This guy hates second hand books. Why? Because they’re gross. I have to say, I can see some of this. There’ve been a couple of times I’ve opened a recently purchased second hand book and played the guess the stain game. But then, try looking up the stats on fecal matter, even just for your office environment, and you see that it doesn’t really matter what precautions you take, you’re still always eating shit at work.
As someone who buys far too many books – and even reads some of them – I should be the sort of person who jumps at the chance to save precious funds by purchasing second-hand. Thanks to the growth of Amazon Marketplace, and the continuing presence of charity shops on every high street, it is now easy to spend pennies rather than pounds on a book. This is great news for bookworms everywhere.
Well, not quite everywhere, because I can’t stand second-hand books. For me, as a literary experience, they are akin to sloppy seconds, a salad bar in a staff canteen at the end of a hot weekday, or a recently-vacated cubicle in a public toilet. Let’s be clear: I don’t merely have a mild preference for buying brand-new. No, I’m digestively squeamish about used books. It’s all those stains, thumbprints and creases that get me so queasy. I’m far from a gentle reader and by the time I’ve taken in the first few chapters of any brand-new tome, it will often be creased and coffee-stained beyond recognition. But they will be my creases and my stains, and that’s what matters.