Used books often have a surprise something extra in them, and it is usually welcome, to me: old boarding passes, a program to a show, a photo, the paper money of other countries, sometimes no longer in use. In a small town, a used books store can also have a sort of slow-moving gossip hidden on the shelves—the book signed by a local author to another local author or scholar, and when you know them both, it works as a strange sort of subtext.
Yes, it might mean very little. But it might not.
And sometimes, a book, but especially, a collection, is a death announcement.