My reading habit is usually heavier than my wallet, so when my new book budget for the month runs out I'll hit flea markets, rummage sales and used book stores to browse for bargains. I also like to stop in public libraries and see what books they're selling (usually offered by friends of the library in some shelves upfront or a separate room), and I make a point to always go to library book sales, like this one:
Library book sales are pretty wonderful for a couple of reasons: the variety of books (awesome), the prices (even more so) and the neat sectioning and alphabetizing of the books (I think when you work at a library this becomes second nature.) There are also lots of long, lovely tables tables like these:
On my most recent trip I was primarily looking mainly for purse books, aka a book I can throw in my purse and take with me wherever I go. For this kind of purchase I like Harlequin Presents because they're short reads and the romances are over-the-top and often quite exotic. I've also been reading HPs since I was a teen, so for me they're comfort books, too. That said, brand-new HPs cost about four bucks each, so I only pay retail for titles by my favorite authors. I also like to look for old paperbacks, interesting hardcovers and pretty much anything that looks like a decent read.
And here's my haul:
I picked up two hardcovers -- an Amanda Quick for my friend Jill and a keepsake how-to by Victoria magazine -- as well as three rare old paperbacks I'd read way back in my teens and twenties. I also scored 27 HPs, most by two writers I like and a copy of a Robyn Donald favorite to serve as a lender. Retail for all these books new would have been in the neighborhood of $175.00; even at the Dollar store they would have cost me $32.00. At the library sale I paid $4.95 for the entire pile, or about fifteen cents a book. All profits from the sale go directly to support the library, too. When I'm done reading the books I bought I will pass along the best to friends and then donate the rest back to the library, perhaps to be sold again at another library book sale in the future.