The Used Book Dilemma


Last week I took on the daunting task of cleaning out my book closet.  It was overflowing and although it pained me, I had to get rid of some.  So by the end, I had two boxes of books that needed to find a new home.

Because throwing away or even recycling books makes me sad, I decided to bring the books to the used bookstore.  Two boxes of books--hundreds of dollars worth--yielded me a whopping thirty bucks.  And of course, while they were preparing my estimate, I was shopping.  I ended up spending almost to the penny what I got back (all part of their evil plan I know.)
Now, this is the first time I've shopped at the used bookstore in a while.  Since I've been writing, I've started to feel guilty when I buy used books because I know the author doesn't get any money for those.  However, at the same time, I'm not made of money (damn, I'm sounding like a parent) so the prices are tempting.  
So what I ended up doing was buying old books by authors I've always wanted to try.  I came home with books by Nora Roberts, Jennifer Cruisie, Julia Quinn, and a few others.  (I just heard the collective gasp of all the romance writers/readers over the fact that I've never read a Nora Roberts.  But I came to romance via romantic suspense, so I grew up on Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, etc. before my jump into straight romance and just never made it to Nora.  I'm going to fix that.)
Now I know that in some ways, used book sales can help authors because someone may try an author for the cheap price, then if they like them, start buying their newer releases.  But I also know some people only buy their books used no matter what--which means the author never really benefits unless the person promotes them via word of mouth.  So I guess I have mixed feelings.
Therefore, I'd love to hear your opinions.  Do you buy used books?  How do you feel about the system?  Have you sold your own books back to a used bookstore?

**Today's Theme Song**
"Use Somebody" - Kings of Leon
(player in sidebar, take a listen)