Saturday, February 24, 2007

Library Used Book Sale Report (May 2006)

From the unpublished archives, originally written in May 2006...

I apologize that this photo is sideways!

All these books for 50 cents each---what a bargain!

For those of you who like to hear about books and library sales here is a report for you. If you don’t know it already we homeschool our children and we use real books for most of the content. We call very good books “living books” and it is those books which I most want to read and own and use to homeschool our children (vs. curriculum or textbooks). I would prefer to pay 50 cents to $1 for a book and own it rather than searching the book out at a library to borrow (and pay late fines on if we are not finished with it or if we get so busy that I forget to return it or to renew it).

I can’t afford to buy all of these books new, so bookhunting at library sales is something I enjoy doing.

My main focus at library book sales is on books for my children and secondarily books for my husband and I (only because I have little time to read and so many unread books here that I don't want to tempt myself by extensive browsing for myself). I am a big reader and hope that my children will also love to read.

I had a very busy and stressful week. I had seen signs around town announcing my town’s library sale was going to be held Saturday and Sunday. I didn’t give it much thought due to more pressing issues going on in my life, and knowing I already own probably way too many books (over 4200). (Note, as of February 2007 my inventory spreadsheet reports over 6100 books and not all that we own are catalogued!)

However I was sitting at the computer at 6:55pm on this certain Friday night in May, and I was thinking about the library sale, and I realized that in the past they had always had a preview sale on Friday nights, but that the preview was not advertised on the signs I had seen.

I went online to check my library’s website for details but there was nothing on the site about the book sale. So then I went to and indeed that reported that there was a preview sale from 7pm to 9pm that night.

Then, dinner was ready (my husband made a big salad with grilled chicken on top). It took only a few minutes to eat. We discussed the sale over dinner, and it was decided that I’d go. I left the kids at home with my husband and went on my merry way.

I was not in a rush because I didn’t want the first fast rush of the book dealers which I find so annoying. My town’s library sale is small and the room is small and I hate being crammed in there with the dealers.

I arrived at 7:20pm to an almost full parking lot. Some dealers were loading in multiple boxes into their cars, and getting ready to leave (already!). When I walked in there were perhaps only twenty adults and three or four children. It was very calm and peaceful, to my amazement.

Every book was 50 cents. The main focus for adults books was on paperbacks and it was advertised as a “paperback book sale”. However the children’s section had hardbacks as well.

I headed right to the art section as I wanted to see if they had any fine art history books or books on collage. There were no art books there at all. However a dealer was in that spot culling his selections and was dumping business books in the art section. Groan.

So I went to the children’s section. I was surprised to see more children’s books than I had ever seen before, at this library sale. They had hundreds of toddler books and lots of regular picture books. I saw Five in a Row titles and classics and popular good books by great authors. I saw many of my favorites there which we already own so I left them there. They also had loads of the Dr. Seuss type books. There were also American Girl books there. There were tons of animal books, dinosaurs, lizards, etc. I left so much there as we already own enough of that stuff so I don't even look at them any more lest I be temped to buy them, ha ha.

All the books were donated from private people and many of the children’s books were in like new condition or are barely used.

They had lots and lots of beginning readers and I was impressed with the quality such as nonfiction science and nonfiction history leveled readers (level 1, Level 2, etc.). They had a ton of Boxcar Children books and Magic Tree House and lots of the other popular series books. There was a stack of Nancy Drew and also Hardy Boys. There were still many history and science books. There were maze books and activity puzzle books. I saw lots of classics as well (Mark Twain, etc.) and lots of teen fiction too (all the summer reading book list books are there). Of course there were hundreds of twaddle selections including Baby Sitters Club and Goosebumps.

The biography section (adult) did have books for children/teens also.

The children at the sale were looking for Juney B. Jones books and two boys were looking for Animorph books. Another boy came and wanted only Goosebumps books. A girl was looking for quite some time but was not finding anything she wanted to read.

I was saddened to hear a mother tell her son (about age 7) that he picked out too many books and that he’d have to put some back. You cannot tell me that the family could not afford to buy the small number of books that he wanted. I think every child should have every book they want unless it is twaddle or inappropriate content (especially when the price is just 50 cents).

I overheard a funny conversation between a mother and her son right before I left. He was about 9 or 10 years old and was picking out some real twaddle. He picked one Animorph book out and she asked him to find just one “good fiction” book which she defined as something not like Goosebumps or Animorphs. He was coming up empty handed. There was not much there but I suggested the Redwall books which I saw (but had since been purchased by someone). She had never heard of the Redwall series. I also suggested “Lord of the Rings” and handed that to him but he said “yuck”. It was too bad there really was not anything there that was good for a boy of that age left for me to guide them to. Most of the chapter books left at that point were teen-girl oriented. There were not even any historical fiction books that were any good left. This is a common dilemma in the book world, finding chapter books for boys of that age which are not pure garbage yet are not the older classics (which there were none of left either).

