If you’re a serial book buyer (like me), then you know the jittery excitement a used book sale can produce. There are the rows and rows (and possibly rows) of books once loved and then forgotten, ready and waiting for your finger to lazily sweep across its spine and be tempted enough by the title or the author or the color or the font or the size (etc., etc.) to pick it up and quite possibly bring it home. There are the sweaty palms you get just thinking about what kind of out-of-print gems or lingering title on your to-buy list (because we all have one) you’ll find inconspicuously sitting next to a mass market romance or last year’s best seller.
And then there’s the cold hard fact that, no matter the publisher’s sticker price, the highest you’ll pay for a book is most likely $5.00 (but probably only 50¢ – $1.00).
Because I work at a library, I almost always get first dibs on newly withdrawn books or off-hand donations being put on the for-sale cart (which is its own kind of torture). But there’s also the pure joy of walking into a library not-always-visited or finding out about a library’s much anticipated yearly book sale that really gets me going. I just love looking, even if nothing really catches my attention enough for me to buy it.
Aside from the two noted, all the books below were bought at book sales for under $2.o0 each – and they aren’t even everything I purchased. (I think I went into the book sale room at my library every day I was working, and actually purchased a full bag of books on three separate occasions. Oops.)
Title by Author: Retail Price / What I Paid
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: $28.95 / $2.00
- The Selected Words of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen: $27.95 / $2.00
- The Host by Stephenie Meyer: $25.99 / $2.00
- A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson: $14.95 / $1.00
- A Conspiracy of Tall Men by Noah Hawley: $14.00 / $1.00
- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: $14.99 / $5.38 (@ B&N)
- The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen: $15.99 / $3.59 (@ B&N)
- Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley: $8.99 / $1.00
- Incendiary by Chris Cleave: $15.00 / $1.00
- Crime and Punishment by Fodor Dostoyevsky: $11.95 / $1.00
- Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne: $14.99 / $1.00
- World War Z by Max Brooks: $9.99 / $1.00
- Roots by Alex Haley: $2.75 / 50¢
- A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood: 50¢ / 50¢
- I bought A Single Man not only because I loved the film but because it’s been hanging around in the world since 1964! So cool!!
- I LOVE Winnie the Pooh, but I’ve never actually read any stories by A.A. Milne. The colors on this book jacket were beautiful and there’s this gold-leaf edge on the pages. So… that’s awesome.
- The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (and its jacket) looked so intriguing that I had to pick it up.
- I seriously picked up Where Things Come Back to read the summary because of the fonts, colors, and graphics. Such a simple design but still beautiful.
Here’s to happy book hunting!