(click on picture to enlarge)
Another lovely summer week, and a sigh of regret as July draws to a close. Summer is, indeed, a very short season in central New York! In our town, the last weekend of July has long been reserved for the annual Friends of the Library used book sale. I spent eight years on the board (including five as treasurer) and, even after a few years off, it's still a relief not to spend the entire months of May, June, and July sorting, classifying, and pricing books. It's also a real pleasure to attend the sale as a shopper!
A new feature was added a couple years ago - a two hour Friday night preview exclusively for the Friends of the Library members! This ticket-only event (complete with wine and cheese) has proved to be wildly popular. It allows for a friendly, relaxed book-browsing atmosphere. We all know, far too well I'm afraid, the frenzy and crush of the opening hours of a used book sale. The dealers, often equipped with scanners, descend en masse and scoop up shelves of books at a time...before most of us even get so much as a glance at the titles. This evening preview says thank-you for the Friends support throughout the year.
Time was spent browsing the stacks in the library barn and under the tent. In my Booking Through Thursday post this week, I stated my preference for new books. Used books have to be in excellent condition and must pass the 'smell test'. I cannot read a musty-smelling book, and am sure I looked more than a little ridiculous smelling each book before placing it in my bag! My purchases are pictured above. You may click on the picture to enlarge the image.
Left stack, bottom up:
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations
About Alice by Calvin Trillin
The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen
On Writing by Stephen King
The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Right stack, bottom up:
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Stories by T.C. Boyle
Water Music by T.C. Boyle
Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Of course this is enough to last for many, many months, and I'm very excited about these finds. Have you read any of them? There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, prize winners, short stories, essay, travel, and reference. Many of these were already on my wish list or have been favorably reviewed by fellow bloggers. The best part though, is the bottom line... just over thirty dollars!
My annual goal (resolution?) for this sale is to buy fewer books than I donate. This year I succeeded. Sometime within the next month or so, I will put a box in the back of the closet and begin collecting books for next year's sale.
Do you go to used book sales in the summer? Does your library have an annual sale, or does it have one ongoing throughout the year? What about the book dealers? I know their stock has to come from somewhere, but how do you feel about those scanners? I'd love to hear about your book sale experiences!