Millions of cheap used books are offered for sale online by bookstores and booksellers on the AbeBooks marketplace. Our prices start at just $1 plus shipping and there is a huge selection of cheap used books and secondhand books - hardcover and softcover – just waiting for a new home. Our booksellers ship used books all over the world and many copies are also offered with free shipping. The choice is massive – thousands of classic novels and bestsellers, biographies and memoirs, self-help, cookbooks, children’s books, affordable textbooks for school, and out-of-print titles.
When buying used books, condition is the all important factor. Please carefully read the bookseller descriptions. You will see many used copies described as 'as new' – these are often remaindered books that failed to sell in a bookstore and have never been owned by a reader. If buying a hardcover book, check for the presence of a dust jacket.
Many ex-library books are listed for sale on AbeBooks. These are used books that were once owned by, and circulated in, a public library. They can offer excellent value for money but may have been read many times. They usually display a stamp, a card pocket, or catalog number.
The definitions below are for reference only. Booksellers use these terms, as well as unique terms not included in this list, based on their own criteria. If you would like clarification on any term in a particular seller's description, please contact the bookseller directly for further information.
As New: The book is in the same immaculate condition as when it was published. This could be the description for a book that has been lost in a warehouse for years, never shelved, thumbed or even opened yet may still be some years old.
Fine (F or FN): A Fine book approaches the condition of As New, but without being crisp. The book may have been opened and read, but there are no defects to the book, jacket or pages.
Very Good (VG): Describes a book that shows some small signs of wear - but no tears - on either binding or paper. Any defects should be noted by the seller.
Good (G): Describes the average used worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects should be noted by the seller.
Fair: Worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, jacket (if any), etc., may also be worn. All defects should be noted.
Poor: Describes a book that is sufficiently worn. Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. This copy may be soiled, scuffed, stained or spotted and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.
Binding Copy: describes a book in which the pages or leaves are perfect but the binding is very bad, loose, off, or nonexistent.
Reading Copy: A copy usually in poor to fair condition that includes all text presented in a legible fashion. The copy is fine to read but nothing more.
Visit our guide to book conditions to better understand the difference between fair, very good, fine and all the other descriptors in play to describe used books.
Of course, the greatest joy of used book-buying is treasure hunting - finding unbelievable bargains or discovering a long forgotten title that hasn't been seen in a bookshop for 30 years. Search away!