If you’re fortunate enough to live in a town with a library (because some towns aren’t so lucky) and if you prefer printed books to ebooks (for whatever reason) and if you’re on a budget (eating fewer tacos), may I recommend checking to see if your library has a used book room or an annual book sale? You can find a lot of good books this way for 50 cents or less and the money goes back into the library. These books can be library discards or donations from patrons. Some you’ll find in pristine condition, others will be a bit worn and well-loved. Take two dollars with you and see what you can get.
Oh, and make sure that book smell you claim to love is really the book itself and not mold. Book mold spreads fast and that’s probably why you have a runny nose all the time, you perverted book sniffer.
Here’s what I recently found in our Friends of the Library Used Book Room:
I picked up this little gift book for a friend. The dust jacket is quite worn, but the cover is in great vintage condition. No torn pages, stains, or mold. 50 cents!
I picked this up for my sister Antonia, who lives in Guam. (I laughed when I took the photo, which is why it’s so blurry.) I’m not exactly sure this is fun beach reading, but I think it’s some John Saul goodness. Plus, it’s a paperback — if she falls asleep reading it, it won’t hurt as much when it hits her face. 50 cents!
I love the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary (an Oregon author, by the way) but I still don’t know why I bought this. I’ll probably send it to one of my younger cousins. After I read it! Ha. 25 cents.
Holy crap. I can’t believe I actually found this book. Loved this novel as a kid; it was one of those books I reread every summer. But when I was in the 8th grade, my small-town library shifted its stacks and I was never able to locate it again. See, I hadn’t bothered to remember the author’s name! I only knew where it was, where it had always been, on a certain shelf in the youth section. Ah, small town life. Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for it. Do you know how difficult it is to track down a favorite childhood book when the only information you have is its title? Do you know how many books are titled The Ghosts or Ghosts? So this was a magical, supernatural, paranormal find. Great book, a wonderful ghost story, and I can’t wait to read it. I believe there’s even a fairly decent tv movie based on it. Anyway. Booyah! 25 cents!
I own the paperback version of this John Varley short story collection but I choked up a little when I found the hardback. There’s so much humor and energy in his writing, and his science fiction deals with gender, sex, media, pop culture, and more. This particular collection includes “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank,” which I’ve singled out in order to warn you about the made-for-tv movie adaptation. Do not watch it. Yes, Raul Julia plays the lead character, but the movie sucks. It’s basically Raul Julia walking around steaming piles of crappy science fictional sets, talking to drab science fictional people; it’s also videotaped instead filmed, has that cheesy 80s computer font, and everything is beige or taupe. The story deserves so much more than this. Gawd, this movie is such a piece of shit! Okay, okay — I give you permission to watch it, but only if you find the MST3K version. Anywho, I love John Varley, I love this collection, I love that this was only 25 cents.
Here’s the entire stack of books I picked up at the library’s used book store. I’m excited to read The Coma by Alex Garland, who wrote the original screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine, the adapted screenplays for Dredd and Never Let Me Go, as well as The Beach (novel). He is my author hero. The other book in that stack is the Virgin Suicides: the movie was okay, beautiful, but a bit too dreamy. I think I like Jeffrey Eugenides’s writing, so I thought I’d might as well give this one a try. But I might just give it away. Please note: ALEX GARLAND. And seven books for a grand total of $2.50.