Buy books for half a dollar each! Discover multiple copies by your favorite author and fill a sack for ten bucks! This is the most wonderful time of the year! Books, books and more books for very little!
This weekend, I make my annual trek to the local Friends of the Library book sale. I stock up on books for myself as well as find treasures to share with others who I know have a special interest. Likewise I always find a few that I flip on Amazon that more than covers my purchases for the day.
Where are the Book Sales
Most communities have some kind of library sale. Some have a designated room with sale books year round. Other places have specific days of the year for such sales. If you’d like to stay on top of library sales. Then check out Book Sale Finder. Go to the United States map toward the middle left of the screen and click on your state. It will generate the upcoming sales in your state. You can also designate how far you’d be willing to travel from your home location and then sign up to receive a weekly email listing what sales will be within driving distance.
Strategy for Book Sales
- Go Early (if possible). I nearly always go the first day of the sale and get in line at least 15 to 20 minutes before the sale starts. Often there is a Friends of the Library membership fee that one must pay if you go the first day, but it is well worth paying the additional cost to be one of the first ones to see the books. But if your work schedule might not allow such, that is okay. You can still find a lot of good books, even towards the end of the sale! I typically go the first day and then again on Saturday. Often times I’ll find something the second time that I missed the first.
- Take sacks with your name attached. You can pick up sacks on site usually, but if you have any of the recyclable kind made of material, they do handle the weight of books better.
- Prioritize what genres and what authors interest you most. Then once entering the site, go directly to the areas in which you are most interested.
- Begin with lower priced books. I do check out the better books later, but often I have found the same title in the better books section and the regular books section and sometimes the condition is about the same. Recognize that hundreds of people were involved in sorting the books. So what you are looking for very well may be in the lower priced area!
- Take advantage of the holding area. Once you have a sack full, most sales provide a holding area where you can take your sack of books and volunteers will hang on to it until you are ready to check out. By already having your name attached to the sack, this speeds up the process.
- Finally, be courteous. Some have large boxes stacked in aisles as they feverishly fill them with books, all with the intent of flipping their finds. I am fine with flipping books for profit and do it some myself, but please be courteous to others.
Lubbock’s Book Sale
Now concerning the Lubbock book sale specifically, this is my preferred sale as Lubbock is the city in which I live. The sale occurs in the basement of the Mahon Library, which is downtown. Thousands and thousands of books are organized on shelves by genre and then even by author. Most paperback books are .50 each and most hardbacks are $1.00 each. There is a better books section where most books are $2 to $4 each. There are also a lot of magazines, DVD’s, CD’s and even some art.
The times for the sale are as follows:
Friday, September 23 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (for members only – you can become a member, at the door, by filling out a form with contact information and paying $10).
Saturday, September 24 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – all are welcome
Sunday, September 25 – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – all are welcome
Monday, September 26 – 3 pm. to 7 p.m. – all are welcome
The next sale will then be December 2 and 3, where left over books will be discounted to half price so paperback books will be a quarter and hardback books a dollar!
Enjoy hunting for those literary treasures!!
photo credit: Kirrus, Books via Flicker cc License – 9/20/16 with no changes