Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shop at Your Library

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.


  1. That's awesome! I used to love going to our local library for book sales. They don't seem to have as many nice books as they used to. I like to look for very old keepers that I may have read long ago. Special books.

  2. Great pile of new books!!

    My BFF and I used to wait very impatiently/eagerly for April and the Seattle Libraries book sale. We would get up early, stand in line with hundreds of other folks, then for a couple of hours we'd lose track of each other in the mayhem. Later, after hauling our overstuffed bags to the car, we always went out to breakfast and rehashed the experience, drooling over our new treasures. A great memory...

  3. The library book sale is one of my favorites. So is the university women's sale coming up in a couple of weeks. There are always treasure to be found.

  4. I recently swung by the library in my old hometown. Instead of a once-in-a-while sale, they have converted one of the meeting rooms into a small used bookshop. I picked up In Cold Blood and Devil in the White City for $2.

  5. Thanks for buying used books from your Library sale! I work as a fundraiser for the Indianapolis Public Library foundation and book sales really do help us provide funding for library programs!

  6. The Harlequin Presents made me smile. I have also been reading Harlequin since I was a teen. They were a life saving mini-vacation when I was in college trying to struggle through Melville.

  7. The last two winters we spent in Florida and every few days we'd stop by the library to pick up more books to read, both ones to borrow and used ones in their shop. After we finished reading the ones we bought, they were all donated back to be sold again. With the number of snowbirds that stay in that area, I imagine that some of the books have been bought and sold numerous times.


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