Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Books, Books, Books Redux

Having just found a pile of the excellent Horizon-Caravel world history books for $1-$2 each, all at one bookseller (thus making the shipping cost only about $1/book), I'm feeling smugly generous and will deign to share tips for buying homeschooling history books over the internet without going broke. Or at least going broke in such small increments that you hardly notice it.

Tips for buying out-of-print books: Use a bookseller search engine that searches multiple booksellers, such as Bookfinder, rather than looking on (e.g.) Biblio.com, Amazon, or Half.com individually. This will allow you to compare prices easily. Try to buy multiple books simultaneously; the shipping cost for additional books is usually much lower than for a single book. Figure out which sellers tend to have the books you want, and bookmark them; or when you find a book you want, search that seller for more of the books you want (you do have a list going, don't you?). EBay, as always, is simultaneously the land of breathtaking bargains and hugely overbid white elephants.

Have an idea of the price range for the book you want. Landmark and Vision books are usually more expensive, as their reissue has raised their profile and increased demand. Keep in mind that a shipping cost of about $3.50 will be added to your price.

Look at similar, non-series books by the same author as a book you like. Books not part of a series are of significantly less interest to collectors, and are accordingly very cheap.

Save time by limiting your search to under a certain dollar amount, and/or only to hardcover books. Ex libris books are of no value to collectors, and so are cheaper; booksellers will often indicate good-condition books with no collectors' value as "good reading copy."

2 Comments:

Blogger sophia said...

Wow! Thanks, Opinionated Homeschooler, for being so generous and helpful! A friend of mine just told me about "Addall". I'll try out "Bookfinder" and compare.
Almost hastily bought Eusebius at B&N the other day for $16 on impulse. I had it in my hands and was breathing in that new book smell. Then, I recovered my senses and put it back. I looked it up the other day, and found there are different versions. Any suggestions on which one to get first?

3:53 PM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

I like the free ones. Check out CCEL.org or NewAdvent.org -- I see good old Eusebius at http://www.ccel.org/e/eusebius/
and at
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/

I also like to hit the used bookstores right after the beginning and right after the end of each semester; one of the perks of living in a town with a massive university is the wealth of good scholarly versions of everything floating around used. And ours has a big religious studies program. I bet you could find a good Eusebius from the Spring semester right now.

6:17 PM  

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