Advantages of second hand books over eBooks

Advantages of second hand books over eBooks

Advantages of second hand books over eBooks

Reading books is one way that we use to pass our time by enjoying the author’s adventure or by adding more knowledge on ourselves. With the rising trend of technologies, eBooks have surfaced and we have all at least read a few eBooks, just like we have read printed second-hand books. But we ask ourselves, which is better? The debate of having a preference between second hand books and eBooks might be underrated but it is something we as bookworms have to consider depending on our circumstances. There are a few recent stories that talk about fake eBooks on Amazon being used for money laundering which have been added to the arsenal of those who prefer buying second hand second hand books online. Each party has its own strong opinions of what matters but, in this article, we are going to get to know a few of the top advantages of eBooks, and discuss the advantages that second-hand books have over eBooks.

Advantages of eBooks

eBooks are more portable than second hand books

Portability is one important aspect of life when dealing with a lot of things, including books. Nowadays, travelling and moving from one place to another has been made easier. We can easily move from one continent to another or from one close location to another, and we as bibliophiles, like carrying something we can read along the way of upon arrival to our destination. Second hand books will weight more than a single device that can carry as many books as you want. These eBooks stay safe on whichever eBook reading device you are using to read. You do not have to worry about the edges of pages folding or your books being put on pressure by the luggage you may be carrying alongside, which reduces the lifespan of your second-hand book. Thus, eBooks are a good deal when travelling from one place to another.

Less storage space by eBooks

Imagine that you have been reading second hand fiction books for the past ten years. One thing that must be bothering you is how to store the second-hand books safely and ensure that you have enough space in your room. This is where you might think that eBooks are better of than second-hand books, which might not be far from the truth. You can read as many eBooks as possible without even a single thought of your storage on your device.

eBooks last long

This point might be undisputed when it comes to eBooks. They last as long as you have not deleted them or lost their location on your device. You do not have to be so keen when handling them nor figure out how to make them not grow old. Unlike eBooks, old second-hand used books wear out with time. But there are ways you can learn online on how to take care of second hand books.

eBooks added functionality

Many eBooks have added features that you can use to alter to ensure that you have a comfortable reading session.

  • You can zoom in and out while reading the eBook, you get to adjust to the font that easy for your eyes.
  • eBooks often have toolbars to help you navigate faster to any section of the book.
  • You can easily print a section of the eBook, which is a little bit hectic when you want to print a page from a second-hand book.
  • eBooks allow you to adjust brightness to favor your eyes, this means you can read eBooks while in darkness. Imagine reading an old used book with dim lighting, a total nightmare.
  • eBooks can be saved on multiple devices for the sake of availability or if one gets lost by mistake.
  • Bookmarking eBooks made easy.

eBooks are environment friendly

eBooks may be considered as a service for there is no tangible product. This automatically becomes environment friendly compared to second-hand books which are physical in form. Paper production costs our environment. Think of the newspaper and book publishing industries consuming 153 billion gallons of water per year. The process of producing ink for print purposes exposes the atmosphere to harmful compounds.

Considering these advantages, there remains one of the advantages which seems to be questionable. Some say that eBooks are perfect for night-reading. The idea is explained in terms of adjusting the light on your screen and your reading session not affecting your roommate. There is an article titled  7 Best gifts for bookworms, book lovers which talks about the Philips Wake-up Light which can be used to adjust the brightness of your room depending on your needs, thus you can set it to emanate light that resembles the evening, which can be pretty comfortable to whoever may be around you.

The Bookish lamp is also best suited for bookworms who have roommates. It is beautiful and it produces light that is comfortable to whoever may be sleeping in the moment.

 Let us now get to see how old used second-hand books are preferred over eBooks.

Pros of second hand books

You own your second hand book

Having a physical second-hand book gives us a sense of ownership compared to having an eBook. An eBook typically sits on a server somewhere where you can read online or download for offline reading. You do not quite have ownership to the book even after purchasing it. You can get to do a couple of things with the book, get to cover it with your favorite design and even have your name scribbled somewhere inside the cover.

