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Thread: Used Books

  1. #1
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    Used Books

    Most of my books are used because I pay fifty cents a book instead of twenty dollars. Also, I totally have a thing for college text books from the 70s and before.

    I went to a yard sale a few weeks ago, and all the books there were text books from the 50s, 60s, or 70s! I went CRAZY! I grabbed twenty five, making my poor boyfriend carry a lot, and the lady charged me $1 for them. Then she told me I could go back and take as many as I wanted for free. I made three trips across the highway with a stack of books in my arms I had to look around. It was awesome.

    What kind of books are you guys always on the lookout for?

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  3. #2
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    i like textbooks that are current enough to be useful or old enough to be cool. biology books from the 60's aren't useful (except to marvel at how much has been discovered/reclassified/figured out), but chemistry books from that era can be awesome.

    other than that, i like to scout yard sales and thrift stores for vegetarian cookbooks, old (pre-1970 or so) sewing manuals, and fiction that's too cheesy to pay full price for. like Patricia Cornwell novels. i secretly love them, but i'm not going to pay more than 50 cents for a crappy murder mystery either.

  4. #3
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    Field Guides. Really. Oh, I've probably purchased more used cookbooks, especially community cookbooks, but definitely field guides.

    A lot of the older field guides only have B&W plates, but some have B&W illos with color tinting. Those are cool. It's just that you can never have too many field guides if you are a naturalist. I have preferences for my main guides, but always supplement with my library of old used field guides. Oh, maybe you want to know what sort of field guides? anything shore related like shells, seaweed, coral reef, shipwrecks, fish. Anything rock or fossil or mineral related. and anything plant related. Trees, lichens, medicinal plants, American Indian herbalogies, wild flowers, edible wild plants. Birds, snakes, spiders. Clouds, orienteering, canoeing, animal tracks. I had one on ducks from Chesapeake Bay but gave it to someone.

  5. #4
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    I like to look for books about ancient history, latin and ancient greek grammar/language books, general refrence books and books that i have already read from the library and would like my own copy of.

  6. #5
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    yeah used books are so much nicer. there's something about information and words as commodity that really riles me sometimes (can't stand all these trendy Zadie Smith ads at the moment - tagline 'Own It Now')

    I like to think about who else read it and I love that just one book, pages and print, can touch so many people...

    I am always drawn towards the nice old Penguin and Pelican series - the ones with blue covers, things like Freud and Rousseau and Maynard Keynes and all those kind of popular intellectual texts you feel you should read.

    Also love really old cookbooks, even though most of them I will never use.

  7. #6
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    I love old books that have been written in. whether it's actual notes or just the previous owner's name.

    I have a collected works of Robert Burns that i found in a used bookstore that has a letter in it -- I've been thinking about copying it to send to Found magazine, but I think that I'll always keep the letter in there. So far, it hasn't had a bad effect on the pages (acidity-wise).

    I also like old grammar books and old children's books. And any book that I would like to read someday that is a good shape -- that fits nicely in your hand.

  8. #7
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    At one time I had about 1500 cookbooks, the vast majority of them used. I tend to scribble pencilled notes next to recipes I've tried, especially noting changes I made. (Which I always do...) Anyhow, my mother when coming across one of my old cookbooks, invariably says, "I just love these old cookbooks where someone has lovingly written in them."

    I used to collect all those old National Geographic books and some of the Time Life travel books. Probably have about a dozen old atlases. And totally love the old 60's and 70's craft or sewing books. Also back to the land type of books from the hippie era.

    I've also picked up a number of autographed books at thrifts and garage sales. Never knowingly, but found out later...

    Rummage sales are a good place to kickstart a biblio-obssession. It'll usually be a bag for a buck at the end or something.

  9. #8
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    Oh yeah, my best used book score evah was of mostly philosophy but some art books, some music. There was this tiny Byzantine rite Catholic church and rectory being torn down for an expressway. The library was abandoned. I probably picked up a couple hundred books there, but gave over half to a tiny little used book shop I liked. Lost a bunch of the philosophy in a non-divorce.

  10. #9
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    I love looking for foreign language books, anything on Switzerland 'cuz that's where my Dad's family is from, kid's books, and just about anything that strikes my fancy.

  11. #10
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    I like old books that tell you how to do things for your self.

    I bought some books on papermaking, sopapmaking and candle making. I just picked up "The Family Creative Workshop" series c. 1974. I don't have every book in the series yet because I bought them at the thrift store. I have 3, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, and 22, but god are they full of information.

    I've been looking for books on alternate energy and how to make things that are energy efficient. The only books I find that are modern tell where to buy producs and how to install prefab items such as wind turbines and solar products. Things written in the 60's and 70's tell you how to make a solar grill or oven and a variety of other less thought of items. It frustrates me to only be able to go to the library to get my info. I guess I'll have to break down and buy some of these books on line.


 
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