I have looked at and bought books off Amazon for many years, both for hobby interest and for my work but for some reason I had never clicked the links which show the "used" books, I guess because I imagined they would be chewed up, knocked about, with pages missing or covered in personal "notes".
However when researching for a post on this blog someone suggested I read a section of a book, I couldn't find the book in my local library and I was not going to spend the $50 that Amazon wanted just for a blog post, but then I saw I could pick up a used copy for $5, it's condition was stated as "very good" and it was a hardcover edition, well that was doable.
So I placed the order.
When it arrived I was surprised, well more amazed, I was expecting a well worn book, not that I was concerned by that, after all I just wanted to read the passage, I didn't care about the condition I just wanted "cheap", however the condition was excellent, to quote my father, "it looked like it had been read once and put back on the shelf"! That got me thinking, and I started looking at other books that I had heard of or looked at before but never been able to afford to buy.
Since then I have been regularly picking up cheap, used, good condition books from Amazon, the sort of books I would never consider or could never afford if new. All have been in fantastic condition, occasionally there has been the odd ex-library book but even these are in great condition just with the usual stamp in the front cover.
For example this week I bought "Historical Maps of the Napoleonic Wars" by Simon Forty for $2.46 that's around GBP1.50, pretty amazing I think. Then a couple of months back there was "The Fall of Napoleon, The Allied Invasion of France, 1813-1814: Volume 1" by Michael V. Leggiere which was $4.00 or GBP2.50. Or how about "The Exploits of Baron de Marbot" for $4.00 or GBP2.50 which was another one I picked up this week.
All these were hardcover, personal preference, I like hardcover books and they look good on the bookshelf. If you look at the Amazon bookshelf on the right (towards the bottom of the page) you can see some of the book's I have been buying. In a short period of time I think I have built up quite a "library" for next to nothing.
I created an Amazon store here , no I am not looking for you to buy from it, but I found it was a simple way to create a bunch of categorised list of books that I could easily go back to, I am maintaining the lists so as I get time I will subcategorise books for convenience.
Oh and if you need ideas for xmas gifts, well in the summer, after making this discovery, I bought half a dozen books for my father's birthday on Steam Trains, his passion, he was well stoked, and which was where his quote came from, if I had just bought new he would have had maybe one book,as it was I was able to give him an interesting selection including one on Scottish Railways where he was holidaying at the time.
Also I created a "wishlist" of the books I want to buy and have let my wife and kids know if they want to give me something for xmas a cheap used book will be more than appreciated, much better than have them buy me another belt and even my kids can afford a $5 book LOL!