9 Times You Should Buy New Books

Portrait of a young man in a bookstore at the mall
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Confession time: I'm a writer who rarely buys books. I blame/thank Marie Kondo, who helped me wheedle down a staggering library — I gave away forty boxes — to little more than one reasonable shelf. Ever since going through the purge, I've been pretty hesitant to slide back into my old ways. Fortunately, I'm a writer who writes about books, so sometimes people send me books, and other times I use one my local libraries, and, okay, other times I bite the bullet and splurge. (Truthfully, though, I try to only buy once I've given away titles that no longer have a place on my shelf.)

If you're at all like me, then, you know buying a new book can feel like kind of a big deal. It's so pristine, so new, so yours. It's both investment and obligation — neither bad things, really —  and for that reason, it seems worth considering. After all, why buy a new book when you can save a few bucks and buy a used book? (Or save a few more bucks and hit up your library.)

As it turns out, plenty of situations merit splurging on that new, pristine, uncracked spine. And thank goodness. No matter how tidy my apartment gets, I still feel the most joy when I'm wandering around the bookstore.

You know you should buy a new book...


When It's Pay Day

Because you're spending your money on what that's more important than your reading life?


When You're Gift Shopping

Unless you're splurging on an autographed first edition for a diehard bibliophile, avoid your friends and loved ones thinking you just wrapped up something from your shelf by making sure that dust jacket's brand spanking new and uncreased.


When You're A Super Fan

Which means you'll also probably buy the book in both hardcover and paperback iterations... and that's fine. Totally fine.


When You Know That Book's Gonna See Some Spills

And you want to make sure those spills are yours. (I'm talking about cooking, people, geez!)


When You're A Germaphobe

Well, now that we're all thinking about bodily fluids ...


When You Want To Mark The Heck Out Of That Book

Are you reading this book for school or study? Do you consider yourself lethal with a ballpoint or a highlighter? Probably, you want a fresh copy to do your worst.


When You're At The Airport And You Packed Horribly

What better excuse is there to buy something shiny and new that feels like a splurge? #TreatYoself.


When You're In Another Country

Finding books in English (if that's your limitation, like it is mine) that aren't by William Shakespeare can be tricky enough. No need to try to go all secondhand when abroad!


When You're Supporting A Writer Friend

It's just good manners!