There’s something romantic about reading books in their original form. As e-book sales continue to decline, it’s clear consumers feel the same way. Not just about new, wonderful smelling books, but those worn by time, too. An article in the Washington Post details the comeback used bookstores are having. In a time where a lot of consumers head to Amazon or other online retailers for their shopping fix, used bookstores provide shoppers with a satisfying browsing experience and equally good deals. Some used books, however, are more collectors’ items. Commit the titles below to memory in case you stumble upon one of them for a steal in your local used bookstore.

1. “Rage” by Stephen King

Easily going for hundreds of dollars online, “Rage” was the first novel Stephen King wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Part of the reason this used book is so valuable is because King let the book fall out of print in the United States after it, along with three other novels penned under the Bachman name, were published in a separate collection. Many of King’s previous works are popular in the used book scene as well.

2. “Sex” by Madonna

Would a book written by Madonna be called anything other than “Sex?” This used book, published in 1992, is more famous for the photographs it contains, rather than the words. “Sex” features erotic photographs of the singer and some of her famous friends like Vanilla Ice and Naomi Campbell. Since the book is spiral bound, finding copies in pristine condition is difficult, and will probably have a price tag to reflect that.

3. “365 Bedtime Stories” by Nan Gilbert

“365 Bedtime Stories” contains just that, a year full of bedtime stories. First editions of this used book go for as much as $800 on Amazon. The illustrator, Jill Elgin, was an artist who drew World War II comics and her work was featured in comic books including the “Green Hornet.”

4. “On the Psychology of Military Incompetence” by Norman F. Dixon

This non-fiction used book examines the long history of military inefficiency, spanning from the Crimean War to the Second World War. This is accomplished by case studies that reveal a pattern which led to similar inefficiencies throughout history. Although this used book doesn’t come with a huge price tag (you can snag a copy for under $20), the demand for it is nonetheless very high.

5. “Lovely Reed: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Building Bamboo Fly Rods” by Jack Howell

Although constructing bamboo fly rods seems like a pretty random topic, the demand for this used book is not. What may seem like a dry subject, photos and illustrations make the experience of constructing your very own fly rod look appealing. Potential purchasers of this book should either be interested in fly rods or serious used book collectors, because copies of this reference book can go for more than $200.


What used book is on your wish list?




Kirstin Wright
Kirstin Wright
Kirstin is an IT worker by day and a freelance writer by night. When not behind a computer screen, she can be found exploring one of central Florida's famous theme parks or embarking on a new adventure. You can read about her adventures at Fun Orlando Ideas!