Ever Been to a Library Sale


I’ve heard and read about library sales quite a bit. But I’ve never been to one. I’ve never even heard of one happening around here…until now. There’s one happening at one of the libraries in my system right as this post is being published. It’s from 9:00AM – 2:00PM today and the article I read said that books are at “bargain” prices. I’m intrigued.

I definitely want to go. But I have work during the exact hours of the sale, plus an hour. How unfortunate. I’m curious to see how these things play out. The closest thing I’ve ever been to (I think) would have been when my neighborhood Borders closed a few years ago. They were having a “blowout” sale during the final weeks of the store’s existence. But if I’m being honest, I don’t think 30% off is that significant. That’s basically Amazon every single day. I think I bought three books that day. Or five. But I was unsatisfied because their selection was already about half of what the Barnes and Noble over here carries, and the shelves were entirely unorganized because of the sale. It was the only time I’d ever seen people in line at the store. Is that what happens at library sales? Books all over the place? And people all up in your personal space? Maybe I’m not missing out on much.

BUT I’m thinking of sending someone to the sale in my place. Maybe I can just give them a list of authors and say go find these? Ha. I sound like a horrible, bossy person. But I’m always looking for new books. Especially cheap ones. Have you ever been to a library sale? What was it like?

OH MY GOODNESS! I just went to the branch website and they have typewriters for public use!

PS: I just found a website that tells you when library sales are happening all over the country. You can search by state and find when your local library is having a sale. It’s called Book Sale Finder.

48 thoughts on “Ever Been to a Library Sale

  1. I remember when I was a child my local library would have book sales, which was neat because I discovered some interesting books that I don’t think I would have anywhere else. However, I haven’t paid attention in recent times to see if my local libraries have book sales. I’m pretty sure they do, so I will be keeping an eye out for them!


  2. I’ve been to one local library sale, it wasn’t loaded with books but there’s always something to find.

    Here at the University they have a huge sale once a year of used books (mostly donated to raise funds for something or other). The first couple of years were fantastic! But sadly, many of the local discount book stores get in there early and buy loads of everything…and my guess they’re not selling those paperbacks for the $1 they bought them for. Still, we go every year and come home with many a treat. Always fun…even if it’s just to see how many copies of what book have been given away.


  3. I love library sales. You can get out-of-print books and just books you’d like to read for an excellent price. Unfortunately, ours is wall-to-wall people and you have to use your elbows a lot! Thanks for the link; I didn’t know a list was published. I enjoy your blog.


  4. I’ve only ever been to one of them before and it was phenomenal. I had never seen so many awesome books for sale for such low prices. I literally came away with more than thirty books (Maybe. It might have been more around 25. Or 27. OKAY ALMOST 30, BUT STILL).

    I really hope you enjoy your library sale!


  5. Usually libraries have pretty good book sales. You will find that they have book sales often. You usually can get books about 90% off the original price. Here in Morgantown, WV, the library has sales every Tuesday and Saturday. Usually you can find some pretty good books. Good luck finding another book sale.


  6. My local library had a permanent sale section. When you walk in there was always a table of for sale titles – generally all the older stuff they want to get rid of to make room for new stuff. I imagine it was mostly books that no one had taken out in ages.
    But, I bought a lot of books that way that I wouldn’t have ever heard of otherwise. They always did hardcovers 50 cents each or 4 for a dollar. Paperbacks, 25 cents each or 6 for $1. No idea what inflation has made those prices now. My local library is tiny. I haven’t gone in ages, but I bought a lot of books I wouldn’t have bought otherwise to get that 4 or 6 for the discount. Lots of yellow pages and battle-weary covers in my collection. Lol.


      • At my local they were well-aged. Not necessarily in bad shape, (though I’ve bought a few with writing inside) but aged, with yellow pages, like any book would get that’s 10+ years old.
        I’m not as picky about that. My aunt retired from the New York Times, so as a kid I inherited a lot of books with the covers torn off. They had to do that with books that were being disposed of so they couldn’t be resold. Conditon is of little concern to me if it’s structurally sound.
        But, at this stage, I’m looking to get rid of paper books, not add more. I need my house back! Lol. I’m definitely a child of the digital age now, just as a matter of practicality. I have no room left, so unless I would put it on a list of books I’d bring to a desert island, I don’t really want a physical copy anymore.


