Tag Archives: used books

Book Binge

Right now there are a hundred things I should be doing, such as dusting, painting, gardening, writing, etc. Instead, I’ve been staring at the pile of books taking up living room space. When I went back to work at the library, I made a rule for myself: Check out no more than two books and two DVDs at a time and stay away from the 50 cent used book room. I actually did very well for about two weeks but today I’m not sure where to start. Yesterday, I watched Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950 film noir w/ Gene Tierney & Dana Andrews) and The Watcher in the Woods (1980 Disney film w/ Bette Davis — love the book and have always loved the movie as well). I still have five DVDs left to watch. I picked up three great used books this past week too: Lost Moons by Jack Vance, The Five Gold Bands by Jack Vance (I’ll have to find out why the library is discarding Vance books), and a Sunset book on perennials. I also have ten books checked out. Oh, and don’t forget all the reading I have on my Kindle Fire. So I might feel a little overwhelmed at the moment, like a child who has too many new toys to choose from.

Last weekend the Friends of the Library held its annual Big Book Sale, a huge event that takes place at the county fairgrounds. The items sold are donated or discarded books, many in like-new condition. Throughout the year, donations come in, placed in the overflowing sorting bins. They come in one or two at a time, sometimes five boxes or more at time! The Friends of the Library is an amazing group — they transport and sort all of these items, deciding which to sell at Amazon/Alibris/AbeBooks, which to place in the used book room, and they organize the amazing Big Book Sale. Where would so many libraries be without their volunteers and the communities that support them?

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There are always quality items that are donated to the library all year long. People give anything from a book they’ve only read once to their personal libraries when they retire and/or decide to downsize. Since this is a college town, there have been some amazing collections donated by retired professors. And, as a result of all these generous donations, the sale is always a great success every year — for the public as well as the library. The first day, which starts on a Friday evening, is sort of like the Black Friday sales, with people pushing through the doors and running down the aisles to find those perfect books (or DVDs, games, CDs which are also sold) and great deals. Book lovers come as far as two hours away or more. On Sundays, the remaining books are $5 a box! This might be surprising, but I’ve never been to the Big Book Sale, mainly because of the crowds and because I might go nuts and buy every book I see. Fortunately, there are plenty of folks who attend.

But back to the piles of library books on my living floor. This is what I have to choose from:

Fiction
The Best American Short Stories 2012, ed. Tom Perrotta
A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Sensation by Nick Mamatas
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

NonFiction
Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy by Judith Watt
The Lupus Book (Fifth Edition, 2013) by Daniel J. Wallace
How Music Works by John Powell
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards by William J. Broad
The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia (2010)
Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil

So where do I start? The Best American Short Stories and Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy. I still need to finish That Mad Ache. However, that could change as I’m easily distracted. I’ll probably have to spend the next couple of days just reading so that I can return the items as soon as possible. I need some space as I begin spring cleaning!

Follow what I’m reading at Goodreads.

Goodies: Books for Sale at the Public Library

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 hardcover is in great vintage condition. No torn pages, stains, or mold. 50 cents!

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 this 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; so if she falls asleep reading it, it won't hurt as much when it hits her face. 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.

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 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 always had 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 the book. Anyway. Booyah! 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's 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, & 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 of 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.

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' writing, so I thought I'd might as well give this one a try. But I might just give it away. Anyway, ALEX  GARLAND. And seven books for a grand total of $2.50.

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.

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