Book Sale Bargains

I had a huge bookish day on Saturday – the first was I went to the Wallsend Library book sale. This is a huge sale where you can pick up ex library stock for free with a donation to charity on entry. The second thing was I attended a fabulous coffee, cakes and books discussion in Lake Macquarie, but that is a story for later this week.

The book sale scene was familiar, but not too familiar, I have been to a few of these in the past but this one was absolute chaos, I had never seen it that crowded. Thankfully people refrained from using a trolley because I honestly couldn’t even fathom how they would have managed. From the moment the doors opened the crowd surged in, while they all waited you could hardly see the stairs on the way in so seeing them converge on this relatively small room was quite something. Once you were in it was basically on for young and old and you got to become quite intimate with people as we shuffled around, far too close to one another than strangers should ever be. One lady joked that in some places we’d be considered married being this physically close to someone.

The table of children’s and junior fiction books was unruly as mothers emptied boxes at an alarming rate, piling up and gathering, discarding empty boxes and pulling the unopened ones under the table open with their bare hands. It was very similar to seeing a piranha in action and just devour their food. It wasn’t just that table, watching grown adults go after these books with such hunger with no real consideration for the fact we’re all stuck in here like sardines was quite something to behold.

I have been to A LOT of these book sales, not only at Wallsend but also in Newcastle and closer to home. I can’t say I’ve ever seen it as wild as it was that day, and while people behaved, it was still quite chaotic as people ripped into boxes and snatched up books and DVDs with alarming rate. I was in and out in 45 minutes because, ironically, it wasn’t actually the best sale I’d been to there. I didn’t even attempt to look at the adult fiction table because of the crowds around it but the majority of that disappeared pretty fast anyway. By the time I left there wasn’t a lot left so I pitied whoever decided to turn up a couple hours later, I almost hoped there was a second stash out the back for the lunch crowd because there was certainly only scraps remaining when I walked out.

But enough of the crowds, this was my haul:

Stuff Happens: Michael by Philip Gwynne

Stuff Happens: Jack by Tony Wilson

Stuff Happens: Fadi by Scot Gardner

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

The protected by Claire Zorn

Rain Dance by Karen Wood

Love-Shy by Lili Wilkinson

Stagefright by Carole Wilkinson

It was fortunate because I managed to pick up the remaining three Stuff Happens books so I could finish reading the series. Even more fortunate because the Will Kostakis one I had actually owned wasn’t there but the other ones were. I grabbed the Lili Wilkinson and Claire Zorn to add to my collection of their books and in my efforts to expand my #LoveOzYA I grabbed a few unknown titles as well. But overall, not a huge pull and a lot of these I took a gamble on because they sounded good. Here’s hoping they living up to the blurb!

Scholastic Book Sale Bargains

It’s Scholastic Warehouse book sale time! This is the fun book event that keeps me going in between sporadic library sales and the biennial Newcastle University book sale (2019 bring it on!).

One thing I love is the fill a box for $40. If you put your Tetris skills to good use you can pack a fair few into their tiny boxes [Current record was previous visit, 21 paperback books in a box!].

Sometimes I don’t find enough I want to fill a box with and it’s been known to happen where I leave without getting anything at all. But lately there has been a wide range of titles and it’s these little bursts of joy when you find a great book on their bays that get your box filled fairly quickly. It also lets you take a chance on things you might not otherwise read because for that price it reduces the overall cost of the books inside.

This year I went a tad wild with the picture books. In my box and in the other discounted area. There are so many beautiful and clever books these days that it’s hard not to collect them all. I found myself picking up favourites that I’d read before and needed to own, I found a few new ones that caught my eye. My favourite books I got were The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers, What the Fluffy Bunny Said to the Growly Bear by P. Crumble, and The Wild One by Sonya Hartnett. A mixture of funny, deeply profound, and all beautifully illustrated.

In total I walked out with 30 books: 6 paperbacks and 24 picture books. I am certainly calling this a win and thankfully picture books take up a lot less space than paperbacks. Going to the book fair isn’t just about getting books cheap or to collect more than I will probably be able to read. Being among all the books is such fun. Finding titles I might never have heard about or appreciated I now own and will read, and getting to see behind the scenes in a small way the infamous Scholastic where I bought countless books during primary school is also a little bit amazing.

If you ever get to go to one I recommend it, as I say, it can be hit and miss, but there are some wonderful gems as well.

Book Sale Bargains

I love a good book sale. Whether it’s a second hand book sale, a library stock sale, or a warehouse sale, I. Am. There.

Today’s exciting book sale was the Scholastic Warehouse Sale where you could buy a box for $40 and fill it with as many books as could fit. I initially went there to see if I could find some good picture books, but was pleasantly surprised to find there was a lot of YA there. A wonderful discovery and one that put my Tetris skills to the test because I wanted to fit as many books in my small box as I could which was a challenge with different sizes and a box that Did Not want to fit things nicely.

