The Next Chapter: Don’s Guide to Book Sales

Book Sale

In Spring, a young man’s heart turns to…book sales? At least for me, that’s true. It’s true that I have a lot of books already, but a true book lover knows that you can’t have enough books.

Here are some tips for you if you go to Book sales:

Google book sales. There usually are listings of book sales on the Internet. It only takes a couple of moments to look up book sales online. Make a list of ones you are interested in.

Bring a cloth bag. Sometimes libraries will try to give you plastic bags or even worse, paper bags and then you worry what to do if they will break. Just bring the cloth bags.

Don’t buy more books than you can carry, especially if you have to ride on 2 buses to get home. Just saying! Not that I would know that from experience!

Don’t be afraid to go around the tables a couple of times. Unless you are in a hurry, it always pays off to circle the tables a couple of times. Last week at a sale at a church, on my 3rd round I noticed a copy of Nabakov s Pale Fire. It was funny because the day before, I talked about that book on Facebook with a friend of mine.

Please be polite. Always say “excuse me” or “pardon me”. Don’t be that guy who gets into a brawl over War and Peace.

Don’t stress out. Unless you brought a trailer to the sale, know that you can only take so many books. Last year at the East Greenbush Library sale, I came across a Penguin edition of Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore. I know that these days it’s basically considered a soapy historical novel set in 17th Century Exmore. As much as I’d like to read it one day, I didn’t feel like I absolutely need to own it. Back on the table it went.

Grab a good find. A couple of years ago I read Rueben, Rueben by Peter De Vries and thought it was a funny comic novel about a Dylan Thomas like poet who seduces a number of married women in a Connecticut suburb. Unfortunately, De Vries’ entire catalog is out of print these days. Next to being dead, being out of print is the worst thing that can happen to a writer. Last year at the at the Upper Madison Avenue Street Fair, at the book tent I found copies of his books Forever Painting and Through the Fields of Clover and snatched them up. Also last year at the annual All Saints Catholic Academy off Brevitor, I found a couple of mysteries by Margey Allingham. I blogged before about how I loved her book Tether’s End. I wound up buying three of her books: Mystery Mile, Pearls Before Swine and Flowers for the Judge. There were other titles by her but they were the books I was interested in.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance. For some reason, I find a lot of copies of Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya at many sales. It must have been a popular book at one time. It takes place in India and the cover says it’s “the story of a simple woman of India who never lost her faith in life or her love for her husband and children.” It’s not even 200 pages, so it won’t be a long read. I decided to take a chance and buy it. At the Woodstock Library sale that my friend Ryan and I happened to come by on accident, I found a book that interested me, The Masters by British novelist C.P. Snow. It’s the 5th novel in his 11 novel series called Strangers and Brothers. The book takes place in 1937 and is about an election of a new Master at a Cambridge university. Sounded like something up my alley.

So go out and enjoy book shopping. Post your books on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t let people make you feel guilty for buying more books. And remember to smile!