In OnBuy's opinion, settling down with a book away from screen, sound, noise and drama is one of life's purest joys.

Whether you're snuggled up in winter, tanning on the beach in summer, or enjoying a lush landscape in spring or autumn, a book is never out of place as a companion by your side.

Sometimes, however, buying a book can almost feel like a chore - with a somewhat limited choice, unspoiled spine and ever-increasing price, purchasing a new book puts you under the pressure of making the right choice and keeping it as pristine as possible. If you don't do either of these, the disappointment you (and your wallet or purse) will feel may put you off for good.

But it doesn't need to be this way: effortlessly enlighten your book shopping with this list of the 7 advantages of buying a used book we've put together for you...

1. Buying Used Books Is So Much Cheaper!

Perhaps the most obvious (and most important!) reason behind buying a used book is that it can score you a serious saving on the RRP - even if the book is in nearly new condition.

The best bit? No matter the genre, you can net yourself a real bargain! For example, 100 Gins to Try Before You Die by Ian Buxton can be picked up at OnBuy for just £3.72*. Not just a well-written insight into the world of gin, at almost 72% off the £12.99 RRP, you can score a big saving (that you'll spend on the gins from the book, naturally...)!

Calling students of all ages: no matter the level of your study, it's highly likely that you have essential books for your course on top of the recommended reading. Buying these new is seriously expensive, especially if you'll only be using them for a year or two - so why not buy a used book for a fraction of the price? A perfect example is this GCSE English Shakespeare Text Guide - Romeo and Juliet - available used at OnBuy from just £2.75*, you can score more than half off the RRP!

"Perhaps the most obvious (and most important!) reason behind buying a book second-hand is that it can score you a serious saving on the RRP..."

2. You Can't Beat The Romance Of Used Books

Used books exude a charm and charisma that new books just cannot match. The experiences it's had, the life it's led; it's impossible to tell until you take the first look at the ever-so-slightly faded cover, feel the gently creased spine, and flick through the pages. Every dog-eared corner, tea stain and little tear tells a story - and you can add to the book's journey with your own memories and experiences.

With certain second-hand books, you may even find that their previous owners have written notes or annotated sections with their own comments and opinions. This is particularly true for academic books and who knows, if it works for Harry Potter, it might work for you too!

One thing is certain, though: the older the book and the longer life it's had, the more likely it is to have developed that glorious, incomparable old book smell - and a reason why we at OnBuy can't help but pick up used editions of our favourite fictional classics!

3. You Can Be Much More Social With Used Books

Picture this: you splash out big money on a brand-new book. A true page-turner, you read it and find yourself being increasingly drawn into the story. After a gripping climax, you mention your experience to a friend who says they'd be interested in borrowing it. While most of us would hand it over, it's hard to escape that niggling feeling that they might not return it in its pristine condition - or even at all!

Now, think of the same situation but centred around the used book you scored for less than half its intended price. The book may have a couple of marks and folds here and there, but you'll feel much more relaxed about lending it out to a friend or family member - you can listen to their thoughts and interpretations without worrying about how they've treated it.

Not to mention, if you read as part of a group (whether in a book club or with friends), buying used books is an easy way to enjoy and share each new read. One thing's for sure - with OnBuy's plethora of used books at your fingertips, you'll have plenty to get you going!

4. When You Buy Used Books, The Choices Are Endless!

Speaking of options, buying used books truly spoils you for choice! When browsing through the used books for sale at OnBuy, you aren't just browsing recently released books: you're browsing those that may no longer be on general publication, or editions that were released much more widely than presently available.

Buying used books can open your eyes to new genres and authors that you may not have seen before, and if you spot something new, why not take a risk? As the book will be much cheaper, it'll be much less frustrating if you find you don't enjoy it, and as mentioned above you can easily offer it to a loved one!

At OnBuy, we love buying used cookery books - it's a great way to build a budget-friendly repertoire of dishes in all different styles. Whether you fancy embracing a natural, free-from-nasties diet with Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward, on sale used for as little as £6.44*, or going for a healthy spin on some firm favourites with the Hairy Dieters' How to Love Food and Lose Weight for only £2.75*, the culinary choice is endless!

5. Buying Used Books Is Better For The Environment

In an increasingly disposable world, it's more important than ever to stick to the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. Buying used books is a simple and smart way to guarantee you're doing all the above! Reducing the need for the raw materials to make new copies while reusing an item that still has plenty of life left in it, buying a used book is a no-brainer.

The carbon footprint of making a new book is estimated to be about 2.71kg of CO2, as published in a report from The Journal of Industrial Ecology that investigated the carbon emissions released throughout the process. Think of the rate at which new books are churned out, and we can see the scale of the problem!

In order to make an impact, it's crucial that as many people as possible make choices that have little environmental impact and can promote sustainability through the 3Rs. If you're short on ideas, check out Eco House Book, Easy Eco Auditing or The Eco Lifestyle Handbook - not only will these used books help you make a positive difference, they're all less than the price of a cup of coffee!

6. Build Your Dream Collection By Buying Used Books

Part of the magic of reading is finding a book that stays with you. Maybe it's the story, a certain character, a magical world or even just one line of dialogue or description - whatever it is, browsing the used book collection here gives you an opportunity to rediscover a long-lost love for a certain title.

Whether it's a book you constantly borrowed from the library or a friend but never owned, or a copy that was once yours but became lost to the annals of time, there's often one that got away. If you find that hidden gem, it could be the same version of the one that you once read or owned, or even a special edition that's designed for true fans, just like the beautiful bestseller The Forgotten Garden: Sophie Allport Edition, available from £2.80*!

This is another wondrous benefit of buying a used book: you can compile an eclectic selection that's tailored to your tastes. Fill your shelves easily with a unique collection of used books with a special meaning or interest to you - without breaking the bank in the process!

7. Used Books Are The Best Way To Get Back Into Reading!

It happens to most of us at some point - due to the hectic nature of everyday life, we end up neglecting our love of books. This, coupled with the ever-increasing prices of new copies, turns reading and book-buying into a much rarer thing than it needs to be!

Buying used books means you can afford to keep a pile on the go and have the added motivation to make your way through it. Creating opportunities to read will be much easier too, as you can feel more secure about taking a used book on the go without the fear of bending, water damage, tearing or loss that new, full price books bring.

Take your book anywhere as a result: parks, trains, buses, beaches - we could go on! As you've chosen to buy used books, you can wave goodbye to the anxious feelings that accompany you when taking a shiny new book into the world for the first time.


As you can now (hopefully!) see, choosing to buy a used book offers a wealth of freedom and possibilities to enrich your life and your imagination. With an expansive virtual library covering fiction, non-fiction and children's books alike, you can be sure there's something for you at OnBuy - so start browsing!

*Prices correct at time of publishing