I love to read. And I adore books. Physical books. I enjoy the feel of the paper and the satisfaction of turning a page. (I know I’m a Luddite, but I don’t read e-books.) And I do sell a few quirky books in my Etsy store. It’s a slow business, really a labor of love. In truth if I want to be serious about book selling I should be on Amazon–one of the best platforms for third-party booksellers–but I don’t want to go down that path at present.
Anyway, my city has a fabulous two-day book sale once a month. It is mayhem, particularly in the first few hours after opening. Dedicated book buyers show up in the morning to get a numbered ticket and then come back at 11:00 to line up for the opening. I’ve done that a number of times.
I haven’t gone much lately, but recently I saw the announcement for their free book night with 5000 books available. Apparently everything left after a sale gets put in these separate rooms and offered to the public for free from 6:00-8:00 p.m. My oldest daughter and I decided to head over and check it out.
Now these books are the leftovers. The refuse. The ones that hundreds (and hundreds) of buyers, collectors and resellers have already checked out and didn’t buy. So finding gems would be difficult. Still worth a try and a lot of other people thought so too. The small rooms were soon hopping with quite an assortment of folks (some for whom hygiene was but a fleeting thought) and boxes and bags were filling up. In the end I found a couple of books to sell, a couple of reference books and some mysteries and fiction for myself.
Here’s the first thing I put in my bag…an eight-pound 1974 medical textbook called the “Pathologic Basis of Disease” by Stanley Robbins who dedicated the book “To Sarah To Alexander to To Katherine with love.” (Gee, Dad, thanks!) The book has since had many revisions and reprints so this version (possibly a first) may not hold much value in the medical community. Still I think it’s worth a try. Plus it might come in handy during a zombie apocalypse.
Another quirky find is this “United States Military Posture for FY 1974” report by Admiral Thomas Moorer, USN. It seems to be focused on the 1973 military situation between the U.S., the U.S.S.R. and the P.C.R. (Peoples Republic of China). There is talk of radar systems, nuclear weapons, tactical air forces, missiles, etc. Might be of interest to military buffs.
My favorite find was this 1950s “Type and Lettering for Typographers, Letterers, Designers” book by William Longyear. Just love font books and I’ve sold a number of similar books in the past.
For reference I picked up a book on quilts and coverlets. Not sure if I’ll keep it forever but it will be good to go through. Like wise for the “Handbook of Old Pottery and Porcelain Marks.” In reality I don’t find many items from the 1700 and 1800s. Still it might come in handy.
One of my pleasure books was a mystery by Gillian Roberts, who is actually Judith Greber, and better known to me as my thesis professor back in the early ’90s!
So no home runs, but still a lot of good reading and a few odd books for my store. And did I mention, they were free!
As always, happy hunting,