I will irreverently say that when I thought about writing this post and that it might prevent me from getting awesome books, I contemplated not posting it. I have a serious book addiction. There’s seasoned veterans that these events, like me, who will do anything to get the best books first.
Book Sale Extravaganza!
Tips to get the best haul possible
Bring a bag. Make sure books fit in it (amateur mistake #1) properly for maximum stackage. You want something that isn’t going to cut into your shoulder that can pack a ton. I use a religious tote I got at a blogger party. I am not religious at all, mind you, it’s just the perfect size. The books fit in so that way the stack correctly, so as not to damage them, and allow for room to slide in over-sized numbers on the sides. You never want to stack books page-end down. Ever. Always give it cover and binding to rest on.
Know what to look for. Learn reader’s club bindings. Those are the bane of book sales (did you know they’re not actually the books but are cut down and rewritten for their audience?). Sometimes books are sorted into sections, like fiction and non-fiction, mystery and children’s . In these times, go for the old books first as these are usually the coolest. Complete Stories of Opera? Don’t mind if I do! Hello, The Best American Jokes published in 1921.
Don’t skip over the crap. There is a LOT of crap at book sales that no one ever wants. It’s only good for cutting the pages out and making secret flask containers. However, sometimes, tucked away among the really awful stuff there is sometimes hidden treasure. After doing the rounds on your favorite categories, check out the other areas.
Choose wisely. You probably can’t buy it all. Pick it up anyway and go through your stack after making the rounds. Make sure you really want everything you have, inspect them for missing pages, and hold on tight to the ones you really love. Old ladies will swoop at the first chance they get to steal away any treasures you leave unsupervised. Seriously, it does happen.
Be kind. More than anything, if you’re a book sale aficionado, you know how damn annoying those old ladies can be. They read through every title very slowly, jamming with your book buying jive. They get in the way or grab things, absentmindedly, that you’ve been searching out for ages. Don’t trash talk them until you leave. Just because they’re hard of hearing doesn’t mean they won’t hear insults.
photo via Lester Public Library