I love library book sales. Spring is library book sale season, which is why my posting has been so limited for the last few weeks. All Spring long I get incoming waves of books that need to be sorted, cleaned up, added to my master spreadsheet, and then cataloged on LibraryThing, which takes up a substantial chunk of my spare time. The downside of this book bonanza is that I end up getting behind on my reading and reviewing this time of year. I know, I could simply not make the rounds of the book sales, but that is just crazy talk.
The weekend before last I went to the Centreville Library book sale and made out reasonably well getting 81 books including 38 hardbacks. This past weekend I went to the Purcellville Library book sale and picked up 89 book, although only 17 were hardbacks. These are actually fairly modest hauls for me, as owning almost 8,000 is making it harder to find books in my preferred genres that I don't already own. I usually make an effort to try to avoid unnecessarily buying duplicate copies of the same book, but even so, I ended up with quite a few these past two weekends. Because there are usually a lot of people at these sales, I try to move through the stacks quickly so as to not be in the way of other patrons and prefer to err on the side of getting a book if I'm not sure whether I have it or not, resulting in a fair amount of unintentional duplicate purchases. That said, I sometimes intentionally purchase duplicates of books that I know I own if I find a copy that is in particularly good condition or if I find a hardback version and I only have a mass market paperback.
For me, the best part of a library book sale is the hunt: looking through boxes and boxes of books and pulling out the ones that look good, and the joy of finding a copy of a book that you've been wanting for a while. When I go to a library sale I always go without looking for a any particular book, because like a used book store, you can never be sure what they will have, but when I get lucky and find something I've been wanting, or come across an obscure science fiction title from the 1950s that I had never heard of before, it makes me feel unreasonably happy. The second best part is that you can get books ridiculously cheap: I have gotten books at library book sales for as little a a quarter of a cent each. The books I got these past two weeks weren't quite that cheap - averaged out, I spent just under $1.00 per book - but they were still a great deal.
If you love books you should go to your local library book sales. You will get some good books and the money you spend will go to help out your local library. If you don't know when your local libraries have their book sales, you should find out and try to go.
Random Thoughts Home