Posted by: Sally Ingraham | September 3, 2009

Library Book Sale Finds

Every summer my local library has a HUGE booksale. It’s one of the events that the locals here in Bar Harbor look forward to all year. After the initial Saturday all the remaining books are 1/2 price. I missed the first day of the sale, but have been taking advantage of the 25 cent books, dollar bill by dollar bill, since mid August. I decided to be done for this year when September arrived.

Here’s my haul:
Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences By Ursula K. Le Guin – Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko – Fiskadoro by Denis Johson
Buffalo GirlsCeremonyFiskadoro
The Misanthrope and Tartuffe by Moliere, translated by Richard Wilbur – Praisesong for the Widow by Paule Marshall – Justine by Lawrence Durrell
The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz – Light by Eva Figes – De Mojo Blues by A. R. Flowers
Thief and Dogs Light Mojo Blues
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken – Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken
The Whispering Mountain by Joan Aiken – The Great Imposter/The Rascal and the Road by Robert Critchon – Clerycastle/The Return to Clerycastle by Monica Heath – Short Story International Vol. 3 #15

Of these books the only ones I’ve read before for sure is Ceremony and Crocodile on the Sandbank. I think my father read the Joan Aiken books aloud to my sisters and I. I always buy books by Ursula K. Le Guin when I see them, regardless of what they are – the rest I picked up out of pure curiosity. I’m looking forward to finding out more about them, and of course reading them!

What are your booksale strategies if you have any? And can we all agree that booksales are the BEST THINGS EVER? ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. I just rediscovered Joan Aiken, after finally succeeding in tracking down a favorite childhood book that involved a girl and her voracious raven (it turned out to be the Arabel & Mortimer series). It was so fun to spend time with a forgotten childhood favorite!

    Occasionally Powell’s fills Portland’s city square with tents upon tents of heavily-discounted books, and when I happen upon that event, my brain kind of short-circuits. Much book-buying ensues! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Emily – I saw the first in the Arabel and Mortimer series at the booksale but didn’t take it. Now I wish I had! It looked fun.

    Did you see Bethany’s (dreadlockgirl) post about her tour of Powells – I’m soooo jealous. I wish we had one on the East coast! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Looks like some great finds, Sarah! I wish I had some good book sale type tips to share, but I’m a huge sucker for paying list price for brand new books because I just have to have those shiny new covers (I don’t buy hardbacks, though–just paperbacks). And I can’t stop! P.S. I’m really eager to read something by Mahfouz before the end of the year, but I think I’ll prob. start with Midaq Alley or The Cairo Trilogy. Hope you have a good reading weekend!

  4. You picked up some great books, Sarah. I’m not familiar with the titles but sveral of the authors are ones I want to read more Aiken, Moliere, Le Guin is always worth having on hand. I haven’t been to a really good book sale in a while but Fall is good for that kind of thing in the city! I so wish we had a Powells, I love the website

  5. Amy – I know!! Powells looks amazing. *sigh*

    Richard – I wasn’t even paying attention when I picked up the Mahfouz – it just looked good. When I got home I realized he was an author I wanted to read who had gone on my list after reading one of Hedgie’s posts. I even checked the first of the Cairo Trilogy out from the library but didn’t get to it. We’ll have to compare notes when we both get around to reading his work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Great haul!! I love the library-sales. My local has 4 big ones a year and it’s $1/bag!

  7. Before reading Justine you may want to check out some online info (like wikipedia) about Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet. I have read all four in the series (I think Justine is the first) and I think I would have gotten more out of the first one if I had known more about them. I only read one of them a year so it took me four years to finish the Quartet, but I quite enjoyed them.

    As for booksale strategies, my only one is to try not go broke.

  8. Thomas – I visited the sale again yesterday – it’s still going on at my library! – and picked up a couple of books before realizing that I actually WAS broke – not even 25 cents knocking around in my pockets… Oh well.

    I’ll definitely look the series up – there wasn’t a lot of info on the book itself, beside rave reviews, so I don’t know anything about it. Thanks for the tip!

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