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General Knowledge/FAQ About Books Search Tips

Used Books and Using Books: For Children

Reasons to buy used books instead of new for children’s gift-giving.

A great read by Mark Twain

This book is a classic, and easy to find a used copy of as a quick gift!

About a year ago I spoke with a grandmother who was looking for three copies of a book that had been a special family favorite when her own children were young.  She wanted one copy for each grandchild.  The title was out of print and she could find only used copies.  At first she struggled with feeling apologetic about getting used copies, but then she began to think of more than one advantage of used books over new copies.

  • A used book is a way of sharing.  A treasure from one family becomes a treasure for a new child or family. It’s a great opportunity to talk about taking care of books.
  • Buying used books is a wonderful way to get several books for the price of one new book.  It’s also economic in terms of recycling.
  • Buying a book that isn’t in pristine condition gives both you and your very young child permission to enjoy.  Just relax if an overly exuberant moment means a few bangs or a torn page.
  • With a used book there are no worries about due dates or library fines, and it’s OK if it disappears behind the sofa for a few months.  When the time is right it’s easy to pass it along to a friend, a cousin or a play group.
  • When your child checks out a library book that seems like a keeper, I recommend buying a used copy for long-lasting enjoyment.  Especially if there are younger children that the older child can read to – nothing better.
  • Books of poetry, collected stories and fairy tales are particularly good choices for owning and keeping for many years.
  • Consider making a special place on a high shelf for favorite books.  When a child outgrows a book, put it aside to reawaken fond memories years later.

You catch my drift.   And finally, a couple of notes:

Book Condition:  If you want a used children’s book in presentable condition, choose one described as Very Good or better (Fine, Near Fine, Like New, for example).  Some previously owned children’s books may be in disappointing condition, so make sure to read a listing’s entire description.  On the Biblio.com site always click on the listing’s title to see full details which may be helpful in making your selection.

Wish Lists can be useful:  Remember that you can always add plenty of books into Wish List status while you are browsing.  Later you can go to your Wish List and move some to your Cart, save some in Wish List status if you like, and remove ones that you do not plan to order.  When a book in your Wish List or in your Cart, you can still click on the title if you want to review the full description.


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