trade paperbacks are available for about half the original price. So $6-9 for a nice, barely used copy.
But my newest obsession is searching out really old mass market paperbacks. For a number of reasons. First, you can pick one up for like $2. Second, they have that old book smell I adore. And third, sometimes the cover art is really cool! The one drawback, for me, is that you have to handle books like this carefully.
Check out some of the ones I've gathered...
Gotta love that sinister looking Eustacia Vye up there. And I like that the original price is printed on the cover. 45 cents! Keyboards don't even have a cents symbol anymore! I think my favorite so far is Fahrenheit 451...
See what I mean about the cover art? Cool, right? They don't make mass markets like they used to, that's for sure. And I confess, I didn't actually buy all of those. The Canterbury Tales was my mom's college copy, I think. Her maiden name is written in it. Fahrenheit 451 was my dad's back in the day. I found them in the attic of the old house. Free is even better than cheap and I love these books so much more because my mom and dad's names are written on the inside.
So those are my cheap and green library building tips...
especially really old mass market paperbacks!
from used book stores!
or better yet, the attic!
If you're like me and like to be surrounded by books, it's important to find ways of doing so that won't kill your budget or the planet.
Do you like having books around, or are you on board with the wave of the future - the electronic reading device? Me, I'm firmly on the side of books.