Second hand books for decoration

Being a bibliophile means years of reading second hand books which pile up and thus you may want to figure out a ways of how to get rid of used books. Getting rid of eBooks is as simple as pressing a button and the files get permanently deleted. Sounds like a loss, doesn’t it? Well, one of the ways of getting rid of old used second-hand books is simply using them for decoration. You can neatly stack your books in a beautiful pattern and even paint them with your favorite color. You can even grab yourself a beautiful shelf for memories as one of the ways of decorating your house with second hand books. Bookshelves are artistic and one way of telling your visitors that you love reading books without really saying it.

Shareability of used books with bookworms

Bookworms are all about adventure and memories. This is what they crave for the most, just to help with their already boring life. Well, imagine sending and eBook to a friend you have never met for years, that sounds great, doesn’t it? Then imagine of having an old second hand book that is not being printed anymore. The book has a few side notes in there that your old bibliophile friend will encounter while reading it. Cover it and paint it beautifully, wrap it and present it to him as a gift. Not only is he having a sense of ownership as we said but he also has an advantage of getting a rare book. Here, you can easily get the book back if you would like to re-read a chapter. Even if you will not have to own the second-hand book anymore, your generation can be in possession of it.

Second hand books do not require internet and electricity

There are no more extra costs after buying second hand books. You are good to go the moment you get it. As eBooks are ideal for travelling, your device may just run out of power the moment you are just diving deep into the eBook. This may leave you in suspense as you wait to recharge your device. You do not have to worry about such when it comes to second-hand books. Some eBooks require you to read them online, thus increasing the internet costs. This also enable us to travel with second-hand books to the countryside where there may be no supply of electricity.

Your health kept in check with used books

A team from Harvard Medical School warned that if you curl up under the duvet with an eBook for a bedtime read then you are damaging your sleep and maybe your health. One might argue that the eBook reading devices enable you to control the strength of the brightness but that is not enough to prevent the effects of the blue light. The blue light disrupts the body clock thus disrupting your sleep pattern.

Unlike eBooks, second-hand used books keep you away from screens and do not emit any light at all. Reading second hand books before bed prepares for you a good sleep. It relaxes your body from the pressure that your mind has been put upon by your day-to-day tasks. Second-hand books have a comfortable feeling which takes you slowly to wonderland as you surrender yourself into the adventures of the protagonist.

Make side notes in your second-hand book

Among other benefits of buying second hand books online, there is the fact that some of the books come with scribblings from their previous owner. These writings are great for you get to interact with a stranger as you read, perhaps get to know a thing or two. We all get ourselves deep inside an old used second-hand book and maybe you want to leave behind a little thought of yourself. Perhaps it is an idea that popped up due to the storyline. We of course we would grab our pen or pencil and just scribble down something. eBooks give you no good chance.

Second-hand books are distraction free.

You should be as sure as the sun rises in the East that your eBook reading device will be buzzing with lots of notifications. Even if you put it in silent, some push notifications will still be popping out which promotes non-linear reading. Having your reading disrupted every twenty to thirty minutes may just lead you away from your reading session as you keep checking the notifications. Let us be real, you might want to check out that Instagram message from a friend of yours.

Second-hand books are built with no notifications. It is just you, the author, the protagonist and other characters. All you have to do is simply set an alarm to let you know when you have to stop reading and go to sleep, thus having no interruption your reading session.

Save money with your second-hand books

Immediately after reading the above subheading, you might argue that well, eBooks are just as cheap as second hand books. That is true, but let us think in other terms. Say you have read seven finance and investment books while your friend who is a bibliophile has read seven self-help eBooks. It might not make sense at all you to be parting with old used second-hand books which have been keeping you company over a long period of time. Everyday, as you fade away to sleep, you have a picture of you books by your side or somewhere in the room, a little bit of company. It feels like a loss if you are really a bookworm.

You can save yourself money by simply finding someone who has other second-hand books and exchange them instead of going over the internet to find another eBook. This is not to say that you cannot exchange eBooks. It is possible but there are limits. Like you cannot exchange an eBook that can only be read online.

You can also save yourself money by selling second-hand used books online. These books can be sold or even donated depending on your interests.


We may go through all the pros and cons of using second-hand books over eBooks but we may hardly come to a conclusion that works for everyone. We are all bibliophiles regardless of whether we read second hand books or eBooks. It comes down to being a matter of preferences. Want to travel somewhere far with three books? Choose eBooks. Want to have a good sleep in the evening? Choose second-hand books.


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