Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And the stack grows higher: tips for library book sales

Ooh, it's my favorite time of year: book sale season! I've been to several good ones in the last month. But last night was the best; it was "friends' night" at my very-favorite library book sale.

Just get a look at this room! This is only half of the "non-readers" room, which also spills out onto a table in the hallway. Everything in here is 50 cents. And though the line to get in the sale was huge, when I entered this room, I was the only one in there.

Here's my stack. It's a very modest one this time! (I've bought so many books over the years, I'm getting pickier and pickier.) Here's my system:

-Head straight for the children's books. They're the best bargain around--cheaper than anything else, but you'll read them again and again and get both art and text--so the value is unbelievable!

-Bring several big huge tote bags. Put anything that looks at all appealing into the bag. Don't preview it yet, just put it in there and move on.

-Keep your book list in mind. I keep an Amazon wish list going of all the great children's books I've ever wanted, and seeing them there keeps covers, authors, and illustrators fresh in my mind, so I spot things easily.

-And yet, don't have a goal. The lady next to me was pawing through boxes, looking for "Thomas the Tank Engine" books, passing wonderful book after wonderful book! (I desperately wanted to offer advice!) Be open to the discovery of something new.

-When you're all finished looking, find a nice quiet corner to review your stacks. On closer inspection, I usually put back about a third to half of the books I picked up. I'm looking for great art, wonderful language, and, often, the innocence and beauty of vintage books (though modern ones find their way into my bag, too).

Here are a few of my favorite finds from last night's sale. (There's more over there on the right, in my librarything.)

As I described the books I'd found to Lucy, she said "the old science books are for you, Mama." Yup. She knows me well.

Are you finding any treasures this book-sale season?

1 comment:

Luisa said...

Those look like great finds! So much finding some really great books. Love your system we follow that too when we go to book sales:)