I buy a lot of my books second-hand to save money. I only work part-time in quite a low paid job so I need to save wherever I can. It also means I can save up for new bookcases (which I seem to constantly be doing!)

A few months ago I saw a post on Twitter that caused a bit of a backlash, where an author said that buying second-hand books is as bad as pirating as the author doesn’t get any money from that sale. That inspired this post.


  • They’re much more affordable than new books
  • You’re saving the planet!
  • They’re sat all sad and lonely waiting to be read again
  • You’re supporting charities
  • You’re still enjoying an author’s work


  • The author doesn’t get any money from any further sales
  • They’re so cheap that you can’t just buy one – I always leave with four or five!

I think it was quite unfair for that particular author to make that post on Twitter about how buying second hand is as bad as piracy. I feel like she didn’t understand that the majority of people can’t afford to buy brand new books all the time or that not everyone has access to a decent library – or even any library at all.

Making people feel bad just because they can’t afford your book brand new is a brilliant way to lose readers. There were plenty of authors on the post saying they would be over the moon to see a well-loved copy of their novel on the shelves of a charity shop, and that really made me happy.

There is no reason anyone should feel ashamed for buying books second hand.

Do you buy second hand books?

Join the Conversation


  1. I love going to quirky second hand book shops and also a couple of charity shops for second hand books. I also buy new ones and e-books. I appreciate that authors need to make money of course but people can buy one of their books second hand and then want to read more and buy new and older books first hand!

    Liked by 1 person

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