I made sure to check the other ‘adult’ sections as well such as biography (which had ‘juvenile’ biography), classics, literature, history, science, nature, and health.

They had probably 300 VHS videos all for 50 cents, loads of Thomas the Tank Engine and other preschool type videos. Tons of Disney VHS and other G rated movies. I didn’t see any videos that I wanted to buy.

There were a few boxes of adult audio books as well. I found a set of four dramaticized radio shows based on classic literature books.

One funny thing was I put a box of books down at the cashier’s desk and went back to get the other box. When I went to pay I saw a book on top of my box which I didn’t pick out to purchase. I said, “This isn’t my book.” Then I realized that maybe it would be a good book. It was fiction novel, one of the Oprah Book Club books that I had never heard of. I wondered if there was some reason that someone would have put this in my box and maybe there was something in it that I should read (was that God’s way of telling me I am meant to read it or something?). The cashier said it was a very good story so I bought it.

I found more books than I had anticipated. I chose 126 books for a cost of $63. I am a sucker for a bargain. It is just so tempting for me to buy a book because it is 50 cents so I end up buying a lot. To justify this I make the comparison that if I had purchased four new hardback picture books it would have cost me about $80. So to spend $63 on 126 books is not too bad. And after all, it is a fundraiser for the library. And if I don’t like them I can donate them back to the library and could get a tax write-off for the donation (if we made any income and were paying income taxes).

The books filled four small boxes. When I got home I brought them right into the house. I sat in the family library and sorted them by category onto the coffee table. My sons were thrilled to see some of the books I found and they immediately picked some to start reading. This is the first time that they have done this and it made my heart sing! This is what I have always wanted for my children.

That night both of my sons stayed up reading after we tucked them into bed. My older son ended up staying up until 1:30am reading. (I was fast asleep and didn’t know that was going on.) We know this because at 1:30am he woke up my husband to complain he was still awake and lonely and didn’t like being the last one in the house who was awake, so he wanted to come into our bed to sleep with us. (I was so tired I didn’t even hear him and I didn’t even know that indeed he was in our bed until I woke up in the morning.)

Today I am sorting the books. I will put them into my Excel spreadsheet and then will sort them and put some on shelves and will put others away, the ones which are to read when they are older. Once they are in the spreadsheet it is easy to copy the data to share with you on my blog.

Here is the list of books that I purchased at this sale. There may be a few missing because my children took some to read and ran off with them before I could catalogue them.

code: pb=papberback book; hb=hardback book


Cat's Cradle, Jacob's Ladder, Eiffel Tower, Cup & Saucer, Witch's Broom A book of string figures Anne Akers Johnson activities pb spiral
Metropolitan Museum of Art art songbook pb


The Autobiography of Mark Twain Charles Neider autobiography pb

Fiction Chapter Books/Juvenile Fiction

A Rat's Tale Tor Seidler chapter book fiction pb
Danger on Midnight River Gary Paulsen chapter book fiction pb
Harris and Me Gary Paulsen chapter book fiction pb
Junior Great Books Series 7 The Great Books Foundation chapter book fiction pb
Jurassic Park the Junior Novelization Gail Herman chapter book fiction pb
Magic Tree House #6: Afternoon on the Amazon Mary Pope Osborne chapter book fiction pb
Magic Tree House #7 Sunset of the Sabertooth Mary Pope Osborne chapter book fiction pb
Misty of Chincoteague Marguerite Henry chapter book fiction pb
Redwall with full color illustrations Brian Jacques chapter book fiction pb
Shiloh Phyllis Reynolds Naylor chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Journal Hero For Hire Han Solo chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Missions #10 Showdown in Mos Eisley Ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Missions #11 Bounty Hunters vs. Battle Droids ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Missions #12 The Vactooine Disaster Ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Missions #13 Ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Missions #14 Ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Missions #6 The Search for Grubba the Hutt Ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb Star Wars Missions #7 Ithorian Invasion ryder Windham chapter book fiction pb
Star Wars Queen of the Empire Paul Davids chapter book fiction pb
Taggerung (Redwall series) Brian Jacques chapter book fiction pb
The Bellmaker (Redwall series) Brian Jacques chapter book fiction pb
The Dragons of Blueland Ruth Stiles Gannett chapter book fiction pb
Dinotopia River Quest John Vornholt chapter book ficton pb
Magic School Bus Chapter book #3 The Wild Whale Watch Eva Moore chapter book science pb


