January 10, 2015 in 

An ex-library book is any book borrowed and returned by a library, with its logo or stamp visible on its spine and often attached barcode on its back cover. While ex-library books generally don’t hold as much collectibility value as non-library ones, they still can be quite valuable and collectible.

An ex-library book may appeal to collectors for various reasons. An out-of-print title has only ever been available through library sales, or there is only a rare first-edition copy. Whatever their motivation, collectors should remember that ex-library books do not hold as much value as those that have never seen library use.

Are they buying ex-library books? Make sure that before making your decision, all pages are present and in good condition; additionally, double-check the barcode is undamaged and intact.

Ex-library books are:

  • An integral part of literary culture
  • Providing access to material they otherwise might not find easily and offering people an avenue to donate books to libraries for storage.
  • Helping keep shelves full of fresh material.

Though ex-library books may not be in perfect condition, they remain an economical way of purchasing more books. Ex-library books typically sell for a fraction of their original price – making them a smart budget buy. Before purchasing one, however, be sure to inspect it as there may be missing pages or damage; overall, ex-library books offer great bargains!

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About the author 

CJ McDaniel

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!

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