I know, I know. I need more books like I need a hole in my head, but the next two weekends are promises of HUGE library book sales in Newtown and Westport. My husband has been looking forward to the one in Newtown for a year. He went on “free day” and scored boxes of good books for the kids, himself, and even me! Now if you’re hoping to find specific books, go in with a list by author’s last name. You may have better luck finding them if you go on the first couple of days. However, unless you’re a trader or seller (or desperate) you don’t have to go when they charge admission. Wait until it is free admission and then start browsing. Generally, paperbacks are $1-2 and hardcovers are $3 or less. They’ll post the prices up. On one of the days, books are half-priced or fill a bag for a certain price ($5). The last day is “free day” – just load up your bag/box and leave a donation. These mega book sales are better organized, so just go down your list. Tip: If you’re putting it on your phone, make sure you can access it even without Internet connection. Here are my other tips on how to leave a book sale smiling with a large TBR (to be read) pile:
1) If you’re bringing kids, leave the stroller in the car, unless you know for a fact that there is a lot of open space.
2) Take the kids to the children’s section first and pick some books for them. The more pictures the better for the younger ones.
3) Find a spot to sit them down and have them read or flip pages. If possible, take turns with spouse to browse/babysit. If you’re braving it alone, having the stroller will be helpful.
4) If you have limited time, make a beeline to the section(s) where you will likely find your books. Get a map of the layout if you must. I like my fiction and mysteries, but I like trade paperbacks and not mass paperbacks. So, I ignore the latter section altogether. Hardcovers if time permits.
5) I really just like to browse and, sadly, I do judge books by covers. If the cover has any mention of Oprah or some kind of literary award, it gets added to my pile. If I have Internet access, I will check my librarything account to see if I already own it. If I don’t, I’ll add it to my pile anyway because I canalways trade it off with bookmooch or bookins. But honestly, this is how I ended up with 550+ books and I have discovered new authors (to me) along the way.
6) If you’re up for anything, then wait until free day and fill up your bag or box. Then sort at home. If you get a pile that’s taller than your child, you might want to invest in a CueCat and scan your books into the virtual library (librarything.com), which is free if you have less than 200 books.
Shop any way you want for books at the library book sales and you will definitely find more possibilities to exercise (or rest) your brain. Don’t forget, your local library usually has a book sale section you can browse each time you visit. I remember my days in Riverdale, where I scored 5 paperbacks for $2. Enjoy and let me know what you end up adding to your collection!