Used Books from + Discount + Giveaway!

If you’ve been reading here awhile, you know I never push any products on readers (except really good books). So I promise it’s something I recommend highly if I’m promoting it.

You also may also know how much I love used books. I like the idea of recycling them, and I appreciate being able to buy way more books than I could afford if I bought them all brand new.

During the pandemic last year, I was looking for new ways to find books I wanted since libraries were closed and not every title was available as an ebook loan. I found through a bookmark advertising voucher inside a book I’d bought elsewhere (I know how this sounds, but it was pandemic online shopping and I’ve since gotten it under control).

In case, like me, you hadn’t heard of them before, is a used book retailer (although they also sell new books, often below list price). Their used books are priced as low as $3.88 each; which, YES.

I ordered a few titles to see what shape they were in, most for $3.88, and I was pleasantly surprised at how great the condition was even for books only marked “good”. I haven’t ordered any marked “acceptable,” but “good” and “very good” were excellent by my used-book standards. I also ordered a few months later when they had a holiday sale (signing up for their email list gets you all the promotion and sale alerts).

Long story short: I love them. So you can imagine how excited I was when they contacted me about joining their affiliate program, which means if readers use my affiliate links to purchase from, I get a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. And hopefully I can help you discover a fantastic resource for affordable used books!

Now the best part: they’ve got goodies for readers of this blog. First, use the code WHATSNF10 to get 10% off used book orders of $10 or more (the discount code is only good for used, not new books).

Second, they’re gifting a $25 book haul to one What’s Nonfiction reader. Did your heart skip a beat in excitement, fellow used book lover? I hope so!

With Nonfiction November right around the corner and reading lists and discussion topics to plan for the month, a book haul would be perfect for grabbing a few titles on the month’s nonfiction reading list. Or maybe to add some that end up on your New to My TBR.

Here’s my ~$25 book haul (I went over by like $1.50) to show you about how many books you can expect to get for that amount, but especially what you can get for $3.88, which is what all but one of these were priced at (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking was $5.07).

Sorry to depress you with my bleak NYC window views, but we have had some sunny blue-sky days lately!

I went for some big favorites that have been on my to-own list: Sylvain Tesson’s Berezina, Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, An American Childhood, and The Writing Life, Ann Hood’s Kitchen Yarns, Jessa Crispin’s The Dead Ladies Project, Anya von Bremzen’s Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, and Eat Joy: Stories of Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers, edited by Natalie Eve Garrett. (I sense a food writing theme here, which is giving me Nonfiction November ideas. See how helpful a book haul would be for next month?)

Out of all of these, only one had stickers or any kind of marking, as you can see in the photo. They’re in great condition — better than many I’ve bought through used sellers on Amazon — and shipping is free and took about a week.

Would you like to win a $25 used book haul on Here’s the must-do:

  1. Entries close this Monday, October 18 at 9 am Eastern time
  2. You must reside in the US
  3. Follow @secondsaleofficial on Instagram and/or sign up for the newsletter directly on their site (bottom right corner of their main page)
  4. Be a follower of What’s Nonfiction
  5. Let me know you’ve done that by commenting below and telling me: What’s your favorite used-book find? (You get a bonus entry if it’s nonfiction!) Or: What used book have you been on the hunt for lately?

I’ll notify the lucky winner in the comments and ask you to send me your email address (privately, no personal info posted here), which I’ll pass along to the folks at to get your promo code for the $25 book haul. Sound good? Of course it does!

Now here’s my favorite find and current search: Years ago when I was traveling in Europe one summer, I checked every secondhand shop I came across for a copy of Gravity’s Rainbow. It’s a doorstopper and I wanted a lighter mass-market edition that would fit in my one overpacked summer-long travel bag. It was seeming an impossible dream until I found it in a little used bookstore in Budapest. I still have it and it still makes me happy to remember the search and finally finding it.

The one I’m looking for is The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton. I cherished the copy I bought new but after searching my books left in storage while I lived abroad, it seems to have been lost, sadly. I’m hunting a like-new used copy.

Have you tried yet? Everyone is welcome to use my code WHATSNF10 to get 10% off used book orders of $10 or more, and please do enter the book haul giveaway by Monday morning. Good luck!


20 thoughts on “Used Books from + Discount + Giveaway!

Add yours

  1. Wait this is incredible. I use a similar site but their prices aren’t as low anymore and their quality is hit or miss so I am definitely going to check this out!

    I have so many great nonfiction finds I don’t know how to choose! I’d have to say Cosmos by Carl Sagan though – yes it is one of my favorite books but I also got it from a free book pile at an independent store run by a little old man!

    And recently I have been looking for Quiet by Susan Cain. For obvious reasons lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m so glad I could introduce you to them! It helped me save a lot just compared to the other used book sites I’d been using, and for readers like us who go through a tonnnnn of books, every bit helps!

      So funny you mention the Carl Sagan because one of the books I bought from them last year was The Demon Haunted World, and I *just* finished it a couple weeks ago! I need to go look up your writings on that one. I really liked it but I know I didn’t get everything from it on a first pass, it’ll need a reread.

      Quiet is one of my all-time favorites, I just love it! And it helped me a lot too, actually. So many things I was identifying as flaws or bad quirks in myself weren’t that at all, and that seemed really simple and obvious but somehow it just hadn’t been. I flip through it again quite often to remind myself!

      Thanks so much for entering!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like them and they’re a great option for used books and even decently priced new ones. Do you want to enter the giveaway?? Let me know if you signed up for their mailing if so!!


  2. I’ve ordered from them before and like you, I was impressed with the condition of my books. Plus the free shipping, you have to love that! Right now, I have 2 packages from them on my counter. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thrilled to hear you had a similar experience with the quality, I was hoping it wasn’t only me! They really are a great find. I’ve had two orders in the last month too 🙈 but the free shipping is a good incentive! Did you want to enter the giveaway? Let me know if so, and if you’ve subscribed to their newsletter or followed on social media, and I’ll add your name to the entries!


  3. How good to have this source. I’m fortunate enough to have nine charity shops on my local high street, one of which is given over totally to books, and I’ve had a lot of great ones from them including the Islomania one I’ve just reviewed. And I enjoyed seeing your view there! Always interesting. Mine is so British Edwardian suburban!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nine?! So lucky!! Although probably would be a bit dangerous too 😂 I’ve got a couple of great thrift stores, including one just a few blocks away, with very cheap books.

      Glad you enjoyed the view! I love when we get some sunshine but it can look a bit depressing otherwise, just the close-together buildings…but that’s NY! British Edwardian suburban sounds absolutely lovely!!


  4. So I’m a day late with entering this contest. I got so excited about your post and about purchasing used books that I didn’t read all the way through. I even missed the the 10% discount! 😢 Anyway, I purchased 20 books! Here are a few titles: “Still I Rise A Cartoon History of African Americans”, “ Native American Games and Stories” and “ The Dragonet Prophecy Wings of Fire books 1-3” for my kids.

    I’m following the store on IG and ice subscribed to their mailing list.

    Thanks for this resource. I hope I can use the discount code later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so sorry you missed out on the giveaway, but I’m thrilled I could help you discover a great new resource for used books, and especially that you were able to find so many for you and your kids!!!

      I’m not sure how long the discount code is valid for, and it may only be a single-use, but do give it a try next time. (In case it doesn’t work let me know, and I’ll see if I can arrange a new discount code for you for your next order.)

      Enjoy your new reads!!

      Liked by 1 person

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