I don't like buying anything without having the opportunity to at least look it over for a few moments. Genealogy/family history books are no different. In fact, I'm now even more apprehensive about buying books after having been disappointed with the lack of documentation in a few of the titles. That doesn't mean I won't repeat the mistake again, though.
I was recently willing to spend a few bucks on a book that I'd use for a few months, then give as a Christmas gift. (Give me a break, I was going to give it to a toddler who wouldn't know any better or, hopefully, appreciate it for several years.)
The book was auctioned online and I didn't want to go overboard, so I only exceeded my initial limit a few times. As it turned out, though, a few people really wanted this book and it sold for about twice as much as I had hoped to get it for and about 30% more than my highest bid.
Since then, I've found two copies for sale at a fixed price. Great. The prices are lower, but still close to what the auction ended at and it looks like these books are a little more worn. Darn.
Should I take another chance? (Keep in mind that the book has no information on my ancestors; my interest is solely for a kind of side project.)