Archives For used book sales

The Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale in Newtown, Connecticut, was opened this weekend, and the used book business was good! This is one of the premier books sales in the state: well-organized tables filled with excellent quality used books, lots of attentive check-out staff, and great prices. This year, I attended on Sunday, the day after the big rush, and there were plenty of bargains to be had for classroom teachers since the large crowds on Saturday had left something for the discriminating shoppers the following day.

The 38th Annual Book Sale is held from Saturday, July 13, to Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at the Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane Newtown, CT 06470

HOURS: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (all items full price)
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday (half price) and Tuesday ($5 a bag)
9:00 a.m. to 12 noon Wednesday (free).

Glass Castle coverThe paperback trade table is always my first stop, and the titles were alphabetized and arranged spines facing in the same direction for easy browsing. I immediately grabbed the remaining 21 copies of Jeanette Walls’s The Glass Castle for the English IV Memoir class. This book retails for $9.85; twenty-one new copies would have cost $206.85 as compared to the $21.00 I spent. Walls’s memoir of her childhood captures any reader’s interest on the first page when, on her way to a fancy dinner party, she spots her mother “rooting through a dumpster.” The following chapters chronicle Walls’s survival through childhood at the hands of her brilliant, but mentally unstable, alcoholic parents. The riveting story is one of the required readings for the Memoir class.

There were also multiple copies of Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, two copies of Elie Wiesel’s Night, and three copies of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. Over in the drama section, there were newish Folger Library copies of Hamlet, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.

From the classic fiction table I selected several different editions of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectation, all in excellent condition; our freshmen honors students can handle working from different page numbers in class. Over in young adult (YA) fiction, a friend pointed out two copies of Sharon Draper’s Copper Sun, a book I have been looking to add to Grade 11 American Literature. This is an easy read, but with extremely mature subject matter that is bound to bring about interesting discussions..

A quick trip into the other large all-purpose room where children’s books and non-fiction are available, and I found four copies of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, a non-fiction read that we are using in a mandatory English IV unit. Bryson’s journey through some of the Appalachian Trail is a hilarious read, and we intend to relate this trip with the journey student have completed after 13 years of education.

So what sociological study can be applied to this book sale? If the tables loaded with books donated by residents from Newtown could talk, they might say that Newtown residents:

  • Believe in providing their children with books at every age level;
  • Have enough “Chick Lit” books to warrant a separate table;
  • Have enough animal books to divide them into categories: “pets”, “farm animals”, etc;
  • Prefer paperback trades to hardcover fiction;
  • Have a respectable amount of mystery books;
  • Enjoy books about sports.

If there was any criticism, it must come in the form of their (intentional or unintentional) relentless promotion of one title: Seabiscuit. For some inexplicable reason, Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction award-winning book about the award-winning race horse was mixed in with almost every genre. As I shopped, I noted several copies in trade fiction, one copy in classic fiction, three copies in memoir, several copies in animals, one in psychology, and one copy in with the Star Trek series. Perhaps, they were try to interest readers of every kind in this great story?

Three bags full

Three bags full of books for $152.00

I ended up spending $152.00 for three FULL bags of books (see photo). This is $54.85 less than I would have spent on the 21 copies of The Glass Castle books had they been new copies. Three bags of books for classroom libraries for independent and assigned reading left nestled comfortably in the back of my car waiting for September.

Thank you, Friends of the C. H. Booth Library in Newtown, CT. Your efforts help keep students reading, extending the reach of your community!

PS: The friend who went to the book sale with me also reported a “find” in the books she purchased. When she got home, she noticed the almost new copy of Eloise was signed by the illustrator Hilary Knight!

Just back from one of my favorite library book sales-the winter book sale in Westport, Connecticut, which is running during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The “luck of the Irish” provided sun and spring-like temperatures; the advertised “winter sale” was a misnomer.

Seven bags with an average of 17 books a bag=119 books;
total price? 122.50 or roughly $1.00/book!

The Friends of the Westport Library is responsible for the organization of this winter sale and for the outdoor summer sale as well. While many CT libraries offer quality books at their library book sales, the Westport library book sales always offer quality books in great quantities! This particular sale featured hardcover, paperback and and trade fiction, and many tables dedicated to videotape.

The volunteer Friends of the Library that work the checkout table are polite and accommodating. There are also helpful volunteers who tidy the tables sorting books into their genres. I was particularly fortunate to have one volunteer see my growing bag contents and offer to tally the books in the hold section while I continued to shop. Checkout for this sale, as it was with the summer sale, was fast and efficient, despite the number of books I gathered.

This Saturday morning, the sale was particularly rich with young adult (YA) novels. I averaged 17 books in a bag, and purchased seven bags of books. Most of these books were single copies of books on my “must have” list, for example, I picked up a single copy of Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion and a single copy of James Dasner’s Maze Runner.

Books for high school students grades 10-12

But there were also a number of copies of books we teach in our curriculum. On this trip, I picked up five copies of Laurie Halse Andersen’s Speak, four copies of Avi’s Nothing but the Truth, and a dozen copies of Betty Smith’s classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There were also copies of contemporary novels that are popular with the high school students. These include Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and Curtis Sittenfield’s Prep.

These 17 books can be purchased new for the retail price of $122.98.

I spent a total of $122.50 on used books at this sale for 119 books for grades 7-12. This amount of money represents the retail price ($122.98) of the 17 books in the picture if we had purchased the books brand new. Because of this used book sale, our payment to the Friends of the Westport Library allows us to afford an additional 102 books for our classroom libraries.

The purchase of gently used books continues to be a great resource for our classroom libraries. Our expansion of titles through used book purchases allows our students to independently select a book to read and allows teachers to create literature circles with a variety of reading materials for different reading levels.

The proceeds from these used book sales directly benefit local libraries, while these used books are “recycled” from one reader to another. The Westport Public Library Giant Summer Book Sale, will be held July 21-24, 2012. I will be there, and I encourage you to go as well!