      • A bunch? No idea. Between me and tje roomie we have…7 or 8 bookshelves. Most stacked 2 deep, or with books sideways on top of other books. And then there are boxes of graphic novels and comics…

        I never counted. I don’t feel so inclined.


      • Yeah, I don’t keep track. I’d bury myself if I tried to start now. Lol. I know I just donated a good 20 or so to goodwill a few months ago, sold another half dozen. Just…stuff I knew there was no way I would ever look at again. Old YA books I’d had since I was seven, a giant unabridged dictionary from before I had the internet, another huge tome about airplanes from my teens when I got it in my head for a few months that I wanted to be a pilot, new agey stuff from my hippy phase… πŸ˜€
        A bunch of battered plays and autobiographies I had to read in college – the ones I didn’t enjoy and couldn’t sell back. The Grapes of Wrath and Memoirs of a Geisha – both books I genuinely disliked. Eragon-which was so bad that it took me 2 years to read 3 chapters, and the sequel someone bought me not knowing how much I hated it. Twilight, which is a book I would actually consider burning in righteous anger against horrible storytelling. Lol. No sense keeping books that I actually dislike. I used to collect them because one of the things I wanted growing up was a room full of nothing but books. Now that that room has overspilled into all the other rooms, I just want to be able to find one when I’m looking for it.

        I’m at a cutting phase. Books I truly LIKED, I keep, but in the interest of freeing up shelf space, I’m now getting rid of things that I didn’t enjoy or feel lukewarm about. You will have to pry the Wayfarer Redemption out of my cold, dead hands, though, even if I don’t know if I’ll ever reread it. Lol.


      • You’re right. Why keep books you hate? ALTHOUGH I don’t get rid of books. Ha! I’ve never read any of the books you mentioned. I also don’t have any books from a long time ago like you did. My oldest would be from when I was maybe 16 or so. So not too long ago.


      • Yeah, I used to not get rid of them, but I think you get to a point where, if you haven’t touched a book in a decade, and have no inclination to open it when you see it on a shelf, it’s time to let it go unless there’s some sentimental value.
        My roomie still has a bunch of Hardy Boys. πŸ™‚ But, he does pick them up now and again. Since I don’t really do that, keeping them after a certain point, when there’s someone out there who will make better use of it than me, is just no longer worthwhile. Especially when I can get most of the classics free or nearly free for my ereader. I don’t have collector’s editions, so keeping a paperback of the complete works of Shakespeare that weighs over 10 lbs, when I can just have a digital file that’s much more portable, is not practical.
        On the other hand, my ‘alice in wonderland’ is a hardcover collector’s edition, so that stays. It’s all about prioritizing for me. I’ve reached a point where it’s time to simplify.


  7. Our school library had a sale once and the books went for about 30p (they were really old though). It was good because I picked up books I probably wouldn’t otherwise have read, but on the downside it meant I had to carry 5 extra books round til the end of school πŸ˜›


  8. My local library back home has an ongoing book sale, plus two semi-annual ones where they basically clean the shelves. They also hold a kids-only book sale to kick off their summer reading club for kids at the end of the school year. I love going to book sales at libraries…it always ends up a win-win! As an added note, our local library back home had projectors, lawn darts, and camping equipment available for borrowing on your library card as well…and yes, they had a typewriter for patron use at no charge. Pretty cool place…the public library!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love library sales! They take a lot of patience (at least in my experience)… all the books and magazines are heaped in unorganized piles (usually by price, not by genre or anything like that). But when you find something good, it’s pretty exciting. πŸ™‚


  10. Oh, man! Library sales are dangerous for me. Besides a bookstore, library sales are the best way to find new (and random) books to read. I’ve uncovered some majorly awesome (and weird) books. There are usually great reference books, too, which I love. As you know, I have a ton of books on writing, grammar, and such, but I find great inspiration in old, dusty books that haven’t been read in years.

    I have to stay away from library sales. I’ll be there for hours and haul away tons of books that just get added to my already overflowing TBR list. But if you’ve never been… be warned. People can be ruthless! Sometimes I feel like I’m shopping on Black Friday when I go to a library sale. There’s no mercy if you’re looking for the same thing somebody else is.


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