Heidi Johanna Spyri classic chapter book pb
Shane Jack Schaefer classic chapter book pb
Ethan Frome Edith Wharton classic fiction pb
Radiobooks: David Copperfield Tape 4 Radiobooks classic fiction cassette
Radiobooks: Lost Horizon Radiobooks classic fiction cassette
Radiobooks: The Pit and the Pendulum & The Tell Tale Heart Radiobooks classic fiction cassette Radiobooks: Treasure Island Radiobooks classic fiction cassette
The Mysterious Adventures of Shirlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic fiction pb
The Power and the Glory Graham Greene classic fiction pb
To Have and to Have Not Ernest Hemingway classic fiction pb

Education//Education Reform

Teaching as a Subversive Activity
Other People's Children Cultural Conflict in the Classroom Lisa Delpit education teaching pb

Books for me

Fall on Your Knees Ann-Marie MacDonald fiction adult pb

Art Appreciation or Art History

Joseph Koudelka (famous photographer’s works)
Horse Paintings 30 full color postcards to keep or send (fine art paintings)
Mainstreams of Modern Art second edition John Canaday fine art pb

Foreign Language Books

Annotated Chinese Proverbs Foreign Language Press foreign language Chinese pb
The Cat in the Hat Dictionary in French Beginner Book Dr. Seuss foreign language French hb
Langenscheidt's German English Dictionary Langenscheidt foreign language german pb
See It and Say it in Italian Margarita Madrigal foreign language Italian pb
Japanese picture book foreign language Japanese board
Spanish Stories


Angel Flores foreign language Spanish pb
Amazing Facts about Australia Discover and Learn Volume 8 Steve Parish geography Australia pb


Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book Susan M. Love M.D. health medical pb
Let's be safe Benjamin Darling health safety hb

Historical Fiction Chapter Books

Dear America: The Great Railroad Race The Diary of Libby West Utah Territory, 1868 Kristiana Gregory historical fiction US History hb
Early Thunder Jean Fritz historical fiction US History pb


The Valley of the Far Side Gary Larson humor comic pb

Language Arts

Mensa Publications presents world puzzles for language geniuses 200 mind-numbing & bewitching brain teasers Mensa Publications Language Arts puzzles pb
Writing Down the Bones Natalie Goldberg Language Arts writing composition pb
Cricket magazine Feb 1993 literature magazine pb


Red Scarf Girl A Memoir of the cultural revolution Ju-Li Jiang memoir history pb
The Road from Coorain Jill Ker Conway memoir pb
Under the Tuscan Sun Frances Mayes


Go In and Out the Window an illustrated songbook for young people
Jimmy Buffett Live by the Bay (concert VHS) Jimmy Buffett music VHS

Non-fiction, adult

All my patients are under the bed Dr. Louis J. Camuti nonfiction cat pb
At Home in the Woods Vena & Bradford Angier nonfiction nature pb
We Like it Wild nonfiction nature pb

Picture Books, Children
Arthur's Chicken Pox Marc Brown picture book fiction pb
Arthur's Thanksgiving Marc Brown picture book fiction pb
Arthur's Tooth Marc Brown picture book fiction pb
Better Not Get Wet, Jesse Bear Nancy White Carlstrom picture book fiction pb
Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile Tomie dePaola picture book fiction pb
Charlie Needs a Cloak Tomie dePaola picture book fiction pb
Dick Whittington and His Cat Marcia Brown picture book fiction pb
Dinotopia Pop-up Book James Gurney picture book fiction pb
Goggles! Ezra Jack Keats picture book fiction pb
Hildilid's Night Cheli Duran Ryan picture book fiction pb
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Nancy White Carlstrom picture book fiction pb
Maggie and the Pirate Ezra Jack Keats picture book fiction pb
Mr. Gumpy's Outing John Burningham picture book fiction pb
Old Black Fly Jim Ayelsworth picture book fiction pb
One Fine Day Nonny Hogrogian picture book fiction pb
The Berenstain Bears and too much Junk Food Stan & Jan Berenstain picture book fiction pb
The Boats on the River Marjorie Flack picture book fiction pb
The Missing Piece Shel Silverstein picture book fiction hb
The Remarkable Farkle McBride John Lithgow picture book fiction pb
The Sky Dog Brinton Turkle picture book fiction pb
Whistle for Willie Ezra Jack Keats picture book fiction pb

Non-fiction, children , other
Guiness World Records 2003

Guiness World Records picture book nonfiction hb
The Great Kapok Tree: a tale of the amazon rain forest Lynne Cherry picture book rainforest pb


Photoanalysis psychology photography pb

Puzzle Books
Usborne Superpuzzles advanced level map & maze puzzles Sarah Dixon consumable pb

Fun with Scripture lectionary word searches and bible crossword puzzles Jim & Audrey religion, puzzles pb


