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Make a difference – Shop Used Books

Updated on August 5, 2011

Although it may sound a little over-romanticized, shopping for used books can have a huge impact on both your wallet and the environment. There is potential to save hundreds of dollars, and if you are a little eco-friendly oriented, buying used books puts less strain on natural resources.

The Money Side

On the cash end of things you can save bundles on just about any kind of book out there. For example, Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (And So Can You!) retails around $30 for the hardback edition. Right now I can find it for $3.95 at, slightly used. That’s 87% off!!! Call me a cheapskate, but why pay $30 for one book when you could buy 10 books for the same amount? If you do the same for used textbooks, you could be saving hundreds every semester. Several sites also buy books; you could be practically trading books for free! Worried about finding what you want? Don’t be, I’ve found many, somewhat obscure books, on sites like, which have over 2 million books in stock.

The Green Side

If saving money doesn’t cut it for you (then I’m sure I lost you long before now), you can also look at the environmental impact buying used books can have. In the case of, they have saved 200,000,000+ books from ending up in a landfill. In 2010 alone that was 52 million pounds of books that got passed on to other hands. They even use 100% recyclable plastic bags to ship. On another socially conscious note, has raised over 9 million dollars toward literacy and libraries. Buying used books can help play a big part in protecting our natural resources.

The Bottom Lines

Here’s the deal- Buying used books not only saves you loads of cash, but it helps sustain our natural resources, keeps a host of knowledge from ending up in a landfill, and it contributes a great deal to literacy. There is something very endearing about receiving and reading a book that you know has been in someone else’s hands, someone who may have had an incredible experience with the book you are about to begin. It increases your own desire to continue to pass the knowledge and experience that you gained to the next set of hands. So you can make a difference, and a not so small one at that. Shop used books.

Here are links to several used book websites (several of which offers free shipping and buyback):

And if you're into renting textbooks, check out


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    • saxrunner profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks velvet53! Always good to know that one isn't alone! :)

    • velvet53 profile image


      6 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      Great article. I believe in buying used books.

    • saxrunner profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks! I'm glad you guys found this helpful! And I agree, library is definitely the first place to go, in fact I might make an edit just to include it. :)

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      This is defintely helpful to me. I can't afford much right now, but discounted books? I'm in! I'm about to check out some of your links. I voted this up and useful!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      I buy a lot of used books because that is where I can find the authors I enjoy reading. They aren't inthe library-too rare nowadays. And yes, they are more affordable. I hope no one puts books in the garbage. If they don't want to keep the book they could recycle them either by giving them away or putting them in the recycling bin. To me, if you aren't planning on keeping the books you buy, you might as well go to your library and that will save money and paper as well.


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