So, books are the kind of thing that, the moment you take them out of the store and lose the receipt, are essentially worthless. That means people will excitedly come to sales looking for that Janet Evanovich novel which you just finished reading and they will pay you 50 cents for it. If you're lucky. The hard and fast going rate here is $1 for hardcover novels and $1 for two to three paperback novels. We price other books (like cookbooks, self-help novels, coffee table books, early editions, textbooks, etc.) individually as they tend to retain a little more of their value.
What this means is that you can score some awesome books at some awesome prices no matter which category your book needs fall into. For me, it means I can score some books I've been meaning to get around to without having to hassle with negotiating what MY price is because it's exactly the same price as it would be for anyone else: $1 each or $1 for three, depending on what I find. Sometimes it means picking up bizarre books I didn't know existed, infamous books, collectible books (but these all come with the price point hassle).
What's most interesting about buying books from sales is that these people read these books. My to-read list is partially subject to the whims of other people. I find this is an incredibly interesting way to choose books to read.
I seem to be essentially alone in this, though. Most of the people who buy books fall into two categories: dealers and people looking for mindless distraction. The latter category, whatever, there's nothing interesting to say about these people. They come, they buy three books, they leave, we're all happy. The dealers are some crazy nuts. They come with their own containers and bags and things to take the books, they get incredibly protective of their piles, they occasionally push regular shoppers out of the way to get to books they haven't looked through yet, they nitpick over the price of one book even when we've given them a fabulous deal on a pile of 80 books. Most of them are nice and of course we all need each other, but come on now.
Now, here are some of my favorite finds over the years:
Acquired shortly after it came out. (It was no Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, but it was worth the $1 for sure.)
This one was free because the strangely racy elderly homeowner told us to take it because we'd "really love it." Haha. I like having it on my bookshelf for the funny. Similar story with how we acquired Madonna's Sex book.
Guys, I love this book. This is my absolute favorite tag sale book. This book came from a classically heteronormative household. I have no idea why they had this book but I love it.
All of these are just nice, older editions. They came from two different sales where, as far as I can tell, the people bought them to look nice on their shelves and never read any version of any of them. Record nerds, please ignore the deplorable way I store my 45s. I know. Space is at a premium in NY.
And I did this whole post about books to justify doing a meme about books. I was tagged by the lovely Adiel and you can check out her blog for really fun fashion and lifestuff posts.
The meme goes like this:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
Now, the two nearest books to me are the aforementioned Oliver Button Is a Sissy and Three Junes by Julia Glass. Because Oliver Button is unnumbered and less than 123 pages and I don't feel like doing this modulo style, Three Junes it is.
It took a few evenings for me to learn how to ride these conversations, how not to be left in the starting gate, my horse bolted out from under me./Mal never mentioned his health, yet the reason for our artificial friendship was rarely far from my mind. One evening the following spring, I noticed a mark on his forearm, a purple amoeba, when he rolled up his sleeves to begin a risotto.
Heavy stuff, and the whole novel is dense and heavy like that. It took me a while to get into this one, but I'm hoping I get to a place where it was so worth it by the end.