In the end I succeeded and walked away with 24 books, 21 in my box and three from the separate discounted section. I found a mix of YA, junior fiction, and picture books to add to my collection. All of which I have zero room for, but who doesn’t love a good project of reorganising the bookshelves and trying to fit in more books?

A few of the books I bought were completing a series, that I had on my TBR list, or were nice new fancy shiny special edition copies that I needed to have but a lot I took a chance on because they sounded really interesting. This is what I walked away with:

Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann. M. Martin

Disappearing Act by James Moloney

Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian

Woeful Second World War by Terry Deary

Making Bombs for Hitler by Forchuk Skrypuch

All the Things That Could Go Wrong by Stewart Foster

The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster

This is My Song by Richard Yaxley

The Boy The Bird and The Coffin Maker by Matilda Wood

The Smell of other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Finding Nevo by Nevo Zifin

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King

Broken by Elizabeth Pulford

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My Life As A Hashtag by Gabrielle Williams

Clifford’s Puppy Days by Norman Bridwell

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

Don’t Call Me Bear by Aaron Blabey

Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey

I Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey

Of course to top off my hour spent inside as I was leaving Clifford the Big Red Dog walked in with the Very Cranky Bear. I wasn’t able to grab a picture but you can see their adventures on the Scholastic YouTube channel. Overall it was a very rewarding morning.

Book Sale Bargains

For the cost of a gold coin donation to local charity Got Your Back Sista, Newcastle City Council had a book sale today where you could take home as many books as you wanted. After tossing up whether to make the trek to see what was on offer, I caved with curiosity and the thought of new books and off I went.

I haven’t gone to a book sale in a while but there was the usual crowd waiting outside the doors, long before they opened, eager to be the first ones inside. When the doors finally did open, I went to the YA section first followed by the children’s books. I snagged a few YA books, some familiar titles, some I hadn’t heard of but by authors I knew and loved so in my bag they went.

Book sales are fascinating things, while I look for books it’s always a curious endeavour to watch people look for their own discoveries. Mothers in particular are non-apologetic in their determination. In the past I’ve seen them devour a box of children’s books and start ripping the tape off unopened ones underneath a table in order to rifle through it. It’s quite admirable really. Eldery ladies are also quite persistent in pushing in to get at what they want. Today the popular items were the non-fiction section with dozens of people circling and rifling through box after box. I stayed away bar a quick walk by and focused on the fiction and the YA.

While there is a lingering sense of urgency in the air, there is also a combined joyful experience as people joke about the amount of paperback romance books available, “all with the same picture on the front” it was remarked to me. It was also good to see the teamwork as people asked what other people were looking for and handing over books when they found something someone was looking for.

With my own determination to systematically make my rounds I was in and out in 45 minutes with three loops of the room and a thorough investigation of all the YA, children, and adult fiction boxes. I had made a promise to myself not to pick up any old book just because it looked good. With those restrictions I still managed to pick up a few good ones, no real gems like the last time I came to this library book sale, but I am happy. In the end my haul was 6 books:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Dark Hollow by John Connolly

The Seal’s Fate by Eoin Colfer

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Loop by Brian Caswell

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

Now I only have to find room for them on my shelves. That shouldn’t be too hard…I hope.

Book Sale Bargains

What better way to celebrate Australia Day than going to a book sale? Especially one you have to drive 45 minutes to get to in order to snag some free books. One of the Newcastle Libraries were giving away their discarded stock so naturally I was there when doors opened to grab up a bundle of books I certainly don’t have room for and yet inevitably needed to have because of reasons.

It was the typical book sale madness, people crowding at unopened doors because…not sure why. To get in first? To get in a few seconds before anyone else? It’s always the same, at every sale. After the doors did open and people rushed on in, I did the rounds. One thing I like about good book sales is they have things in happy categories. And with library book sales there’s different ones. Instead of breaking things into biographies, sport, cooking etc, everything is in the non fiction pile, and all large print is in the large print pile, and therefore can quickly ignore two sections and focus on the fiction, YA, and children’s. I didn’t get any children’s books this time, being a library sale discarded children books aren’t generally going to be the popular or well known ones. But I did manage to score some great YA books which I was surprised to find in there. I get excited about finding great books in book sales, but then I get sad that it was being discarded because it’s such a great book.

Despite the mini madness happening with boxes and books and people everywhere, I managed to get in and out within 30 minutes, and managed to score 14 books in the process. I am quite excited by what I got, a lot I haven’t read before and have wanted to read for ages so while I have no room to put them anywhere, I am glad I have them and can’t wait to read them.

The latest additions to my collection:

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Spark by Rachael Craw

The ZigZag Effect by Lili Wilkinson

Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Educating Simon by Robin Reardon

The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Burning Soul by John Connolly

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allysse Near

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