Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bargain Reads

book finds0211 (1)

As our friend, Possum, noted in a recent blog post comment, electronic books can’t be found in thrift store book sales (yet), freely traded with friends, and you certainly won’t find surprises in them like this.

Grenville and I not only use the local library, but scour thrift store book racks weekly. We LIKE printed books; Grenville said that he can’t put an electronic book in his back pocket – and sit down. And, we enjoy holding printed books, especially hardcovers, so we’ve happily decided NOT to join the trend towards electronic versions – no Kindle® or Nook® in our immediate (or long-term) future.

For us, great book finds can be found not only at the local thrift stores, but the local library has an ongoing “dollar-a-bag sale table.” It’s filled with discarded and/or withdrawn books, donated books (hardcovers and paperbacks), magazines, and even some audio books on cassettes (remember those?). The selection is constantly changing and is usually quite amazing. Usually, I buy a bag, only planning to keep a couple, then save some to send to friends, but most often donate the rest to the thrift store where I volunteer, which in turn sells them – everyone profits.

Here’s some “finds” in the past couple of weeks – several travel books for our possible late spring road trip to Florida (yes, another one) and a couple of light, fun mysteries to read along the way. These can then be left with a Florida friend who likes mysteries.

FL travel bksmystery bk finds

Retail cost of the 3 travel books was $50.95. The 2 paperbacks retailed at $7.99 each ($8.99 in Canada, ouch).

For more serious fiction reading, I found the first two books of the wildly popular Millennium trilogy by the late Swedish journalist and novelist Stieg Larsson. One was included in the local library sale; the other was 25 cents in a thrift store. Retail cost of both paperbacks new was $27.90 vs. my cost of $1.25

dragon girl bks2

Still need the paperback version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, to complete the set and hopefully will find it in paperback (current U.S. price, $12.99) on a future search. I started the first book (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)  over a year ago on loan from a neighbor, but could not “get into” the story line and returned the book as I feared it would be a slow start and dislike holding onto a borrowed book. Ownership means I can read them at will, and the cost was very right, plus paperbacks travel well.

blogging dummies bkAlso found this book – retail $21.99 ($25.99 Canada – really OUCH). It was included in the $1 library sale.

Grenville figures it might make our blog “more interesting."

Is that possible?


Total retail cost of ALL the books shown at the top of this post would have been – are you ready – $213.75 (U.S. prices only – higher elsewhere.)

Our cost was under $2 – cheaper than buying an electronic reader – and to our thinking, a lot more satisfying.

What’s YOUR preference?


Anvilcloud said...

Everything is more expensive up here. It became exceptionally noticeable in books when our dollar was much lower than yours. So, they stopped printing the two prices for the most part.

I suspect I'll be sticking with bend-able books, but I'll tell: that iPad is an impressive machine. Kindles etc not so much. I think the iPad would be great for newspapers and periodicals.

We have a big, messy used book store in town. It's a bit overwhelming, so I don't go in there. It's impressive though.

Anonymous said...

I´m like You, I love real books. To hold them, flip pages and the small of them :-)

I´ve heard that the english translation of the Millennium trilogy is really bad, but I do hope it doesn´t destroy the joy of reading them. I have the books but I haven´t read them yet.

Have a great day!

Daisy said...

You got some fantastic bargains there!

As someone who works in a library, I love real books, and I'm glad to hear that you support yours. I do realize, however, that electronic versions are growing more and more popular. I'd hate to think that real books will eventually become a thing of the past, but that is what some people predict.

Lois Evensen said...

In our area we have Half Price Books where we can pick up used books. We have so many books now, though that we will soon have to build on a new room to house them. If we moved the books out of the house, the house would lift about six feet off the foundation.

We just donated a BUNCH of books to our library. We got a receipt (not much of a tax deduction, but I'm an accountant so keep up with such things), the library gets to keep what they want to keep, the library will sell the rest at their book fair, people like you will come along and buy some of them, then they'll get into your book recycle plan. It all beats the heck out of using them as logs in the fireplace!

