more books!

I have found it. The book bonanza!! I discovered the sale where all the books culled from local school libraries end up. And they don’t have this sale once a year like the one I used to frequent back in Seattle, they have it once a week. The prices are fantastic (if you buy a lot) sixteen cents a book! I simply cannot resist, and yesterday my personal collection groaned to a whopping total of 602 (yikes). I’ve vowed not to go more than once a month… Here’s what I hauled home recently:

The Summer Country– It looked Arthurian. So I picked it up.
The Quiet Room– Never heard of this one, but I do find books about kids with mental illness interesting.
Love, War and Circuses– about “the Age-Old Relationship Between Elephants and Man.”
The Dolphin Doctor– Dolphins are fascinating, and so are veterinarian books (to me).
The Secret Language of Life– “How Animals and Plants Feel and Communicate.” Plants can feel? Hm. This should be interesting.
Liquid Land– “A Journey Through the Florida Everglades.” That’s all I know.
Return to Wild America– “A Yearlong Search for the Continent’s Natural Soul” Ditto.
Beasts of Eden– I’ve had an abiding curiosity about prehistoric mammals since reading Ratha’s Creature and its kin.
The Lost Years of Merlin– This book caught my eye because I had Nymeth’s review in mind.
Seaworthy– Another book about an adventurer who took a raft across the ocean! This guy followed the fame of Kon-Tiki, just to see if he could do it.
Infidel– This one has been on my list a while. I don’t remember where I first heard of it.
Raccoons: A Natural History– Hopefully better than Raccoons Are the Brightest People.
Wolf Totem– For some reason when I read the flyleaf on this book, it makes me think of Ordinary Wolves. I hope it’s as good!

And I always drool over coffee-table type books about nature, so I grabbed all these. I really hope the reading is as good as the pictures look:
About pandas, orcas, alligators and crocs, lions, penguins, greylag geese and siberian tigers!

My only dismay was the condition of some of the books I found. True, most are library discards- only a few are clean, donated books. (They have tons of other stuff at the sales, too- old computers, office furniture, we brought home a standing kid’s easel for my daughter). I’m used to buying ex-library books, so I don’t mind the eyesore of library stamps or the task of removing the stickers. And many of the books aren’t worn-out or broken, but in excellent condition (I’m guessing discarded because of low demand- just not popular). A lot of them had the library barcodes blacked out with fresh ink- that I can also deal with. But some had been deliberately damaged in order to remove the library labels. I found lots of hardbacks with gaping square holes cut out of the bottom of the spine and a back piece of the cover. This isn’t too bad- you can just remove the dust jacket, after all. But there were some paperbacks with the stickers cut out of their covers, too! To me, that’s just as bad as having the cover torn completely off- the book might as well go in the recycling bin. I don’t mind a book on my shelves that has library stickers, or “discard” stamps or old card pockets inside- they’re still perfectly readable and look nice on the shelf. But I can’t imagine who would want to keep a book that had a hole in its skin like this:

Would you?

22 Responses

  1. Oh, wow, that sale sounds wonderful. I, too, would have a hard time resisting that one. I\’m with you on the damaged books. Do they really think they look better that way or are more likely to sell? That\’s terrible …

  2. You struck gold! Access to a sale like that would be very hard on my resolve to respect my husband\’s wish for more restraint in book buying.

  3. Mrs.J- I was hoping someone who works in a library could tell me. I think it\’s shameful.Bermudaonion- Yeah, I do that w/the hardbacks. But you should see the paperbacks that have been chopped like this. Unspeakable.Dana- I know I can\’t!Betty and Boo\’s Mommy- I don\’t think they care about appearance or salability. They\’re just trying to get rid of unwanted stuff- so why make it harder by damaging them? Janet- O yeah! So far mine hasn\’t minded- I even find a few books within his interests now and then.

  4. I\’m gasping with both jealousy and incredulity. That sale made me turn green with envy! But, how could they? Really, you\’d think they\’d have more respect. I also agree that they\’re making their own lives more difficult by making it harder to get rid of the books. What a shame.

  5. Bybee- It would be so much fun to go to this place w/another book-lover. BlackSheep- I could not believe it when I first saw the book like that. I can only imagine most of those end up being thrown out because no one wants them now.

  6. It makes no sense to cut out parts of the dust jacket… I\’ve purchased a few books from library sales before and I personally like that the books look and feel like they\’re from the library… but I own it. There\’s something nice to it. All they\’re doing is making the book look less attractive to would-be buyers. Disappointing.

  7. Anonymous Child- I\’ve been to many library sales in my life and never saw books treated like this before. Me, I don\’t like the stickers on the spines, but usually they\’re not too hard to remove.

  8. Wow, what a haul! I hope you enjoy The Lost Years of Merlin! And all the others too, of course. That\’s really too bad about them removing the stickers/bar codes like that…seriously :\\

  9. Wow, that\’s quite a lovely pile! I don\’t understand cutting out ISBNs. I assume that\’s to prevent people selling them, but cutting them out of a paperback is going a bit far.

  10. Nymeth- me, too. I don\’t know when I\’ll get to all them, but looking forward to it. Bookfool- Thanks! The odd thing is that they hadn\’t cut out the ISBN codes of the book itself, only the library codes. So I still don\’t get it.

  11. What a shame. Can you take the original plastic dust cover protectors off? If so, you can buy plastic dust cover protectors and re-cover the books. It\’s not a perfect solution but it will make it feel tidier – that\’s what I do with all my hardbacks! It\’s very, very satisfying if the dust cover is in bad shape like these ones are.

  12. I\’d never do that to one of my own books, but I\’d snap up a book like that at that price any day. I\’d just take the jacket off. I love these types of sales, though it\’s so easy to go overboard.–AnnaDiary of an Eccentric

  13. Wow, what a book haul, Jeane. And I\’m seriously jealous that they are 16 cents each! Those picture books are gorgeous. I\’m going to see if you really can hold out for going only once a month though, since the sale is every week! loland as Bybee says, booooo to any kind of book mutilation. How stupid is that?

  14. Jenny- that\’s a good idea. I usually have a few extra mylar covers somewhere around here… Anna- Yes, I don\’t mind just taking the jacket off, when they\’re so cheap! But I can\’t bring myself to pick up any of the paperbacks that have been treated this way.Susan- Well, it\’s only 16 cents if you buy 30 books! I got a lot for my husb and kid, too. If you buy less, it\’s $2 for 5 books- still a great deal!

  15. I think I would go crazy at 16 cents a pop!! I did damage control on my shelves this weekend when I realized I had gone over 600 books. I took a bunch to the used store and will donate the rest, but I couldn\’t help picking up a few new ones. What is wrong with us?? 😀 Interesting covers–guess you\’ll be making new ones? I\’ve been trying to weed out the books on my shelf that are in bad shape.

  16. Trish- I think that to myself when I come home with bags full of more books, and add them to the piles of yet-unread books: what is wrong with me? Why can\’t I stop buying books!!? Ha ha. Yes, I was just thinking it\’s about time I made some new dustcovers. I have quite a few naked hardback books now that need them.Anna- I used to pick up paperbacks with creased spines, but wow, they fall apart fast after several re-reads. Now I\’m really picky about paperbacks, too.

  17. Sadly, this place no longer sells individual items to the public in a storefront. It’s all online auction now, with bids starting on minimum quantity a whole pallet of books. So I won’t be getting any more from there . . .

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