Order Second Hand Books Online

Serendipity in the Second-hand Bookshop

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In this digital age of e-books and mail-delivery online book stores, many commentators seem to suggest the printed book is an anachronism. But, one thing these prophets of techno-literacy elide is the joy of browsing the shelves of a good bookshop. And for me, though I generally detest shopping, few things are as relaxing and curious as the second-hand bookshop.

One of the most wonderful things about second-hand bookshops is the element of chance – of serendipity. Click up your internet browser and, within seconds, you can locate almost any book you can name – to read online, to buy online, to search and bookmark, with reviews and commentary. But, in the bookshop you don’t know what you will find – and that’s the joy.

I frequent bookshops for many reasons: for a good novel, or some poetry, to track down academic research materials, to buy gifts for friends, sometimes just to relax amidst that curious dry odour that seeps from so much old paper squeezed together on shelves. I often walk around in a near-trance, scanning book spines, and occasionally leaning around people to see what volumes they’re considering. In this state, it is something a surprise to find my hand going out for something: a green Virago Press paperback; a slim volume from Faber; an old hardback with a tattered dustcover. And more of a surprise to realise this is just what I was looking for – looking for without knowing – as though the book were waiting for me to come along and find it.

Many of the books I buy are for academic work. I’ve sat through long Research Methods tutorials in my time, dedicated to giving one the tools necessary to track down research materials. But, often it is the chance encounter that seems most transformative. A biography by James Forman, a Civil Rights leader in the 1960s, found in an Adams Morgan bookshop in Washington, DC, became more important to me than all of the books I was able to read whilst undertaking a research fellowship at the Library of Congress. Apparently Forman lived in the neighborhood briefly; that coincidence – the fact that he, too, might have bought books from the same place, made the book even more resonant for me.

Source: readlearnwrite.com

Dell The Affair (Jack Reacher #16)
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  • Avatar Callys Best buyers of second hand books online?
    Dec 20, 2010 by Callys | Posted in Books & Authors

    Hi all!

    I've recently just used the musicmagpie.co.uk website in order to sell off all my unwanted cds, games and dvds, and was wondering if there were such a website that tailored for books online like this one?

    It would be wonderful to know as I got a ton of books at home just mouldering and gathering dust.


    • Amazon and then Ebay.

  • Avatar Missy Scholastoc book order?
    Nov 23, 2013 by Missy | Posted in Books & Authors

    So my brother and I ordered books from one of those flier things that teachers hand out. I wrote the check on Sept 17th so it's been over a month... I am a big reader so I want my books! How much longer will I have to wait?! I am sure he turned in the money so that's not the issue

    • Sure, he turned in the money--to whom? And who is he? And what happened after that?

      I don't know if you handed money to your brother or your teacher. (We used to order ourselves.) If you handed it to your … />
      If you find out it really is longer than expected, find the "Contact Us" page on scholastic and see if there is a form to check out how an order is going. (Stuff we didn't have back in my day. lol)