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Library booksales = cheap books

October 5th, 2005 at 10:51 am

DH and I have been shopping at library booksales for years. I thought I'd mention it and pass along a few tips for anyone who hasn't tried it yet.

You just can't beat prices like 25 cents for a paperback or $1 for a hardcover--unless it's buying a whole bag for $1 which sometimes happens during the last hour or so of a sale. Sometimes during the bag sale we just grab a bag of miscellaneous paperbacks in good condition, just so we can turn the books in for credit at our local paperback exchange. If very lucky, there will be one or two items that will sell for a good price on Amazon, sometimes paying for everything else we bought.

At first, I was kind of shy about going to libraries we didn't belong to--but believe me, they don't much care if you are a member or not, when it comes to buying books at their sales. They just want to raise as much money as possible. The only exception is, sometimes they have a special preview sale for Friends of the Library members. But you can usually just join the Friends group on the way in, if you don't mind spending a few extra dollars.

It's a good idea to take along something cold to drink, and leave it in your car for after the sale. We've found that book shopping is thirsty work, for some reason.

If you plan on buying a lot, it can be worth taking your own bags. Sometimes they don't have enough bags on hand, and it's also easier to carry one or two large bags instead of 5 or 6 overloaded plastic grocery bags. Large department store bags with the boxy bottoms are good, also the plastic bags they sell at Aldi's for 10 cents a piece. For awhile I think I was known at certain booksales as "the Aldi bag lady."

Usually they also sell vinyl records, CDs, cassettes and videos, too. Although I haven't seen an 8-track for quite a while. Wink A good source for cheap kids' entertainment, exercise videos and such.

You can call around to local libraries to try and get the dates for upcoming sales, or check the websites for libraries in your area. But it can save some time to use this website: http://www.book-sales-in-america.com/ Just click on your state to get upcoming sale dates. The only problem is, they depend on the libraries or Friends groups to submit information, and they don't always get around to it. Still, it's a help. And the ads for bookstores and book scouting businesses are interesting.

Even though I've stopped counting on reselling books on Amazon, it's still a fun outing and a very cheap way for us to find books for ourselves. DH and I have a couple of days off together this week, and our first little trip will be to the county booksale as soon as it starts tomorrow morning. Smile

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