A first-of-its-kind study on used books reveals that sales last year topped $2.2 billion in the United States - an 11 percent gain from 2003 - and represented 8.4 percent of total consumer spending on books.More from Jeffrey Goldfarb on Yahoo News.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we could double that 8 percent over the next five years," said Boris Wertz, chief operating officer for online book retailer Abebooks. "I don't think that's unrealistic."
Though used book sales have traditionally been associated with quaint and musty shops, growth on the Internet surged by 33 percent to $609 million in 2004, according to the study, while bookstore gains were only about 4.5 percent.
That compares with relatively flat sales of new books over the past few years.