Books with Two Stories: Buying Used

Screen shot 2014-06-22 at 12.40.53 PM

This weekend, I took my kids to a huge used book sale in our town. We headed right to the room with children’s books (of course!), which was clearly organized by grade level groupings. Each of my children darted off to their perspective rows. As I shopped myself, I kept stealing glances at my kids. They were sorting through the covers to see what stood out to them, stopping occasionally to flip through the pages or read the back cover. Some books warranted a sit down on floor to read it cover to cover that very minute. Then if a book was really lucky, it got tucked under their arm. I could almost hear the book saying, “Hooray! I have a new home!”

Rows and rows and piles and piles of books, all well-read and well-loved. Each with two stories: the one on it’s pages and the one about it’s history. Where was it bought originally? How many owners has it had? How many times was it read? Was it in a library? In a classroom? Was it a bedtime favorite? Did it go on a car trip? A plane trip? Some of these books give you clues. Maybe with a heartfelt inscription on the inside cover, crayon scribbles throughout, or a deep crease in the spine from continually being opened and shut. There’s a specialness to a used book.

Don’t get me wrong, becoming the owner of a brand new book is special too – just a different kind of special. The fresh smell, the crisp pages, the cracking sound it makes when you open it for the first time. Ahhh, I love that sound! But new books are expensive and start to add up. I rarely buy more than one at a time, with most of the books we read coming from the library. But look how many used books we got at the sale for only $12!
DSC_1285What a deal! My kids got so excited when I said they could each pick out five books. Five? Oh my goodness, Mom! Thank you so much! What a fun experience for a child to shop for books and leave with their very own stack. This was a great way to beat the summer heat. And when we got home, we had something else to do…READ!

Go grab some used books this summer and become a part of a book’s special history – it’s second story.

5 thoughts on “Books with Two Stories: Buying Used

  1. Becky O

    Don’t laugh but this post actually made me choke up a little! We are in the process of sorting through my kids books and thinking of their books having a second life and being loved by someone else moved me! Lovely, lovely post!

  2. Amy

    What a fantastic day it sounds (and looks) like you had, Susanne!

    I recently joined SCBWI and found your blog through another blog on the site’s blog list. I’ve regularly followed Tara Lazar’s blog for a couple of years, and wanted to add just a couple of more to my blogroll for inspiration and encouragement. Yours immediately resonated with me, and it’s been such a fun and helpful resource. I actually lived and practiced law in the DC area for several years before returning to my home of central NY. We’re in our final week of school here up north!

    Was perusing the July/August SCBWI Bulletin over the weekend and saw your poem! Congratulations!


    1. Susanne Whitehouse Post author

      Thank you Amy! So glad you like my blog. I’m having fun with it. 🙂 You are going to love SCBWI and all it has to offer. Definitely take advantage of the conferences if you can. The NY winter conference in February was amazing! What kinds of books do you write?

      And thank you for mentioning the poem! I didn’t know it was in the next issue. Yea!

      Take care and happy writing!


      1. Amy

        Yes, that’s what I hear – go to conferences! The NY winter conference is definitely on my radar. And going to the Annual in LA one day would be a dream come true.

        I participated in PiBoIdMo for the first time last year, and am finally starting to put some of those ideas into manuscript form; but, for the most part, I’ve concentrated on children’s poetry. For about the last two years, I’ve been submitting to children’s magazines, without any luck. I keep writing them, and submitting them, anyway!

        Looking forward to following you on your journey. Glad you’re having so much fun!

Comments are closed.