Saturday, August 22, 2009

Faith in Humanity: Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale

I just got back from the "Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale". Seeing tens of thousands of people show up to shop through hundreds of thousands of books warms my heart. Reading, in a society so bent on instant gratification, sometimes feels like a lost art. However, today I was reminded that people still read: from little old ladies sorting through the Nora Roberts table, to the throng of geeks grabbing everything off the Sci Fi and Fantasy table.

Enough with the pontificating and on to the books I was able to snag:

Michael Crichton - Sphere, Jurassic Park, & Eaters of the Dead

Isaac Asimov - The Currents of Space (1962 paperback edition), Foundation, Foundation and Empire, & Foundation's Edge

Tad Williams - Shadowmarch, The War of the Flowers, River of Blue Fire (Otherland, Book 2), Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, Book 3)

Terry Brooks - Sword of Shannara, The Black Unicorn

All for a total of $12, mixed paperback and hardcovers. Most were gently used and in the case of Sword of Shannara and Isaac Asimovs, 1st printing mass market paperback editions from the 70's and 60's respectively.


  1. Anonymous1:29 PM

    nice grab

  2. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Amazing you could get anything in that feeding frenzy. I got there just as it opened and I happened to be looking for a particular sci-fi book (I hope that doesn't make me a geek). It was 100% impossible to get to the sci-fi paperbacks without just shoving everyone out of the way. I didn't want to be as rude as some people were being, and I could see I was never going to get to the table, so I just turned around and left empty-handed. I will gladly pay more for a book, any book, just to avoid wading through this sea of people who looked more like they were grabbing for $100 bills than books.

  3. I understand the rush of people at the Sci Fi & Fantasy table, as it seemed to be the most popular section. Its unfortunate there wasn't a ton of books donated in the genre and to be honest, there wasn't that many great titles to grab. The rest of the sections were fairly easy to browse in comparison. I personally didn't have to shove my way in, but we did arrive quite early. Also, I found others willing to work with me and hand books accross or look in their current area for a book if you mentioned you were looking for it (thats how I found Sword of Shannara).

    I think they broke the 16,000 shoppers number from last year and hopefully next year there will be more Sci Fi & Fantasy donations (I'll probably donate a few of my purchases back).

    On the bright side, again, I'm pleased that the Sci Fi & Fantasy novels were "flying" off the tables. Its great news to me as a fan of reading in general.

  4. Nothing like cheap books to bring out the people.

    Doesn't necessary mean it'll bring out the best in people, though. ;)

  5. Awes grabs. I personally count The Otherland series as one of the best I've ever read.

    I love big booksales. When I was growing up my mother ran an annual charity book sale in our town. For months before the actual sale our house would fill up with donations and she'd work to categorize everything by genre/author.

    On the weekend of the sale we'd have to wake up at 5am to set up, and there would already be people patiently parked on the street to get the first crack at the sweet sweet books.

    The Sunday was a particular frenzy: all the books you can stuff in a bag for $1.


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