MSN had an article in City Guide about the best used book stores that validated an observation I had regarding the library’s Amazon site:
What do used bookstores want to buy? “The past 12 months of bestsellers are usually in high demand, but it falls apart with mass-produced authors,” says Sherar. “With Stephen King, hundreds of thousands of copies hit the market simultaneously. They all get gobbled up, read within a week and then dumped on the market, which makes the used price collapse.”
One sure thing: “There’s always a need for classics like Faulkner, provided they’re in reasonably good shape,” says Sherar.
People are looking for a bargain, and the market floods pretty quickly. A new hardcover that we list for $8 or $10 might sell right away, or it might end up sitting for ninety days (until the listing expires) as the going rate plummets down to a penny.
The purpose of the article was to do a “Best in the US” for used book stores. Faulkner House Books in New Orleans is listed, as the more high brow store of the bunch. As I’ve said, I really enjoy visiting the many library used book sales in the area, as well as Half Price Books. I have so many unread books that even at Half Price Books I have resolved to browse only the clearance section for books that I can pick up for a dollar or two. For example, my current read was first published in hardcover in 2007. I picked up the trade paperback for a dollar.
I am wondering if perhaps the economy is making people sell more of their books? But then why are they buying new releases in the first place? Or perhaps the Kindle is messing with the lifecycle?
Anyway. It is definitely a buyer’s market now.