Mammal: Eyewitness books Steve Parker science animal hb
Butterflies: A First Discovery Book Gallimard Jeunesse science butterflies hb
Welcome to the Sea of Sand Jane Yolen science desert pb
T-Rex The Ultimate Guide Discovery Channel science dinosaurs VHS
Elecrticity Eyewitness Science Book Steve Parker science electricity hb
Fawcett Columbine science horses postcards
Living Anatomy a photographic atlas of muscles in action and surface contours R.D. Lockhart science human body pb
The Kids' Book of Kaleidoscopes Carolyn Bennett science kaleidoscopes pb
Mickey's Magnet Franklyn M Branley science magnet pb
The Reason for a flower Ruth Heller science plants pb
Pond Life: A Golden Guide George K. Reid science pond pb
The Shaman's Apprentice: a tale of the amazon rain forest Lynne Cherry science rainforest pb
The Magic School Bus Hello Out There a sticker book about the solar system Scholastic science solar system pb
Disaster Science klutz science weather pb spiral
My Favorite Football Stories Red Grange sports pb
Star Wars Episode I Incredible Cross Sections DK Publishing Star Wars movies hb
Star Wars Episode I The Visual Dictionary DK Publishing Star Wars movies hb

US History or US Geography

Alaska a travel survival kit Lonely Planet travel Alaska pb
The Wild West Mike Stotter US History 1800s hb
The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells An Intimate Portrait of the Activist as a young woman Miriam Decosta-Willis US History civil rights pb
Paper Soldiers of the Civil War Volume 1: soldiers of 1861 Alan Archambault US History civil war pb
Yes & Know Civil War 1861-1865 Book 2 Clarie B. Lenkoff US History civil war pb
Mount Vernon Virginia an illustrated handbook Mt. Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union US History Mount Vernon pb
Portraits of Native Americans: Library of Congress a book of postcards Edward S. Curtis US History Native American postcards
New Orleans facts and legends Raymond J. Martinez


How to work with tools and wood Robert Campbells woodworking

World History

Hammond Historical Atlas of the World newly revised edition Hammond world history atlas pb
The World's Great Circus Merrimack Publishing world history circus pb
Lost Country Life How English country folk lived, worked, threshed, thatched, rolled fleece, milled corn, brewe mead… Dorothy Hartley world history England pb
Castles Rupert Matthews world history Medieval pb
Cut & Assemble a Medieval Castle a full-color model of Caernarvon Castle in Wales A.G. Smith world history Medieval pb
The Middle Ages A History of Britain Tim Wood world history Medieval pb
Scottish Battles Georgeana Phillips world history Scotland pb
The Titanic: The Extraordinary story of the "unsinkable" ship Geoff Tibballs world history Titanic pb
The Third Millennium a history of the world: AD 2000-3000

Other Notes
Some of the chapter books, specifically the Star Wars series books and the Jurassic Park book may be considered twaddle. However, my sons are huge Star Wars fans so I am pleased to have discovered these books for them.

My younger son (aged 5.5) is reading chapter books with ease. He no longer wants to read picture books. I am trying to figure out a way to encourage him to read more picture books, or perhaps that may only be done as read-aloud’s from me. My younger son’s reading ability and decoding is surpassing my 8.5 year old son’s decoding ability. Both children are actually on a roll with reading Calvin and Hobbes books. My older son has trouble decoding some of the very big words which I consider high school level words, some with Latin roots and irregular phonics patterns (i.e. psychology). However my younger son doesn’t always understand the meaning of a word but keeps reading on and doesn’t say he doesn’t understand a word (unless I ask because the word is so mature that I would be surprised if he knew the meaning).

The foreign language adult level books are very old and the paper is foxed and fragile. I plan to use these to make art projects with.

I was pleased to find Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book as I didn’t own it previously and it was the book which was most highly recommended to me by doctors during my mother’s Breast Cancer treatment. Since I am now at an increased risk for getting Breast Cancer I need to increase my own awareness and knowledge about breast health (beyond breastfeeding and lactation information).

I was happy to find two books by Bradford Angier as he is a favorite author of my 95.5 year old grandmother and I had not read his books. The two Angier books I bought were in the nature section and are about leaving city life to live in the wilderness in a self-sufficient way. I love reading books about that.

I was happy to find a full color illustrated version of Redwall (which we haven’t read yet) and also two of the sequels which we don’t yet own. I am trying to collect the full series.

The book count in my Excel spreadsheet now is at 4354.

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1 comment:

A Dusty Frame said...

Wow! You really cleaned up.
I love the library sale, but I often forget about it:(!

Isn't it great loving classic books? Unfortunately for society in general, they aren't highly sought after. But good for us right?:) Easy to find them as a bargain.