Nathan Bransford, an agent at Curtis Brown, urges his readers to buy new books because authors don't get money on secondhand sales. We-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l......
I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers who bought secondhand copies of The Last Samurai and sent a token of their esteem to the author via PayPal. I'd especially like to thank the reader who generously sent $150, thereby enabling me to buy a decadent sofa on eBay (you know who you are) and the five readers who sent donations of $50, enabling me to splash out on Michael Crawley's The R Book, Deepayan Sarkar's Multivariate Plots in Lattice and other indispensable works of reference. But I'd also like to thank the hundreds of readers who took the time to send a donation of a dollar or so, when it would be easy to think the amount was so small it would make no difference. It does make a difference. In this case, the difference between buying BonaVista's MicroCharts and prudently deferring in the interest of more or less manageable credit card debt.
I seem to have fallen into a humorous tone which does not really express my feelings. I'm always touched when a reader takes the trouble to do this. You didn't have to do it. It's completely optional. You're absolutely entitled to buy a secondhand book; it's not obligatory to send something to the author, it's just an unbelievably nice thing to do. So thank you all very much.
[For those new to the topic, the original post on secondhand sales, global warming and authors' finances is here.]