The Charm of Used Bookshops & Why We Love Them

a store ful of books what a novel idea
In a world of social media and streaming services, there's something comforting about used book. When we started Atlantis Books, people kept telling us that books were on the way out. No one was reading anymore. I guess they were wrong. So, what is it that makes shopping for used books, so enduring?
History in Your Hands
Used books come with a history, and there's a unique charm in that. A note scribbled in the margin, a dog-eared page, or an old bookstore sticker can transport you to a different time and place. It's like holding a piece of literary history in your hands. We've had books where over a hundred years ago a child has scribbled in them. Another that sticks in my memory was a prize to a young man after some lodge game night, who shortly after went off to war never to return.
Budget-Friendly Finds
Let's face it, not everyone's wallet can keep up with the cost of new books. I got a $50 gift voucher a while back and was very excited until I found these days that does not even cover the cost of two paperbacks. Used books offer an affordable way to grow your own library, indulge in guilt-free reading or try something new. Plus, it is a win-win for your pocket and the planet.
Serendipitous Discoveries
The beauty of a used bookshop lies in the element of surprise. You might walk in with a particular title in mind, but it's the unexpected gems you stumble upon that make the visit memorable. It's a bit like a treasure hunt for book lovers. You never know what you will find - and we never know what will come in next either. It is the challenge, and the fun, of having a second-hand store.
A Gateway to Exploration
Used bookshops like ours have a wide range of titles - way more than you might find in a new bookstore. This opens doors to new genres, authors, and perspectives you might never have considered exploring before. Even the most avid reader never truly comprehends the scale of the publishing industry and the number of different things written about until they spend time shelving books in a used bookshop (or a library).
Timeless Joy
I read somewhere that over a million new titles are published a year. The publishing industry moves on so fast; it is hard to keep up with. But some of us love old stories, or still need to catch up on our favourite series. In new bookshops the bestseller today is gone tomorrow and replaced with something else. In used bookshops you can find the older titles and things move at a slower, more relaxed, pace.