It may have been obvious from previous posts, but I am a huge fan of collecting reference books. Even in this day and age when the Internet is seen to be the be all and end all of gathering and finding information, in my view, you still cannot beat researching a fact within a good reference book. How many times does looking for one fact in a book lead to the discovery of so many more? I tend not to get that with the internet where it tends to be a more simple find the fact and move on Getting lost in a good reference book is all too common for quizzers!
I have mentioned on a few occasions some of the most useful and enjoyable reference books I have come across and intend on putting something like a top 10 together in the future. But one issue people have raised with me, especially when they see my book shelf, is the cost of acquiring so many. Even though bargains can be found online, buying books new can be a costly purchase. Even second hand retailers online and places like ebay and the amazon marketplace can charge high prices for big tomes of information.
A few months back I decided to try charity shops, mainly hunting for quiz books but discovered many of the high street brands stock good quality reference books. Books that are long out of print, hard to get hold of and usually they have been well looked after and are in mint condition. As someone who never really went into charity shops previously, I was somewhat surprised. I found myself picking up great quality reference books, books I did not know existed too, for next to nothing. You can literally enter a charity shop with a tenner and get together more reference books than you can carry!
I have got the latest Hutchinsons Encylopedia just this morning for £1, mint condition. Other recent finds include Guinness Book of Knowledge for £1, a fantastic AA illustrated guide to Britain for 50p, Trevor Montagues A-Z of Sport for 50p, various quiz books for pennies and other such gems.
This may be old news to a lot of people, but for anyone with a high expenditure on books such as I have, it is well worth hunting down the book sections in your local charity shop to see whats on offer.