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!

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

Book Sale Bargains

Bargain Books

I can’t say that an early Saturday morning pouring with rain was the best day to go to a book sale, but it was the annual Easter Saturday book sale so there wasn’t any question of whether I was going to go. And, in a wonderful piece of luck, there was another book sale only half an hour from the first one so, despite a lot of driving through my morning, I got to attend two book sales. With an almost 2.5 hour round trip, as well as varying levels of rainfall, it wasn’t a wasted morning as I came away with 19 books.

What I love about book sales is not only can you get great books incredibly cheaply, but you can find some incredible gems and treasures as well. I managed to add two new books to my Enid Blyton collection, the same hardback editions as the rest of my ridiculously old books which made me happy. I also found some great books that I’ve loved and never owned a copy of so I grabbed them as well. Being so cheap it also lets you take chances on books and I picked up a lot of books that sounded good by authors I did not know.

I picked up 13 books at sale one and a further 6 at the second, mainly because sale two had a much smaller selection, but all great nonetheless. Of course finding places for these new books will be hard. I have shelf space, just, but I do think if I ever get some quiet time I need another serious reshuffle of my bookshelves to gain some sort of organisation. But until then, anywhere will do and organised space or not, I have 19 new books to read and rediscover to enjoy!

 Here is what I acquired:

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Bad Men by John Connolly

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Horrible Histories: The Groovy Greeks by Terry Deary

Mr Meddles Mischief by Enid Blyton

Tales of Toyland and Other Stories by Enid Blyton

1001 Cool Freaky Facts by Glen Singleton

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Steadman

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

The World’s Best Fairy Tales by Reader’s Digest Association

Lost And Found by Brooke Davis

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

The Vanished Child by Sarah Smith

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Appetite by Philip Kazan

Book Sale Bargains

Bargain Books

In the grand scheme of things, can we really say 21 books is going overboard? Can we really say I bought too many? I am going to answer no. Yesterday I went to a book sale that was selling books discarded from five branches of libraries. For the excellent price of $4.50 I got to fill a bag, the rules were even if it was overflowing it did not matter, and with some excellent Tetris and skilful packing, I got 21 books into a canvas bag and came out rather happy.

I gathered up my 21 books in just over half an hour which is excellent on my half, and it was a great book sale because not only were all the books on the tables and not half on the floor in boxes, but all the books were out ready to go. None of this we’ll unpack some later as the tables empty, or unpack it on a later date if the event is a few days long. No. It was all there, ready to go. I got there as the doors opened because you need to be there early to grab the best books.

The collection varies depending on different books sales. The ones thrown by libraries are different than those put on my second hand book shops that have a lot of donated books in their collections. Library book sales are different because not only do the books have stickers and labels on them (which annoyingly can cover author names and you will have to live with a spine sticker forever on your shelf), but you find a lot of interesting things being sold. Now that I understand the system of weeding out books from library collections to put up for sale, it is curious to notice what books have been discarded. Typically the rule is if a book has not been borrowed in 18 months, or is a few years old, and the rules do vary, but looking through the library books it’s interesting to see some titles and think, ‘Really? Why are you scrapping that?’ The other downside is less chance of finding old gems. The last book sale I went to a few months ago I was able to add to my BSC and Enid Blyton collection as people threw out their old books. But I grabbed some great YA novels this time round, and a lot of books I grabbed because they looked interesting or I wanted to read more by the author. So many chances taken with this recent bunch too so I look forward to reading them and discovering if they are good as they sound.

 I promised I’d share so here is the full list of books I bought yesterday.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Red Spikes Margo Lanagan

The Wings of Kitty St Clair by James Aldridge

Lonesome Howl by Steven Herrick

Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Chasing Charlie Duskin by Cath Crowley

The Book from Baden Dark by James Moloney

Swerve by Phillip Gwynne

Boys of Blood and Bone by David Metzenthen

Lost Property by James Moloney

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

Mama’s Song by Ben Beaton

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Rasco and the Rats of Nimh by Jane Leslie Conly

Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories by Washington Irving

One Foot Wrong by Sophie Laguna

Chrysalis by Libby Hathorn

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale

Some of these I really cannot wait to start reading. With all the books I bought this year (and it is a ridiculous amount) I am all ready for a great reading year ahead of me! And I can feel less guilty because a lot were super bargains so that justifies everything, right?

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