We're getting into the electronic books. Recorded books are nice for our long road trips, too.

grammie g said...

Hi Beatrice..We have Salvation Army and Goodwill Stores that have great selection and good deals..nothing over $2.95.
I have heard that there are a lot of Border Book Stores closing...would be nice if they donated books to these stores!!
I am with Lois..I like to listen while sewing or doing things!!
But having a book in hand( soft cover easier)
does have that, I can go anywhere and read this!!

Sandra said...

i am with you, no electronic books for me. but then i stay behind the times on most things. i don't think you needed that blogger dummy book, but we shall see what we shall see. our library does the same thing, has ongoing sales. i don't buy anymore and donated all my books to the library because i now have to have large print books. they were happy to get them and now i know there will be someone that will buy them or borrow them, just like you do

Elaine said...

I prefer a real book. I haven't tried the electronic books, but my grandson loves his. I think there's an age difference here, but for students it works good because if they have a reading assignment they can download it immediately, and they have textbooks that you can get. That sure beats carrying around a huge backpack with heavy books. For me, when I want to curl up with a book, the electronic version just doesn't cut it. We have a book store here where we can trade books. They buy used books and you can get the money or use the credit to buy books at half price. If you take it back again, you end up paying 25% of the new price. They have a great selection and many recent releases. I especially like it when they have their 50% off sale and then I stock up. I've bought a lot of books for my granddaughter that way.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi all, glad to read that nearly all of you prefer the printed books to the electronic ones. And, it was interesting to read the comments as to the reasons why.

AC, thanks for the enlightment on why some books don't have the U.S. and Ca. prices anymore. Several of the ones I got did have both, but may have been older.

Christer, let me know when you read the Millenium series. I'll wait until I get the 3rd book :-)

Thanks Daisy, I also volunteer at the library a couple of hours a week.

Lois with your travel schedule, I can see why you might want to get into electronic reading, but then you will need a reliable wi-fi to download.

Grammie G. you place is way more expensive then the thrift stores here which charge 25-50 cents for paperbacks and about $1 for hardcovers. I'm with you on the Borders donation thought.

Sandra, the larger print books are much easier to read and sometimes I go back and forth between them and "regular" print books depending on what's available for a specific title. The next book I'm reading in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is a large print version.

Elaine, when I was living in SOmerville, NJ there was a large, older book store that did that too, issued credit for future purchases. I remember it was called the P.M. Book Store.

Kathiesbirds said...

I'm with you, I like to hold a book in my hands and feel the pages and smell the paper and take it along wherever I want to. I also would rather own a book than worry about retuning it, even from the library! But, I will often borrow from the library first before I buy a book! And, since I collect children's books, it seems nothing can take the place of those gorgeous illustrations on the page!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Kathie and welcome to our blog! Owning a book means I don't have to worry about taking it along when we travel, so the bargain finds are great for that. I do borrow from the library a lot and enjoy the great variety because I could not afford to buy all those books, even at bargain prices!

Anonymous said...

So far the only advantage I can see to electronic books is weight - you can carry many on a reader at the same weight as a paperback book. Well, also maybe "wait" - if you want to pay you can get your eBook downloaded in minutes. I still prefer the thrill of finding a good read at a reasonable price. Our thrift stores recently raised prices to $1 soft, $1/89 for hard and $3 for specials. :( But I own enough books to last several lifetimes already.
You can not decorate with eBooks or audiobooks.
We trade books among friends and one friend leaves books at campgrounds with the note "this book is not lost. Please enjoy it."

Anonymous said...

Oh- I forgot my main point, that of free ebooks from Amazon that can be downloaded to your computer with a Kindle app. I did not think I could get them but it was free and easy.
I would try that before spending any money on a reader.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Dogsmom and welcome. Glad to see you agree about paper winning out over e-books and I like your point that you can't decorate with e-books. Like you, I also buy books in thrift stores - as you could see on this post and the prices are so great at 25 to 50 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hardcovers. For the cost of a few e-books I could fill a couple of shelves with bargain books.

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